Sunday, July 3, 2011

The "Perfect" Retirement Community?

Someone asked me to describe Cuenca and I said, “It’s the perfect retirement community!”

There was a long pause and then the words, “Are you serious?”

In my former life, one of my jobs was to evaluate retirement communities based on a five-star system. Living in the Pennsylvania/Baltimore/DC Metro area, there were a lot of high-end places to retire, but rarely did any of them make the five-star grade.

Yesterday, when Mark and I were walking home from “el centro,” I realized that Cuenca had made the grade (almost!). It’s a retirement community without walls and this is what it includes:

*A central park with a church in the middle (Parque Calderon and Nueva Catedral).

*The city is built in a checkerboard pattern, so even if you’ve lost your internal compass you can still find your way home (just look for the three blue domes).

*An abundance of medical care facilities, including three modern hospitals (Santa Ines, Monte Sinai, Hospital del Rio).

*Free events: concerts, musicals, plays and community functions.

*Pools, gyms, spas, and tennis courts (minimal cost).


*No need for a car; you can walk anywhere within a 2-3 mile radius.

*Social Activities Director. The Gringo Tree provides an ongoing list of entertainment options from scenic outings to free concerts.


*Abundance of Dining Options (from $1.50 lunches to 5-star dining).

*Near perfect weather.




*A supportive community environment.
Expat Night at Zoe's

*Ongoing “speech” therapy in the way of language learning!

*Access to a major airport.



The five shiny stars start to lose their luster when you factor in the cobblestone streets, sidewalks, and crazy drivers. Unfortunately, Cuenca is not a handicapped accessible “retirement community” and therefore loses one of its stars (entirely!).

Cuenca would not be able to retain its Old World charm if the cobblestones streets were paved and the sidewalks were glazed over, so a simple rule of planting your feet and looking before you “leap” will help considerably!

And it turns out “retirement” folks are not the only ones coming to Cuenca; it’s a whole new generation of 30 and 40 year olds that are wanting to escape the rat race and develop a simpler way of life before they retire.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that one of the amenities of living in this “retirement community” is Fourth of July fireworks—almost “daily.”



Until next time…hasta luego!




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8 comments:

Anne said...

his is a perfect retirement community! yes this is true, money can go very quickly and we cannot depend to our children so we have to save up for our Senior Living.

Connie Pombo said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Anne!

salemlutheran said...

A perfect retirement communities should focus on offering all the comforts and extracurricular activities you want while putting them in a safe place you can call home. Recreation and service is an important part of a well established retirement community. Thanks a lot.

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Sandy Fisher said...

well, that is very new! living and retiring in Ecuador, it looks amazing!! I would love that, maybe not so much my husband (he doesn't enjoy flying), but since we can't do that we're looking at some retirement communities, one CCRC in particular has caught our eye.
How's the housing in Ecuador?

Retirement Communities Miami said...


It is very important that after your retirements you go that place where you feel good and you enjoy your rest of life peacefully.

Thanks to post this.

shldnadelson said...

Looks like we share a common interest. But then again yours look more grand. Assisted living Des Plaines is what i am concentrating on.
Great job though.

Anonymous said...

It is my dream to start traveling after I retire. I think that would be fulfilling and staying in Ecuador would be really good. The beautiful environment and culture will surely make living fun and nurturing. This is something that I will consider. I checked retirement communities new york last time but this post is really tempting.

Mark Vincent Weiss said...

I agree with your thoughts here, In my mind we need to think our retirement in the future so that when that day come all we have to do is to travel and enjoy our being seniors. retirement home community is also important dont forget that.

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