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Archive for July 2015

Using Your IRA for Foreign Real Estate Investment

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 31, 2015

For many people, squirreling cash away in their IRA is the best option when it comes to saving for retirement and reducing taxable income. Sadly, our recent economic climate has affected our IRAs in more ways than one, leading to insignificant growth and low returns – which leaves many wondering if there are ways to make their IRAs perform better.

There is, thankfully – and though it will require more effort and initiative from your end, you could very well end up reaping tons of benefits.

Investing in Foreign Real Estate

IRA investments

Though many hesitate to invest in real estate due to the generally sub par performance of the country’s housing market in recent years, it’s still an excellent option if you’re looking for a quality long-term investment.

Many people are unaware of the fact that real estate can be used as a valid holding for IRAs (self-directed). The best part is, it applies to properties both in the US and overseas, and includes nearly all property types: commercial properties, rental properties, raw land, farm land, property renovations, and more.


Due to lower costs for both houses and land, investing in international real estate is a great way to maximize investment returns. Compared to the US, properties on foreign soil also have significantly fewer restrictions and regulations, paving the way for more profit.

Another advantage that comes with investing in foreign real estate is added savings. Compared to buying property in the US, you can save a significant amount due to extremely low property taxes and more affordable utility and maintenance fees.

Ecuador, for example, has one of the lowest property tax rates in South America – it normally won’t exceed $200 a year, even if the property is of considerable size. Property owners age 65 and over get the added benefit of a 50% discount on property taxes. As for utilities, it hardly goes over $100 per month, including internet.

Investing in another country allows for more lucrative opportunities and better options as well. You can purchase raw land and convert it into a resort or a tourist attraction, renovate or make improvements on a property and rent it out, or buy a vacation home which you can put up for rent before you actually retire. No matter how you look at it, the fewer restrictions in foreign countries mean less stress and headaches, giving you more time to enjoy your retirement years.

The best part about investing in real estate overseas is once you rent out your property, all of the proceeds from your investment go back into your IRA account, completely tax-free.

Rejuvenating Retreats in Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 23, 2015

Checking out Ecuador’s fantastic destinations and trying out its plethora of exhilarating outdoor activities can be tiring. When you’re in a country filled with so many places to go to and sights to see, sometimes it can be difficult to catch your breath.

spa-livethelifeFortunately, you’ll find many relaxing retreats around Ecuador, perfect if you’d like to take a break, quiet your mind, and do a little bit of soul searching. Many tourists head to Ecuador specifically for these retreats – with absolutely breathtaking views of sun-kissed beaches, enchanting rainforests, and captivating mountain ranges, it’s pretty hard to find a more perfect setting to have a life-changing experience.

Yoga Retreats

The great thing about yoga retreats in Ecuador is they usually come bundled with activities like surfing lessons, island hopping, and nature trips – the perfect experience if you’re looking for a unique trip that mixes relaxation, serenity, and adventure. There’s no better way to find inner peace than sitting underneath the shade of a towering myrtle tree while feeling your breath synchronize with the soft ocean breeze.

You’ll find single-day yoga retreats or 30-day camps guaranteed to get you right back on the path of positivity and well-being.

Medicinal Retreats

Ayahuasca is a sacred plant brew that has been used for thousands of years by ancient Amazonian tribes. The brew is said to contain properties that lead to spiritual healing and transformation.

No words can truly describe the magic of a sacred Ayahuasca ceremony. If you’re ready to embark on a spiritual adventure, you’ll find many opportunities in Ecuador to take part in this revitalizing experience, in a safe environment, and under the guidance of an authentic Ecuadorian shaman.

These transformative medicinal retreats often take place deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, and usually last for around 10-12 days. Tourists are provided with simple single or double-room accommodations, and the trips feature other activities like jungle walks, meditation sessions, river cruises, and educational trips where you can learn more about the different medicinal plants and herbs.

If you’d like to go on one of these unique retreats, we at LIVETHELIFE can assist you in scheduling or finding a nearby retreat in your area. Simply call or send us an email.

Cuenca Accommodations

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 17, 2015

hotel casa del aguila outside shot

In traveling, getting the right accommodations is important. While you’re out exploring the area, sampling the food, mingling with the locals, and generally having the time of your life, at the end of the day you want to come home to a comfortable bed and just relax.

And here in Cuenca, accommodations are best left to the locals, because who else knows where the best places are?

At LiveTheLife, our Cuenca office team knows the best places for short-term and long-term rentals, and at the same time, is more than willing to help you find the best properties to invest in. Armed with an insider’s insight on local neighborhoods and a firsthand knowledge of what places hold real estate potential, our agents are an asset and can truly help you.


View of Cuenca, Ecuador

Biking, Waterfall and Aventura Park Tours

If you want to spend the day engaged in a slew of activities that will let you see the beauty of Cuenca and Azuay Province, ask our agents about our biking, waterfall hiking, and Aventura Park tours. In our biking tours, you get to enjoy the rough mountain trails of the region, while a waterfall hiking trip to Girón Falls is quite simply a breathtaking experience. At Aventura Park, you can enjoy canopy rides, fishing, mini golf, and horseback riding fun, as well as have an educational experience with tours around the farm and mora plantations.

Investment opportunities are also at hand, we will help you navigate local real estate processes and find you a property that will let you begin your life of wonder here in Ecuador. From viewings to negotiations, we will be more than happy to assist you.

Stay in a Historic Hotel

At day’s end, when you simply want to sit back and relax, we recommend that you book a stay at Hotel Casa del Águila. Located deep in Cuenca’s historic heart, it offers the perfect rest and relaxation experience. You even get a 10% discount when you mention, LiveTheLife!

Hotel Casa del Aguila

Hotel Casa del Aguila’s entrance

Lentag Accommodations

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 14, 2015

The joy of discovering new places can be exhilarating. What with the thrill of meeting new people, experiencing a different culture, and even just the simple joys of trying new food, it’s easy to forget about the practicalities of traveling. At LiveTheLife, we’ll help you get settled so all you have to do is focus on having a good time.

If you’re in Lentag or in other nearby areas such as the Yunguilla Valley, Girón, La Union, and Santa Isabel, our spacious and beautiful accommodations will offer you all the comforts of a home away from home.

Enjoy this stunning view at our beautiful two hectare estate teaming with mature fruit trees!

Vacation Rentals in Lentag, Girón, La Union, Santa Isabel, and the Yunguilla Valley

We have built accommodations designed specifically to enhance your experience while you stay with us. Check out our choice selection of lodgings, from villas with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms to retreats that are right in the middle of an organic farm. Whether you’re here for just a short break or you’re in for a longer stay, we have the right accommodations for you.

Best of all, our rates are reasonable and each accommodation comes with its own specific amenities. We have a villa that has its own pool, while another is surrounded by a grove of mature fruit trees. All of our rental properties also have hot water and high-speed internet connection so you’re ready to connect to the world at the click of a button.

Beautiful Four Bedroom with pool $500 per week $1400 per month

As for accessibility, this won’t be an issue as we are located near the main routes to and from Lentag. One of our villas is even connected directly to the main highway, which is just a short stroll away. Downtown Lentag is only 5 minutes away, making our accommodations the perfect place for you to relax and to explore the area.

There is so much to see and do in Ecuador. Lentag, along with its nearby areas, offers just a glimpse of the jewels that can be found in this amazing part of the world. With LiveTheLife, you’ll always have a place to come home to here.

Organic Vegetable Farming

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 7, 2015

Ecuador is primarily an agricultural country, with 32% percent of the population relying on farming as a means of employment and sustenance. Blessed with rich and fertile dark soil that is perfect for growing crops, along with a climate conducive to the production of most, if not all, crops such as maize, wheat, barley, potatoes as well as the country’s main export – bananas and plantains – Ecuador is a proverbial agricultural bowl. It is also the first country to enshrine food sovereignty in its constitution. Ecuadorians take responsible, sustainable food production very seriously, so it’s no surprise that organic farming is more than just a trend here.


Organic Farming

More and more people are recognizing the benefits to one’s overall health and wellness that eating organically grown produce gives. LiveTheLife now offers you the chance to enjoy the same benefits, delivered to you every week in Yunguilla and Cuenca. Nothing could be more convenient than fruits and vegetables grown from our own farm!
Sign up for our organic vegetable delivery service by visiting either one of two delivery sites. The first is at our Lentag office, located at KM54.820 on the main highway in downtown Lentag. The second delivery site is at our Cuenca office, located at Gran Colombia 4-17 y Vargas Machuca. Visit our offices from 2 to 5 pm. Here you can pick up your specially packed vegetable crate that’s good for 2 – 4 people each week.

All of this for just $1080 a year with a $40 deposit for two crates.

Each crate will contain a variety of 10 different items, from cooking greens and crops to fruits, vegetables, and herbs. And if you don’t manage to pick up your delivery for the week, your box will not go to waste. It will be given to a deserving family who will benefit greatly from the box of vegetables. Each week, the harvest will vary, but one thing is sure:

You can always expect the very best organic products handpicked just for you from our own farm.

Farm tour available.

Aventura Park

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 2, 2015

One of the world’s top tourist destinations, Ecuador has so much to offer when it comes to adventure and excitement. Marvel at the gorgeous landscapes that range from verdant tropical forests to awe-inspiring mountain ranges cloaked in ice and clouds to winding rivers that teem with wildlife. Take your pick from a selection of activities – zoom through treetop canopies, feel the rush of the wind while on horseback, witness the spectacle of jewel-like birds soaring high in the sky, or enjoy quiet moments on a boat, fishing reel in hand. The options are not only fun and varied, they will most certainly appeal to everyone as well.

Located in Cantón Girón, just 5 miles from Lentag, is Aventura Park. And here, you can truly get a taste of what it truly means to have an Ecuadorian adventure. Plus, you get to have it in a safe and accessible environment that maximizes the fun and the overall experience.


Aventura Park has four tours to choose from. These are:

Canopy Tour – This 1.5 to 2-hour tour covers 2 kilometers and starts with an exhilarating canopy tour on 6 zip-lines. The lines are doubled to guarantee your safety as you zip through the air a hundred feet from the ground. It includes a quick stop at the park’s blackberry fields on the fourth line.

Riding Tour – This 1-km tour lets you explore the park on horseback. There are horses suitable for novice riders and ponies for the kids. The tour is around an hour long and includes a brief visit to the park’s blackberry plantation.

Blackberry Harvest Tour – Get to experience farm life when you visit the organic blackberry plantation where you can try your hand at harvesting fresh fruit. The plantation encompasses 3 hectares and you can spend as much time here as you like.

Boating and Sport Fishing Tour – Try your hand at fishing at the park’s 3 small lakes, which are stocked with tilapia. You can fish from the shore or from a pedal boat. Boats can accommodate up to four and are equipped with complete safety essentials. No need to bring rods or bait – these will be provided.
All tours will have knowledgeable guides so you can make the most of each experience.

Aventura Park offers an exciting mix of exciting activities that range from hiking and trekking to zip lines and a behind-the-scenes look at farm production. You can also opt to try out their spa services, which includes massages, saunas and baños de cajon (which is something like a sauna in a box).