Equador has been getting lots of good press mixed with bad press recently. So, what else is new. Most countries attractive to expats get the same treatment. What most expats realize is that when you expose yourself to trouble, you are more than likely to be victimized.
Some of the more talked about expat friendly areas of Ecuador are Cuenca, Cotachaci, Vilcambamba and Montanita.
Montanita happens to be beach area but some other expat areas are high in the Andes. So if you want to live around Cuenca, ask yourself about living at an elevation of 8,200 ft (2,500 m).
Facts Trump Rhumor
"Live in Equador for less than $1,000 per month."
It's common to see comments like this one on sites catering to expats. I know of one site that claims Thailand is livable for $550/month. It aint!
Thailand may be survivable, (however, I doubt that) but livable? No!
I think the same may be true for Ecuador. What is probably more accurate is that one can live modestly comfortable on a North American pension.
So if you are mentally capable of navigating the complexities of retiring and living abroad, you are capable of digging through the rumors to find the facts. And knowing all the facts lets you make a better decision.