Q. Hello Michael,
We are moving to Ecuador in about 16 months (counting the days). We are trying to figure things out here to prepare for our move.
The coming banking laws appear to be a concern. How do expats get the money from their home sale into Ecuador? Do the banks deal with cashier's checks from the US or should funds be wired?
Must we set up an Ecuadorian account first or are there banks in the States that also have a presence there? If we need an account down there, what is required to open an account?
How worthwhile is it to move household goods?
Thank you for your help,
A. Hello Jorge,
According to a recent publication by the IRS the implementation date for the 30% withholding tax has been delayed and won't affect your planned move in 2013.
Currently wire transfer fees are very low however the cheapest way to get money into Ecuador is to open up a bank account down here and deposit a check from the U.S. It will take about 10 business days for the check to clear but 100% of the funds will be available when it does. It can be a personal check, business check, whatever.
Contrary to popular belief opening a bank account down here is not necessary in order to buy a property, nevertheless it is easy for to open savings accounts here, even for foreigners, and so they often do so for sake of future convenience. Here is a link to the U.S. branch of one of Ecuador's largest banks. www.pichinchamiami.com
Don't know what to tell you on the household goods. It seems to me like most people ship containers in for sentimental reasons more than anything else. It only costs about $6,000 to fully furnish a three bedroom apartment with all new everything if you buy locally in Cuenca.
A lot can happen in 16 months! Arbeit macht frei