Working In Ecuador (1)

Dollars vs Purpose: Working Locally vs Remotely in Ecuador

In my quest for a new life in Ecuador, I often find myself at a crossroads—choosing between working locally and embracing the allure of remote opportunities. In this article, I share my insights on the financial pros and cons of working in Ecuador versus working remotely.

The Financial Landscape

Economic Disparities

The average salary in Ecuador, approximately $850 per month, starkly contrasts with the US average of $5000 per month. As expats earning a US-style wage in Ecuador, we can immediately capitalize on a cost of living advantage. 

Remote Work Economics

Working remotely presents a compelling economic proposition, with the average US salary offering a six times better return on time compared to local employment in Ecuador. From a purely economic perspective, working remotely is the clear winner.

Realities of Local Work

In my personal experience with YapaTree’s real estate business, I’ve encountered the challenges and labor-intensive nature of local work, particularly in the competitive rental market. There are many unknown or hidden hurdles expats face when entering the local job landscape.

Crunching the Numbers

Hourly Wage Analysis

An in-depth examination of our rental business numbers reveals the intricacies of calculating an effective hourly wage. After considering the time and effort invested in each deal, we’ve calculated a realistic perspective on the local work scenario for this type of business. 

Risk Factors

There are many real-world risks inherent in local work, such as time spent on listings that don’t close, mediation between landlords and tenants, and the overall impact on the hourly wage. We need to include these factors when evaluating local job opportunities and they do significantly reduce the effective hourly wage. 

Remote Work Advantages

Comparing Entry-Level Remote Jobs

After conducting a comparative analysis between entry-level remote jobs, such as teaching English, customer support, and content writing, and the local rental business, I’m comfortable arguing that remote work is by far the best option for most expats. 

The significant financial advantages of remote work encourage expats to explore diverse remote job opportunities.

In-Demand Remote Skills

The potential income for expats possessing in-demand remote skills provides lucrative financial opportunities. For example, remote jobs related to digital marketing strategy and development generally pay upwards of $50 per hour with some experience. 

Purpose Over Profit

Entrepreneurial Purpose

My motivation for running a real estate business in Ecuador is rooted in a desire to contribute to the local economy, create employment opportunities, and assist expats in transitioning smoothly. Purpose-driven endeavors provide more than just financial incentives, but it does create a difficult balancing act. 

Navigating the Struggle

I do face an ongoing internal struggle. The delicate balance between purpose and the opportunity cost of not working remotely is something that I haven’t completely been able to comprehend. But, awareness is a good first step for working on this. 

Individual Paths

I encourage you to reflect on your own motivations and path, recognizing that each expat’s journey is unique. Self-awareness and introspection are essential elements when making your decision about whether to work in Ecuador or remotely. 

Balancing Purpose and Financial Security

Finding a balance between purpose and financial security is one key consideration. But, even if you choose to work locally, I’d always suggest having remote work as a backup option. You really don’t want to get stuck trying to make ends meet in Ecuador. 

Wrapping up

Working locally in Ecuador ticks more boxes for me than working remotely. But, it’s a continuous balancing act and I invite you to embark on your own journey.

But, you don’t need to do it alone. Feel free to get in contact with me with any questions you may have or if you just want a second opinion or “sense check”. 

Ciao ciao.

Further reading:

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