If you're considering future retirement in Cuenca yourself, you could invest in an apartment today, at today's prices, then rent it out until you're ready to use it yourself. Don't bother furnishing it now. Instead make it available for long-term tenants.
Jeff Stern is an American expat living in Quito. Jeff didn't move to Ecuador to retire. However, after years working in Washington, D.C. with various foreign aid groups and several stints as foreign aid workers overseas, Jeff and his wife Maria were ready for a change.