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The Truth About Retirement In Colombia Expats Need To Know

03 Mar
Aerial view of Bogota, Colombia

The Truth About Retirement In Colombia Expats Need To Know

My Personal Retirement Plan B

The first time I ever recommended Americans think about retiring overseas was back in 1985.

When I began making these kinds of suggestions, I was sometimes met with suspicion… sometimes ignored… now and then even attacked as part of the lunatic fringe.

The good news is that today the idea of retiring outside the country where you happened to have been living up until that point is no longer considered crazy.

About 12 years ago, I made perhaps the boldest recommendation of my career…

A South American gem nothing like you’d expect…

Pretty, pleasant, sophisticated and chic, welcoming and affordable… a place on track to become one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, for both retiring and investing.

I’m talking about retirement in Colombia.

The image of Colombia as a dangerous land of cartels is decades out of date.

Pablo Escobar died nearly 30 years ago, and Venezuela’s instability has led to the best U.S.-Colombia relations in modern history. Colombia now even has the backing of the AARP.

What Makes Colombia Such An Appealing Retirement Destination?

Truth is, Colombia checks every box for would-be retirees.

Colombia has:

  • “Perfect” weather… it’s mild and spring-like all year long, so no need for heating or air conditioning…
  • World-class health care… 8 of the 35 best hospitals in all of Latin America are located here…
  • A rich cultural scene… complete with theater, orchestra, world famous artists, and exciting events…
  • An affordable cost of living… especially if you are converting from the U.S. dollar, which gives you more than 50% more buying power than just several years ago…
  • Great investment potential… for both the capital gain and the income investor… costs of getting in are low, and demand is growing at an accelerating rate…
  • And the real estate? It’s a screaming bargain, both to buy and to rent…

The U.S. dollar here has more buying power than it had only a few years ago… about 55% better, in fact.

In other words, a condo selling for the equivalent of US$100,000 several years ago would now cost around US$64,000.

An outdated stigma lingers, keeping it one of the greatest bargain lifestyles in the world today.

This Is A Remarkable And Rare Window Of Opportunity For Retirees…

People have already begun to discover this hidden paradise…

In time, even more people will realize the truth. Until then, opportunity abounds for those savvy enough to see past the myths to the reality of what this beautiful “City of Eternal Spring” offers today.

Aside from the bargains, the people here are polite and friendly, the streets are clean and safe, and the infrastructure is international-standard.

With its restaurants, cafés, galleries, and shops, this place feels more European than Latin American.

OK, brass tacks…

How Much Will It Cost You To Retire In Colombia?

Colombia offers a cultured and tranquil life for less than US$1,000 a month…

But it depends on where you choose to live … and how you live.

Which communities make most sense for you given your personal preferences, priorities, and budget?

I’ve been scouting, researching, and living in these places for more than a dozen years. Lief and I were so smitten with the way of life on offer in Medellín that, in 2011, we decided to invest in a part-time home of our own here.

As a result of all the time we’ve spent in this part of the world, we’ve been able to build an inner circle of trusted advisors, including lawyers, business owners, local professionals, retirees, and expats, with decades of experience living and investing in Colombia.

In a couple of weeks’ time, Lief and I will be reuniting with this special group in person for the first time in more than two years.

The pandemic has kept us away from Medellín far too long. We can’t wait to settle in again in this city whose Euro-chic lifestyle we’ve come to appreciate tremendously.

We’re looking forward to seeing the city… to meeting up with our friends and colleagues… and, perhaps most of all, to spending time together in person with the sellout crowd for our Live And Invest In Colombia Conference.

If you’re making your way to Colombia to meet us in Medellín later this month, we’ll see you soon.

Kathleen Peddicord
Editor, Overseas Living Letter