Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
International Relocation Guide
International Relocation Guide

An Expat Talks about Retiring in Medellin, Colombia

Oct 23, 2017


Medellin, Colombia

An couple who decided to leave the troubles of the US behind and retire in Medellin, Colombia hasn't looked back. They love living near family in Colombia and enjoy the friendly Colombians, low cost of health insurance and beautiful weather and lush countryside.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Medellin

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

I have decided to take a safe spot on the sidelines and continue my observations of the rapidly worsening situation in America from a safer country and city- Medellin, South America.

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?

Part time. I still take travel assignments to work in Washington State and California

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

Once you visit Colombia, you will be forever enchanted by the people and the culture. My wife is Colombian and I have never regretted my decision to adopt her wonderful country, city and family as my own.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

A short stint in South Korea while I was in the US Army.

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

One year.

Let the Adventure Begin! is our premium weekly relocation newsletter that guides you step-by-step through your international move. The weekly newsletter begins 8 months before your move and runs through your first 4 months abroad. For US $29.99, you'll receive an e-mail on Wednesday with tips and advice tailored to where you are in the relocation and settling-in process.
International Relocation GuideLet the Adventure Begin! E-Newsletter

Let the Adventure Begin! is our premium weekly relocation newsletter that guides you step-by-step through your international move. The weekly newsletter begins 8 months before your move and runs through your first 4 months abroad. For US $29.99, you'll receive an e-mail on Wednesday with tips and advice tailored to where you are in the relocation and settling-in process.
SUBSCRIBE

How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?

Colombia is the only one.

What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

Transferring money to Colombian banks and learning the language and customs.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

Fresh air, healthy, preservative free food, excellent health care, a warm, happy extended family, low cost of living index, beautiful scenery, a safer environment without so many guns and terrorist events.

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?

I would have done this much sooner.

What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

Colombian's are friendly, hospitable people eager to show you their excellent life style and culture. Tons of activities for everyone and beautiful sites to visit. Whether relaxing in my hot tub enjoyed the mountain views of attending a family barbecue, life is beautiful.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

Obtaining a three year visa was simple, but consumed a lot of visits to various offices. Being married to a Colombian national makes it vastly simpler and having family living there ensures the process will be nearly flawless. Having an attorney to facilitate the process is recommended; mine only charged me $300.00 USD and accompanied me to each immigrations office visit.

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

We built a beautiful country home. Again, the family helped throughout this process. From land purchase to completion of the house took a total of around 18 months.

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

Exceeded them by far. Colombia is superlative in so many of its facets in comparison to the US.

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

A secure income. Difficult to impossible to find work if you are over the age of thirty, even for Colombians.

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

$1500 to $2000 USD monthly.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

I have a carte blanche insurance policy in Colombia that covers my wife, our two daughters (who live in the US) and me for the low monthly fee of $300.00. No network, copay, deductible or pre existing condition nonsense either: the policy pays $100% of everything, period. Hospitals and clinics in Colombia are world renowned.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

Medellin is like any big city; it has its share of crime. But statistically, it ranks safer than many US cities. Much less gun violence than in the US.

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

Medellin has won world awards for its revolution of their transportation system. Traffic is a problem, but driving is similar to driving in big US cities once you learn your way around. Inexpensive taxis are everywhere as well as a new metro transit light rail system and a cable car system that accesses the mountain side communities. Commuter buses everywhere.

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Yes. Difficult at first until you find the right providers. Our condo development recently acquired high speed internet. Out in the country, internet can be spotty and difficult, but this is improving everyday. Cell phone service is good and one can tether to the phone for internet access if necessary.

Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

Colombia is like a dream come true. Very much like the Shire in Tolkien's classic, "The Hobbit". Fresh, crisp mountain air. Sunny days with gentle, pine and eucalyptus scented breezes. Restful, cool nights with the patter of soft rain overhead. Green everywhere. Lush pastures and forests. An average yearly climate that averages 68 degrees at night and 75 daytime. Morning and evening hot tub sessions. Walks along shaded forest paths. Fresh fruit, juice, vegetables from our garden and dairy right from the farm. Fresh meat without preservatives. Beautiful, warm, friendly Paisas. Parties, barbecues, family celebrations. It's all good.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats MedellinMedellin Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Medellin.

Colombia Index Medellin Index
An index of all of our site's Medellin information.

Expat Healthcare Advice in MedellinHealthcare & Health Insurance in Medellin

Expats in Medellin offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Medellin.

Digital Nomad Life Medellin Living in Medellin

More about what it's like living in Medellin.

Best-Places-to-Live-in-Medellin,-ColombiaBest Places to Live in Medellin, Colombia

Here are the best places to live in Medellin, Colombia, based on the recommendations of expats.that already live there. There are options for a variety of budgets in this now popular destination in Colombia.

Cost-of-Living-in-Medellin,-ColombiaCost of Living in Medellin, Colombia

Expats in Medellin enjoy a far lower cost of living than in major cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, work is scarce and low pay unless you are transferred there by a large company, so you'll need an established income stream to make it as an expat in Medellin.

5-Tips-For-Living-in-Medellin,-Colombia5 Tips For Living in Medellin, Colombia

Expats living in Medellin, Colombia report that there are safe places to live - and that the nightlife is fun, too. Read about how to live in Medellin - a city that has become quite a popular destination for expats.

Colombia Forum Colombia Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Colombia on our Colombia forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Colombia Network Contribute
Help others in Colombia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Colombia.

Expat Healthcare Advice in ColombiaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Colombia

Expats in Colombia offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Colombia.

Best Places to Live in Colombia Best Places to Live in Colombia

Here are the 9 best places to live in Colombia according to expats living in Colombia. Expats share why they love living in each city, the climate, cost of living, social activities and more. Don't overlook the comments about heat and humidity in some coastal cities - while these conditions are ideal for some expats, they're oppressive for others.

Real Estate in ColombiaReal Estate in Colombia

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Colombia.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats MedellinMedellin Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Medellin.

Colombia Index Medellin Index
An index of all of our site's Medellin information.

Expat Healthcare Advice in MedellinHealthcare & Health Insurance in Medellin

Expats in Medellin offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Medellin.

Digital Nomad Life Medellin Living in Medellin

More about what it's like living in Medellin.

Healthcare-in-Medellin-ColombiaHealthcare in Medellin Colombia

The healthcare system in Medellin, Colombia gets generally positive reviews from expats.there. Find answers to questions about universal healthcare in Colombia, what it takes to get an EPS card and more.

Best-Places-to-Live-in-Medellin,-ColombiaBest Places to Live in Medellin, Colombia

Here are the best places to live in Medellin, Colombia, based on the recommendations of expats.that already live there. There are options for a variety of budgets in this now popular destination in Colombia.

Cost-of-Living-in-Medellin,-ColombiaCost of Living in Medellin, Colombia

Expats in Medellin enjoy a far lower cost of living than in major cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, work is scarce and low pay unless you are transferred there by a large company, so you'll need an established income stream to make it as an expat in Medellin.

5-Tips-For-Living-in-Medellin,-Colombia5 Tips For Living in Medellin, Colombia

Expats living in Medellin, Colombia report that there are safe places to live - and that the nightlife is fun, too. Read about how to live in Medellin - a city that has become quite a popular destination for expats.

Colombia Forum Colombia Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Colombia on our Colombia forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Colombia Network Contribute
Help others in Colombia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Colombia.

Expat Healthcare Advice in ColombiaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Colombia

Expats in Colombia offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Colombia.

Best Places to Live in Colombia Best Places to Live in Colombia

Here are the 9 best places to live in Colombia according to expats living in Colombia. Expats share why they love living in each city, the climate, cost of living, social activities and more. Don't overlook the comments about heat and humidity in some coastal cities - while these conditions are ideal for some expats, they're oppressive for others.

Real Estate in ColombiaReal Estate in Colombia

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Colombia.

Copyright 1997-2022 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal