Why are retirees choosing Medellín as their new home?

Awarded in the category of global hub of innovation due to the recent strengthening of an ecosystem of science and technology and being compared to capital cities that exceed it several times in size, it isn’t strange that you may have heard about the city of the eternal spring more than once in the past couple of years.  

Surrounded by mountains, the city has earned recognition not just by the beauty of its landscapes, but because of the great development in terms of physical infrastructure, urban planning, sustainability and of course, the well-known social and cosmopolitan vibrancy. 

There’s no wonder why moving to Medellín, Colombia has gotten popular these days, receiving an annual growth of 20% more travelers. Medellín has earned yet another important title: as one of the best places to retire in the world.

Budget to Retire in Medellin Colombia

To retire in Medellín comes with many benefits that the city provides, starting off with the incredible low costs but high quality of living. Currently, the cost of living in Medellín is 70% less than living in the United States while still offering a great amount of luxuries and amenities, including rent, utilities, telephone, internet, cable, food, entertainment and public transport. 

You can easily be living a fairly luxurious lifestyle for just a few more hundred dollars than the average social security or pension income and be saving up those extra dollars into an even more luxury type of lifestyle or even for some holiday vacations. 

This being said, the option is yours to live a middle class styled life or a more luxurious one if you really retire to Medellín, either one is highly accessible to foreigners, being Colombia one of the cheapest countries to live in. For example, according to the DANE (National Statistics System), to be considered part of the middle class in the country, your monthly income must be between $653,781 COP to $3,500,000 COP or $167,57 to $897,06 USD, to the date this post is being written. In Medellín, you can live SO comfortably for a month for just that, approximately: 1.345 dollars. 

To break it down for you: 

All things considered, and just to get an idea, you can:

A total of $1,345 USD for monthly expenses, and this is on a basic but really pleasant and considered as a kind of middle-class lifestyle, definitely makes you consider moving to Medellín, doesn't it?

Get to know Colombian macroeconomics

keep in mind Colombian macroeconomics in order to do business in colombia

For further understanding the Colombian culture, if you aspire to retire in Colombia, it is relevant to give some overview of the most important macroeconomic data, which will certainly help to understand more about the lifestyle you can expect in Colombia. Thus, the current CPI (Consumer Price Index) presented an annual variation rate of 4.6% in October 2021, 1 tenth higher compared to the previous month, leading to the accumulated inflation in 2021 of 4.3%. Regarding the national GDP (Gross Domestic Product), it decreased by –2,4 %, compared to the first quarter of 2021. 

Another topic to keep an eye on if planning to retire to Colombia, is what is known as the IVA (Value Added Tax) which in the current year, 2022, is 19%, important to keep in mind at the time of your shopping sprees. You also may or may not be familiar with something called the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), plain and simple, this concept explains that two currencies are in equilibrium or at par, when a basket of goods is priced the same in both countries, taking into account the exchange rates.

 So, a good start for this specific scenario would be to compare prices of, let’s say, a Big Mac in the USA compared to Colombia: the catch is, due to some data previously explained such as actual the inflation rate, there’s a huge benefit in your finances when it comes to the exchange rate from dollars to pesos, bottom line is, you’ll end up definitely saving up some significant coins, thus, more cons of living and retiring in Colombia. 

Another important aspect, is that the city of Medellin is divided by socioeconomic “levels”, called “estratos”, the purpose of these is to sort residential properties that receive a public services bill and is based on a classification of elements, circumstances or a certain phenomenon. There are 6 levels classified as follows: 

  • Low-low
  • Low
  • Medium-low
  • Medium
  • Medium-high
  • High

This useful information will be relevant when the time comes to pick your living spot in the city, you can always go higher in the levels and according to them is how much you pay, how secure you are and how comfortable your lifestyle will be.

Dive into Medellín's Culture

But it isn’t just about the cheaper living, the great eating or the fantastic almost never changing weather, Medellín has an enormous cultural and social offer. Experiencing and understanding the Colombian culture is possible not only just by wandering around the colorful streets, or speaking with the amicable locals, you can also evidence that around every corner there may is a theater or a museum to explore, just to mention some of the most remarkable: The Medellín Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Antioquia, The Metropolitan Theater, amongst many others, and all of them have one thing in common: they offer that first-hand understanding for every one of the vast social and cultural context of not only the city, but of a country that has traveled a long way to be what it is today.  

The possibilities here seem endless, and as if all of the above are not enough on the great cons living in Colombia carries, there is also even more benefits that will make you definitely want to retire in Medellín, such as the fact that Medellín is in the same time zone as the East Coast of the United States, for those who may still have remote work to do, and not to mention the cheap prices of flights from Colombia to the United States and back, meaning it is affordable to fly, visit family or even bring them for a tour around. 

medellin's culture is a huge aspect as to why it is great doing business in colombia

Why you should consider a Colombian Retirement visa!

Now, when the question comes into mind as to how you can actually retire and live in Medellín, there is a process you are required to follow on how to get a Colombian visa that is adequate for you and according to the Colombian visa types: 

First step is to apply for a retirement visa: The Colombian retirement visa, known as the Pension Visa (or M-11visa) is both inexpensive and easy to acquire. 

To qualify for the Colombian retirement visa, you must demonstrate an income of at least three times the Colombian minimum monthly salary, being the current monthly salary of $1’000.000 COP, you’ll be required to have a monthly income of $3’000.000 COP or $768,91 US dollars (considering the current exchange rate of $3,901 COP to $1 US dollar). 

Also, you’ll be required to present a certificate of pension, and a valid passport.  we must clarify that a health insurance is not necessary to apply for a visa, nevertheless the visa’s granting is totally and completely discretionary by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which means that they could request it for your particular case and the fulfillment of the requirements does not guarantee the granting of it. From this point on, is where the services we offer you here, at Nexo Legal come in handy, and we will gladly stand by your side during the whole process of getting your Colombian retirement visa. 

We make things easier for you

The approach we later take into applying for your retirement visa depends on a study of your specific situation. It is important to note that you can apply for a Colombian visa being in your home country or being in Colombia, if your country doesn’t have a consulate the application must be presented in the nearest one. 

Later on, and with our supervision and guidance, you will be provided with an electronic visa which must be stamped in your passport as you arrive to the country, if you have any question about any step of the process don’t hesitate to contact us, we offer a free diagnosis, and we’d be more than happy to help. 

The main challenge for your Colombian retirement visa application may just be with the misunderstanding of Colombian laws and of course the language barrier if you are not a fluent Spanish speaker, it makes the process messier and complicated for you when it doesn’t need to be, that is the reason why you can hugely benefit from our services and be accompanied by the best and most qualified legal assistance, we ensure you to be your biggest allies into accomplishing your goal of moving to Medellín to starting your retire life in Colombia.

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