Why To Retire In Colombia
Colombia is full of vibrant cities with cute, colorful buildings coupled with picturesque landscapes for those that prefer living off the beaten path. The low cost of living is another big draw for retirees; expats claim their housing costs are about 20 percent of what they used to pay in the U.S. and organic groceries are about 10 percent less. Talk about a substantial pay raise! Additionally, Colombia offers excellent affordable healthcare for their residents, even for those with specialty needs. Despite the reputation of past decades, Colombia is also a very safe South American country and sees little violent crime. Spend your retirement sipping the finest coffee in the world in tropical Colombia!
Retire In Colombia: Things To Know
Colombia experiences a warm, tropical climate, with very little variation season to season. The country has an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, with rainy springs and winters and dryer summers and autumns.
With a northern coast made up of rainforest, residents in this region experience far more rainfall than the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the southern region of the country experiences much more savanna-like conditions, with dryer, warmer weather.
Colombia is one of the many countries with a specialized retirement visa. Applicants must provide proof of earning a minimum of just $262 of retirement or pension income per month in order to qualify. The retirement visa is valid for 3 years, after which it can be renewed. After 5 years in the country, retirees can upgrade to a resident visa. More information can be found here.
Travel by bus is by far the most common form of transportation in Colombia. With an expansive public bus system, residents can rely on the vehicles for both long-distance travel and short runs across the city. Personal cars are also an option, but driving can be hectic and traffic-heavy, especially in the cities.
Colombia has several international airports, but its main one is the El Dorado International Airport, located in the country’s capital city of Bogota.
Colombia has a public health insurance plan known as Entidades Promotoras de Salud, or EPS, administered by several different companies. The most common provider choice for expats tends to be SURA. More information on Colombian healthcare can be found here.
Spanish is both the official and the dominant language in Colombia. However, some residents of common tourist locations, particularly the Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providencia, can also speak English.
The legal tender in Colombia is the Colombian peso. A single U.S. dollar is worth roughly 3,800 COP.