If you are retired you can retire to live your best years in Medellin

Why Has Medellín Become a Paradise For Retirees?

Medellin is the best city to retire

Why Has Medellín Become a Paradise for Retirees?

Medellín has earned an honorable place as one of the best places to retire in the world. According to the 2020 global index of American media outlet International Living Magazine, the city stood out for having an incredible cost of living of less than $30,000 USD (per annum), whilst still offering other important advantages for retirees such as: a top-tier private health system, a perfect climate all year round and fiercely protected natural areas that allow you to enjoy a healthy environment. These are crucial life-shaping considerations for any retiree! 

UPDATE 2023:

International living chooses medellin as one of the best cities to live as an expat
Medellín has been selected as one of the best place to retire

What Does Medellín Offer to The Foreign Retiree?

In recent decades, Medellín has come a long way in terms of physical infrastructure development. Thanks to urban planning, growth has been orderly and beneficial for the population, which has made a great example of innovation and sustainability out of the city. For this reason (and many more), it has become an excellent option for foreign retirees who are looking for a special place to make their retirement plans come true, with quality services and affordable living costs.

Check some interesting facts here:

Medellín, Colombia

Retirees in Medellin Colombia
Thousands of retirees have found the promised land in Medellín

Meet the City of Eternal Spring!

Imagine hopping out of the plane in Colombia and choosing what kind of climate you want…. Yes, Colombia is a land of microclimates and even in Medellín alone, you can select the finer details of the climate you want to live in…

Due to its geographical location, Medellín is known for having a temperate climate, with an average temperature of 21.6 ° C or 70.8 ° F, which is why it earned the title: “The City of Eternal Spring”.

Although they’re all similar and comfortable, you can choose what kind of microclimate you want depending on where you are in the valley. Higher up? Expect the weather to be slighly cooler.

This attribute is fantastic for retirees, who want to live in a place with pleasant temperatures and where your clothing throughout the year will never be a concern. But clothing is just the tip of the iceberg…

Check Medellín’s weather for yourself!

El poblado views beautiful
In Medellín it is normal to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view

Advantages of Living in a Place With a Privileged Climate

For people who are in the retirement stage of their life, the climate of Medellín will allow them to maintain their health and improve their quality of life. Who wants to retire in a cold climate?

By staying active and in contact with the outdoors the whole year – and without the limitation of severe winters or suffocating heat –  retirees can get the most out of their free time, spending it taking care of themselves and doing what they love at the same time. 

You can read more about how weather affects your health here:

Retirees can stroll around the city and discover its wonders

Low Cost and High Quality of Life in Unison

The cost of living in Medellín is quite low when compared to other cities with similar standards of living, this is a very compelling reason to dare to come and try this amazing place for yourself. It is no coincidence that every year thousands of expatriates choose to live in this authentic Colombian paradise. In our observation, the vast majority that come end up falling in love with the friendliness of the people, the intense cultural life, the dense biodiversity of its geography and its flourishing recreational places. As of 2023, we can confidently say that Medellin is in fashion. It has made it on to lists published by Forbes and Timeout as one of the best cities to visit and live in.

The cost of living in Medellin is lower than other cities in the Americas
Example of a Conservative Budget for Living Expenses in Medellín

Average Cost of Home Rentals

Rental prices are highly variable depending on the area of the city, the length of the contract, and whether the apartment is furnished or not. In Medellín the cities are divided into comunas which are classified between Estratos 1 through 6. 1 and 2 correspond to a low income level and those households save money on public services. Estratos 3 and 4 correspond to medium income levels. Estratos  5 and 6 are located in the nicest, highest income parts of the city. These households are net contributors to the public services and property tax systems in Medellín and the surrounding municipalities. 

Expats living in Medellin for zone
This graph shows the areas where expats live in Medellín

On average, you can find apartments with a monthly cost ranging from $400-500 USD in decent parts of the city. These apartments will typically be studios or one bedroom places. As you move to nicer parts of the city or a larger place, the price goes up – but with just $1000 USD a month you can find something quite high end. Now, for the typical budget of a large US city, like $2500-$3000 USD or so, you can live like a king in Medellín.

One of the options most used by expats to live without complications is to rent through Airbnb in Medellin. See more here: “Using Airbnb in Medellín – Things to Consider”.


El Poblado: An Ideal Place to Live in Medellín

In Medellín, El Poblado is a widely recommended area for retirees to come and make home. It is the most common place for foreigners to stay (with Laureles and Envigado being close second and third). 

It is located in Comuna 14, a location popular to the city’s upper class, since it offers excellent quality of life at the level of the best cities in the world. For many, it’s the most beautiful neighbourhood they’ve seen as it clings on to the fringes of the valley. Many of its streets are under hidden under a thick jungle canopy.

El Poblado is the best area to live in Medellín

Not only does El Poblado offer comfort and accessibility, it also offers plenty of commercial and residential options.  Many would say the best shopping centers, restaurants and entertainment venues are found here. It is also remarkably safe!

check out this article for statistics.

In El Poblado, you’ll find many of the traditional restaurant brands you find in North America and Europe. It has the smallest proportion of traditional Colombian establishments – as often they have been priced out of the area.

On any given stroll down Calle 10 or Avenida Poblado (the primary roads intersecting the comuna), you’ll find familiar franchises such as KFC, as well as plenty of backpackers scurrying towards their hostels.  

why has medellin become a paradise for retirees
Retirees get low-cost quality of life in a modern, beautiful city

Laureles - Medellín's Second Expat Haven

Laureles, in comuna 11, located in the central-western part of the city, is sometimes referred to as the corazón de Medellin (Medellín’s heart), because of its strategic central geographic location. Laureles offers a fine quality of life for its inhabitants, with extremely flat streets lined with restaurants and coffee shops making for top notch casual walkability. In ways, it maximises on the strengths of the city with some of the best cycle infrastructure, greenest streets and friendliest locals. 

Laureles is the second most common part of the city for expats to live in. It offers many similar benefits that El Poblado offers along with increased walkability

One of the best attractions that Laureles has for retirees is mobility, as it has enough access roads to allow you to travel all over in just a few minutes. It also has three metro stations and encompasses the majority of the Linea B Metro line

Along with the metro, it has bus routes, cycling paths, minibuses and countless lines of private taxis. Transport generally will not be a problem if you live in this area.

Laureles is an ideal place to live with a more relaxed lifestyle, not so “tourist-y” and a little cheaper than El Poblado. Because of this,  you will have the privilege of living in a more residential place, without giving up the entertainment options that the area offers.

Also, have in mind that many retirees complain about the hills in El Poblado as this impacts their mobility. By contast, Laureles is very compact and flat.

Retirees choose Los Laureles to live because it is a quiet and less expensive place.

Medellín is A Great Option to Invest in Housing

There are currently excellent opportunities for retirees to invest in real estate in Medellin. 

If you are planning to stay here permanently, investing in your own property makes sense, as you can take advantage of the appreciation in value. 

On the other hand, even if you are only planning to be here a few months, you can rent your property out while you are out of town and make solid returns. 

Check out this article which looks at the returns you can expect as a renter and to see the 15 year price average increase in Medellin.

Income streams after taking care of property expenses are very easy to achieve here given the low carrying costs of owning a property. 

In Medellin, anyone can procure good lodging, regardless of budget.
In this photo you can enjoy an enchanting sunrise typical of Medellín

It’s easy to get into the market at a price well below what one might expect in a typical North American city. For example, a modest 90 m2 apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms might cost you about COP 250 Millones de pesos (around $70K USD)

If you have more demanding tastes and are looking for something exclusive, you can buy an apartment of 100 to 200 m2, with a price range that might be double or triple the previous example – all depending on a variety of factors such as the part of the city it is located, the view, age of the building, admin costs, and quality of the finishes.  

Wide Variety of Commercial Options


For the elderly who live in Medellín, there are many alternatives to buy food, medicine and all kinds of supplies. Large supermarket chains and warehouse stores have promotions and discounts throughout the year. In addition, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses offer online shopping facilities, with easy payment options and home delivery.


Retirees find low food costs in Medellin
In Medellín, food and supplies are very cheap

Going to a market to prepare your meals at home is undoubtedly the most economical option. On average, a basic monthly supply, including protein, vegetables, grains, and toiletries, for a household of two can cost an average of $ 250.

Grandparents in Medellin
If you are retired you can live with a tight budget.

A slightly more complete loadout, including several carbohydrates, several types of proteins, snacks, among other things, can be around $ 400 per month for two people but obviously, it will all depend on the type of life you lead and if you can, from time to time, allow for certain luxuries.

Eating on The Street is Accessible and Delicious

Accordingly, food in Medellín is relatively cheap and the offer will always be tempting. In general you can eat well with just $ 5 for a simple and typical breakfast, there are also options from $ 10 per person in a mid-range restaurant.

Paisa cuisine is delicious in Medellín
It is very difficult to resist trying the delicious Paisa food.


For special occasions, in Medellín you will get a wide gastronomic proposal, there are many restaurants with a variety of menus, some of the most exclusive require a reservation, the menu ranges from $ 35 without drinks to $ 45 with a nice glass of wine.

Mobility Options to Consider


As for transportation, there are many options if you like to drive and want to have greater comfort and safety. For example, a new car with top tech can cost you an average of 30 thousand dollars but if you buy a used vehicle you could spend 10 thousand dollars on average. Also, if you don’t want to invest you can rent a car per day, there are companies that offer cheap options that can cost you even $ 25 a day.

Buy a car in Colombia
There are many options to purchase vehicles in Colombia

A First World Public Transport Network


However, Medellín has a transport system that many cities envy, this includes the Metro, buses and metro cables in the high areas, whose cost is only $ 0.70 per trip, now if you use the minibus the rate rises to $ 1.65. You can also buy monthly transportation plans, by paying $ 29, that give you a larger number of trips.


Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia
This is a popular metro station in Medellín

Taxi rides cost $ 5-10 within the city depending on the distances traveled and traffic, but there are private transport lines that can be hired and that give you lower costs if you hire the service regularly.

Read more about Medellín’s public transport here:

The Medellín Metro has transformed the city.

Telecommunications to Always Feel Connected

Nowadays, being in communication is an important need for everyone. Obviously, retirees also need a guaranteed service, to keep in touch with their friends and family, through platforms such as Skype, email, social networks, among others.

There is a wide range of communication and telephony services in Medellín.
There are several telecommunications service providers in Medellín.


In Medellín there are providers that offer complete plans for local communication, internet and cable tv that are quite efficient. The final cost will depend on the plan and speed that is desired, but in general, from $ 43 per month you can hire the full service. If you hire a larger amount of megabytes to surf, minutes of calls or Premium channels, the cost could rise up to $ 70 a month.

Recreational Activities for Retirees


Among the various recreational activities that retirees can do in Medellín, we have:

Cinema and Theaters: Most of the city’s movie theaters are located in large shopping centers, where Hollywood cinema is projected and promoted, as well as national and European cinema, a function can cost between 5-10 $ per person.

Going to the movies in Medellin is a good pastime
Going to the movies is an ideal hobby to do in Medellín.


The city also has several theaters that present national and international events of various genres such as: opera, zarzuelas, among others in a wide cultural offer throughout the year.

Medellín offers a wide range of theatrical activities
The theatrical proposal is permanent in the city.

Gyms and specialized health-care centers: There are several companies that offer tailor-made exercise plans, with professional clinical evaluation and specialized training for older adults, these help to have a healthy lifestyle and prevent diseases, generally these offer special discounts for the elderly in services such as nutrition, physiotherapy, sports-muscle massage, yoga, among others, the monthly payment can vary between $ 30- $ 70.

In Medellin you can have a very active retired life
There are specialized centers for sport routines


Shopping Malls to entertain yourself and go shopping in the city: In recent years the proposal of the so-called Malls has grown enormously in the city and this is a sign of its sustained growth, as follows: Santa Fe, El Tesoro, Premium Plaza, Unicentro, Oviedo, etc, permanently offer innumerable attractions for recreation, so you can visit them to walk for a while, eat at any restaurant or simply buy in the stores of your choice.

In Medellin there are several malls for shopping and entertainment
The offer of Shopping Centers is wide.


Social Clubs for fun and relaxation: In Medellín, social or recreational clubs are an excellent option for retirees, where recreational activities are carried out in the open air, they have appropriate facilities to relax or have fun in the country style, members can enjoy their spaces, membership fees can vary, but from $ 100 a month you get great options.

Check this list of amazing places to visit in Medellín:

Country club very close to the city of medellin
Activities in clubs are ideal for weekends

Worldwide Recognized Medical Service

Medellín has a robust health system, made up of 43 clinics, 39 health centers, 12 hospitals and 5 health posts, which have the necessary personnel and equipment to serve all types of patients, as well as to successfully perform surgeries and highly complex treatments for any disease.

Renowned Doctors provide medical care to expatriates in Medellín
The Paisa health system is one of the best in South America.


Some of the most important hospitals are: the Pablo Tobón Uribe Hospital, the San Vicente de Paul University Hospital and the Santa María Cardiovascular Clinic, these institutions have been internationally recognized for successfully performing more than 400 organ transplants and solving thousands of cancer cases.

Here’s a list of Medellín’s top hospitals:


Ranking latam hospital medellin
10 of the best health centers in the region are in Medellin

Rest and Care Residences for the Elderly

In the case of elderly people with mobility difficulties or who require specialized professional supervision or accompaniment, there are private organizations that provide thorough care to the elderly patients at lower costs than are regularly paid in the United States or Europe. For a quiet and dignified retreat, some of the services include:


* Medical attention

* Dance therapy

* Meals

* Sport

* Nursing 24 hours

* Physiotherapy

* Psychological Care

Special retiree care for expatriates is optimal in medellin
Professional assistance is received in nursing homes.

It should be noted that in the Paisa culture, grandparents are an important part of society, since they are the symbol of the family. The values of work, honesty and persistence are instilled from generation to generation, so it is not by chance that young people show considerate treatment and love for the elderly; it is something natural to give way in any row, to give priority to people with disabilities.

In the special residences for the elderly that are hosted in the city, they carry out rigorous tests for applicants who want to work. Every year thousands of people apply and only a few are hired, only the most qualified manage to access those highly regarded workplaces.

Inclusion of The Elderly is a Government Objective


In addition to all the aforementioned attractions, Medellín’s City Hall has within the gerontological plan for the period 2017-2027, the objective of promoting the city as an inclusive place where the elderly can enjoy quality of life, to live an active old age through the development of disease prevention programs, the local government offers workshops to maintain the cognitive development of older adults, integrating them into various productive projects, as well as promoting cultural and recreational activities all throughout the year.


The government of medellin promotes the inclusion of seniors in the transformation of the city
Welfare for retirees is a policy of the city.

How Many Foreigners are Coming to Medellin?


According to official estimates, in recent years the city of Medellín went from receiving 212,275 to 322,921 travelers at the end of 2018, this represents an annual growth close to 20%, which is an impressive rate since the world average is barely 5%. Of the total number of visitors received from abroad, 22% are of American, additionally, visitors from Germany, Spain, Holland, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela are coming in huge numbers.


Arrival of foreigners in Medellín
These are the countries from which more foreigners have come.

More and More American Pensioners Make Paisas


In 2017, the federal administration of Social Security of the United States issued payments to more than six thousand citizens residing in Colombia, which shows that what we’re discussing isn’t news. It is a well known fact and people are rapidly catching up to it: Partner, come to Medellín!” Americans living in the Paisa land tend to say.


American actor Michael Douglas loves Medellin
The famous actor Michael Douglas was in Medellín in 2020.


In Medellín, even with a modest American salary, you can live like a king! In the right parts of the city, even a monthly budget of $ 1000- $ 1500 is enough to enjoy luxuries like cleaning services, massages, hairdressers, private transportation, and delivered meals, etc. Goods and services such as food, accommodation, transportation and others are considerably cheaper than in other similar cities.


Perspectives for Foreign Retirees To Live in Medellin in 2021


The arrival of the COVID19 pandemic and the closure of airports within the framework of the measures implemented by the authorities to mitigate the virus, abruptly stopped the arrival of expatriates to Colombia as well as tourism around the world.

However, the restrictions imposed have recently been relaxed and it is expected that in 2021 as the arrival of vaccines advances, things will return to normal in the medium term.


In medell n the majority of the population has been vaccinated against covid
Cerro Tusa is the world’s largest natural pyramid.

BONUS- New Provisions for The Arrival of Foreigners to the Country


The Government of Colombia has recently announced the gradual opening of international flights at the end of September 2020. 


Medellin has daily flights to almost every country in the world
Since September 2020, the opening of flights in the city began


These are Some of The Requirements for Those Who Wish to Enter the Country:


EDIT: In 2023 the WHO officially ended the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, you still need to fill out the Check-Mig form. Info below still applies.

1). Before your trip, check to make sure you meet all immigration requirements. If you are not a colombian citizen or legal resident, the good news is that people with American, European and most Latin American passports do not need a stamped visa to enter Colombia.

2). In case of doubts, you can contact the Colombian consulate in your country of origin or access the following website:

3). Remember that the immigration control authority, in exercise of its legal powers, reserves the right to decide on the entry and admission of travelers into the national territory.

4). Carry out the “Check-Mig” at least 24 hours before your trip, this is a technological tool that will allow you to considerably reduce service times when carrying out the control and interview with immigration officials, improving security and preventing the agglomeration of people in all the airports and borders of the country. You will have to fill in the details of: personal information, flight information, airline name, reason for travel, place of stay, etc. The process is very simple, you can do it in the following link:

Also download the CoronAPP to enter your health status and receive recommendations related to COVID-19.

5). Covid test: Initially it was mandatory for all national or foreign travelers to undergo a PCR test of the SARS COV-2 antigen within 96 hours of their trip, later the obligation was withdrawn by the Colombian authorities. However, we always recommend having traveler’s medical insurance with Covid-19 coverage.

Medellin airport biosecurity measures
The authorities have established health controls to avoid contagion of covid19 at airports.


According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the process of opening flights will be gradual, starting with routes to the United States, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.


Later, flights were established to Bolivia and Guatemala, as reported by the Minister of Transportation Angela Maria Orozco. To date more than 20,000 international passengers have been received throughout the country.

If you are a foreign retiree and you want to know investment options, tourism or reside in Medellin, leave me a comment below or send me a message by WhatsApp at: (+)57-317-523-3469 and we will give you the best advice and advice in a way free.

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In this article you will know all the advantages that Medellin has for retirees who are looking for an incredible place to live. Contact me and we will give you the best advice whether you are a tourist, are looking to invest or reside permanently.