Colombia, once an overlooked retirement haven, is now just grabbing the attention of expats looking for a place to live that is close to home
For just over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated, and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Each year we’ve refined and improved the process, bringing new categories and considerations into play, gathering new data, and asking more and better questions of a greater number of expats.
We’ve added countries to the shortlist as they moved into the limelight, Malaysia in 2000…Colombia in 2007…and let others drop away. But the winner this year has been constant. For the past 14 years, this country has consistently ranked in the top 10 retirement destinations on the planet. And—for the fifth time—it takes the top spot once again in our Annual Global Retirement Index.
This year sees our most comprehensive index yet, with a list of 24 top retirement destinations, all of which have been put under the microscope and examined as regards their cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and much more.
This thorough questioning and assessment ultimately leaves us with a definitive list of the best retirement havens from around the world. All of which share the values that you can expect from an International Living approved retirement destination, while also maintaining aspects that make them stand out as individuals, meaning our index has a place to suit every taste.
So, without further ado—after months of research, number-crunching, and fact-finding—allow the expats who live there to introduce you to the benefits of the world’s top 10 retirement destinations in 2017.
Colombia, once an overlooked retirement haven, is now just grabbing the attention of expats looking for a place to live that is close to home, has excellent healthcare, a diverse and temperate climate, and of course is low cost.
The country has shed its dark past and is now thriving, welcoming to foreigners and proud of its culture and heritage. Located on the northern tip of South America, Colombia is a little over 440,000 square miles in area, about the size of California and Texas combined. It touches both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and has the three ranges of the Andes Mountains running down its spine. This beautiful country has something for everyone, including lush green coffee plantations, sparkling crystal beaches, and quaint colonial towns.
All this gorgeous scenery is a backdrop to one of the best things about Colombia—its warm, accepting people. Happy to share their country with foreigners, the Colombians will welcome you into their communities with music, dancing, delicious local food, and of course festivals. Nearly every city and town has a festival to celebrate some aspect of Colombian life.
This beautiful setting and exciting lifestyle also comes at an affordable price. According to IL’s Colombia Correspondent Nancy Kiernan: “An expat living in Medellín’s upscale El Poblado neighborhood pays about $1,250 a month to rent a three-bedroom high-rise apartment, however there is a very wide range of prices available throughout the city beginning around $500.”
Only a short three-hour flight to Florida, Colombia is in the eastern time zone, and due to being located so close to the equator, there is no daylight savings time. Colombia enjoys approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night regardless of the month of the year.
Getting from one area of the country to the other is easy. Bus travel is inexpensive, however, due to the mountainous area around most of the country, journey times can be quite long. On the positive side, you can spend the hours soaking in all the magnificent scenery. Many airlines provide service between major cities. Domestic flights are reasonably priced and make for much shorter transit, allowing you to spend more time exploring your destinations.
Life in Colombia varies from laidback, relaxing beach living in the coastal town of Santa Marta, to the culturally rich capital city of Bogotá, filled with theaters, churches, and the Gold Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts. Trendy nightlife, upscale shopping, and an array of imaginative restaurants can be found in both Bogotá and Medellín, as well as several other large cities.
Today Colombia |