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Monthly Archives: September 2013
Take a peek at this video, the entire list of links mentioned in this YouTuber are listing at the bottom, scroll down.
ADVENTURE TRIPS WITH LNKS BELOW Know a travel spot you have found, send me a photo and note glad to add your adventure to the list.
These are in no special order. My personal list when someone ask “what to do”, we start down the list to decide.
Cartagena old city and Spanish Fort
see my book for all most 100 things to do in city Medellin in the book section, photos, maps and details
http://russellfreeman.com What is a $1,000 dollar apartment like in Medellin Colombia?
This unit is “vacant” not furnished. To show what you may expect for a rental. Located on the 17th floor of a building a few blocks uphill from Poblado Avenue, in Poblado a prime area, walk to the malls & parks. Medellin living is, life on the “PATIO” you pay for a larger patio that opens from the living room with a wall of sliding glass. Patio living is what Medellin is all about. This is a three bedroom three bath unit, very large bedrooms each with a private bath, double sinks, large glass showers. This building the elevator is key coded to the floor, the elevator opens, you in your apartment.
The Kitchen is a Colombian style, smaller but adequate with gas appliances and oven. Western style large kitchens with centre islands are normal too, in the upper hillside area buildings. There is a fourth bedroom for the maid, it is small, plus a oversize laundry room, two sinks, & washer-dryer will fit. Maids quarters is typical for Colombian upper range apartments.
This unit has a side view of the valley, other units higher on the hillside have panoramic views 180 of the entire valley or some face the mountain view. Similar larger units in either city of Envigado or Sanbaneta in newer buildings start in the $700’s to $900’s, this unit is in the Beverly Hills section of Medellin, where prices are a bit more.
24hr security, a complete gym with all modern equipment plus free weights, nice pool and sauna are all normal for this class of building in Medellin.
Looking for a vacant long term rental OR a holiday fully furnished rental in Medellin drop me a e-mail we can send you what is available.
Russ@russellfreeman.com thanks for your interest
Hello this is Russell. The YouTuber video below is my introduction of myself and to give you a bit of information on Medellin Colombia so you may discover the Valley of Eternal Spring for yourself, come for a visit you may never leave.
Retirement Visa help is available from several friends locally in Medellin, PLUS I can help you with all your VISA paperwork and Investment VISA services too for 2014. . Retirement Visa for USA citizen in Colombia was free in 2013, now changed to less than $300. for 2014. Compare this all most “free” $300. to other retirement places, Costa Rica $2300. Panama $2,000, Thailand $1,000. Philippines will take a CD $10,000 or stay unto two years now on a Tourist Visa in Philippines new for 2014, Belize now requires a deposit of $24,000 a year, the list goes on, when you can have it all in Colombia, the friendly people, great weather, awesome food and cheap housing all await your retirement to the valley were everyday is “Spring” !
We are in the process of posting over a hundred more “how to move to Colombia” videos. In the mean time here my BOOK< Retire Colombia Cheap is in print at Amazon, Barns n Noble, Apple iBooks, use the links on side bar or top menu to get your complete GUIDE TO RETIREMENT IN COLOMBIA CHEAP. Now when you get my book from Amazon this is enough for a cold locally brewed beer here, thank you and cheers.
This is a short video on what will $600 to $700 dollars for a apartment be like. This is in the Beverly Hills area in all of South America Poblado Medellin. I take you around to the next closes city for a compare prices and features of a 1 bedroom in Poblado vs a 3 bedroom in Envigado both in a brand new buildings both for the same $700 per month. Only difference is 5 miles between the two buildings, nothing else. Poblado vs Envigado.
Vacant apartments rentals in a new building very large 2 to 3 bed in Envigado or Sanbaneta $600 to $900 a month. The same apartment in Poblado expect to pay $200 -$300 more. Laurales across the Medellin River is even less, $500 a month in a established older brick walk up building rents are cheaper, still very safe neighbourhoods. Barrios where you may not wish to live $200 to $400 a month rental factor is common for the typical Colombian, I do know a few retired folks in this class of neighbourhoods, you have to come visit drive around to find your own comfort zone.
My book Retire Colombia Cheap I go over additional cities in Medellin Valley to live along with photos of $300 to $500 a month walk-up apartments in a middle class neighbourhood. Very nice unit, you only have to see the photos to agree. You can live here with a great quality of life, perfect spring weather everyday, and do it all on your Social Security too. Come down to see us, I can have one of the local folks drive you around, help you with your move to the Valley of Eternal Spring, Medellin Colombia.
Enjoy this video, as I tell you a bit more about Medellin.
This is an interesting news story on the facts of retirement to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize and Panama. ALL FACTS you should know if your thinking of these countries as to compare to Colombia. I cover a lot more items from personal friends who have moved to these cities and finally moved on to Colombia the second retirement choice. Learn from my personal “learning curve” and my friends too, come visit Colombia, but in reality you need to see the other countries too as you find your sweet spot there also. Remember no matter what we as retired baby boomers, need to enjoy life, eat well and travel safe !!
When Steven and Robin Fine started searching for a place in Latin America to spend their early retirement, they looked at spots in Mexico and Costa Rica, both popular destinations for American retirees. On a trip two years ago, they decided to stop by Panama, too.
The Breeze in Belize
Tony Rath for The Wall Street JournalTom and Tricia Herskowitz had a 7,000-square-foot compound built in a new development called Sanctuary; a view from a rear verando is shown.
“We thought we would like Panama the least,” Mr. Fine, 51 years old, a former communications executive said, “but we liked it the best.”
The combination of luxury apartment buildings, good restaurants and modern hospitals drew the couple to Panama City, where 1½ years ago they spent $1.1 million, plus about $250,000 on renovations, on a 48th-floor penthouse with a view of the Pacific. It is now their full-time home.
The Central American nations of Panama, Belize and Nicaragua are increasingly competing with Costa Rica and Mexico for North American retirees and second-home buyers. New luxury developments, outfitted with spas, restaurants, marinas and golf courses, are on the rise. Builders say they are using more high-end materials and adding upscale amenities designed to appeal to affluent American buyers.
Bobby Pereira for The Wall Street JournalSteven and Robin Fine renovated a $1.1 million, 48th-floor penthouse in Panama City.
These countries offer packages of residency and breaks on taxes and fees that imitate Costa Rica’s pensionadoprogram, which was introduced in 1971 and helped set the groundwork for a boom in retiree emigration from North America. Nicaragua added such a law in 2009, offering foreigners with retirement incomes tax breaks on everything from cars to construction materials. Last year, Panama, which has a long-established retiree program, created a path to citizenship for retirement residents and introduced a new residency program for people under retirement age that has lowered requirements for investment in property, business and other ventures.
“The message of this law is simple,” said Panama City-based attorney Manoj Chatlani of Panama Offshore Legal Services. “It’s ‘Come to Panama.’ ”
The number of Americans who collect Social Security in Panama jumped 65% to 2,164 between 2006 and 2011, the latest year for which there is information. In Nicaragua, the figure more than doubled in the same period, from 595 to 1,322. Belize’s number, too tiny for the Social Security Administration to track in years past, was 560 in 2011.
Panama’s explosive growth—gross domestic product increased by an average of 8.5% annually since 2008, according to International Monetary Fund estimates—has drawn American workers and businesses to Panama City over the past decade. Now, local developers are courting another population, focusing on building amenity-rich planned communities outside the city to appeal to North American retirees.
Boquete, a town about 40 miles from the Costa Rican border, offers high-end gated communities, an established expat community, cool mountain temperatures and tropical-rainforest landscape. Justin Harper, co-owner of Playa Chiquita Development Corp., is developing about 200 acres of virgin land 20 miles east of Boquete. The community, Bella Vista del Mundo, has 76 lots and plans for a boutique hotel, spa, pools, tennis courts and horseback trails. Single-family homes with mountaintop and Pacific Ocean views can be built by the developer for about $400,000.
David Hatton Urriola, 43, moved to Boquete three years ago from Kansas and set up Panama Connection Real Estate, which provides tours, relocation help and real-estate sales to expats. Among properties he is currently marketing is a 6,716-square-foot house on 34 acres, once used as the summer home of Panama’s military leader, Manuel Noriega, who is serving a 20-year sentence in El Renacer prison in Panama City. The house, listed at $2.3 million, is a 25-minute drive from where an international airport is being expanded.
On the east side of Panama City, a 700-acre community called Santa Maria Golf & Country Club is being built to include 4,000 colonial-style houses, townhouses and condominiums, and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus’s company. The homes, yet to be completed, sell for about $278 a square foot, a “top price” in Panama City, said Kent Davis, broker at Panama Equity Real Estate.
“Santa Maria is a product that hadn’t existed in Panama before: the luxury suburban community—more American-style larger lots,” Mr. Davis said. Most pre-delivery buyers have been Panamanians; local agents say they expect American interest to rise as the development nears completion in five to 10 years.
Belize, a small, English-speaking nation with a population of about 330,000, has been popular for years as a scuba-diving and ecotourism destination. High-end properties had to be custom-built until the early 2000s, when developers started putting up “single homes here and there,” said Hugo Moguel, president of the Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize, which is launching the country’s first multiple-listing service in August.
Now, developers are attempting to sell Belize as a luxury-living place to retire. New developments include Sanctuary Belize, a 14,000-acre development slated for completion in three years that will have 2,000 residential lots, 250 condominiums and townhouses, and a 220- to 250-slip marina. The buildings’ poured-concrete construction meets Dade County, Fla., hurricane-resistant standards, said Luke Chadwick, a partner in Eco-Futures Development. Developer financing is available.
Of the 600 lots Sanctuary has sold so far, 80% of them have been to Americans, he said. The core demographic is “50 to 65 year olds, either in retirement or planning for retirement,” Mr. Chadwick added. Lot prices range from $149,000 to $1 million for an acre overlooking the Caribbean, he said.
Tom and Tricia Herskowitz moved into their 7,000-square-foot compound in Sanctuary this past September, lured by the boat slip and Caribbean access. “The fact that the country is English speaking and is a Commonwealth country was attractive to us,” said Mr. Herskowitz, 68, a retired executive and business-school professor.
Amid growing tourism—and aided by the lowering of a foreigner transaction tax in 2006—there has been a boom in luxury-condo developments, especially on the island of Ambergris Caye, popular with expats.
“There are beachfront condos going up that are going to feature elevators, which didn’t exist in Belize before. Most of the buyers are baby boomers and they are aging,” said Dmitri Ioudine, owner of Coldwell Banker Ambergris Caye Ltd. Local builders say building materials have improved as local suppliers bring in higher-end materials.
Despite their inroads with American retirees, these countries still don’t attract the same numbers as more established destinations, such as Mexico and Costa Rica. In 2011, more than 50,000 Americans collected Social Security in Mexico and more than 5,000 in Costa Rica. But Mexico’s well-publicized drug war and escalating violence are starting to push Americans to look at new places for retirement.
Central America, however, has its own problems with crime. The U.S. Department of State labeled the crime rate in Nicaragua “critical” and the murder rate in Belize “extremely high,” though concentrated in Belize City and not in tourist areas. In Costa Rica, petty crime such as theft and “smash and grab” muggings have increased in the past couple of years, along with home invasions.
In Panama, murders and gun violence have decreased in recent years, but reported rape and theft have increased. “Panama remains relatively safe when compared with other Central American countries, yet crime rates are higher than one would encounter in most of the United States,” says the State Department’s 2013 report.
Dan Prescher, who leads conferences by International Living, a provider of information for people interested in retiring abroad, says urban crime rates can exaggerate safety issues in other areas of a country. Still, he warns that public security isn’t always adequate in the region.
Nicaragua is the latest country to attempt to grab North American interest. In Guacalito de la Isla, a 16,070-acre coastal development—with 600 residences, a pool, restaurant and gym—is under construction. A two-hour drive from Managua’s international airport, the project includes a plan to open a small airport by 2015. The first homes—28 single-family houses—will be turned over to owners in September. The four-bedroom, four-bath pool houses sold for between $700,000 and $750,000, said Jeff Lawrence, director of real estate. A luxury hotel-resort on the property, Mukul, opened in January and has helped boost sales, he said.
“The buyers right now are 85% Nicaraguan and 15% U.S. based,” Mr. Lawrence said. “There is an education hurdle for us to convince people that Nicaragua is safe and is a tropical paradise.”
Write to Katy McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a news item from US News dot com on Retirement to Colombia I wished to pass along. It is not only me saying this is a great spot to check out but more and more people are finding out why “Colombia” and then Why Not Colombia, as the spot to retire. Below is the US News item in full.
direct link http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2013/04/01/why-medellin-colombia-is-a-great-retirement-spot
Why Medellin, Colombia is a Great Retirement Spot
“This is your first trip to Colombia, and you’ve chosen to focus on Medellin? That will save you a lot of time,” our new friend remarked. “This is the place to be in this country right now.”
After spending a little more time in La Bella Villa, as Medellin is known, we decided that this resident American expat knew what he was talking about. Medellin is impressive from the moment you depart the international airport and begin to make the drive down the mountainside toward it, and more so the longer you’re here.
The Euro-undertones are strong, from the way the women dress to the way people greet you in passing on the street. Wandering around Medellin is more reminiscent of walking around Paris than almost any other city in the Americas. If you were to compare Medellin with another city in Latin America, it’d be Buenos Aires, Argentina. Medellin, population about 2 million, is like a miniature version of Buenos Aires, from its annual International Tango Festival to its Botero Museum. However, Medellin is more manageable than Buenos Aires (which is home to about 15 million people), easier to navigate and cleaner. Otherwise, the neighborhoods, parks, downtown shopping areas, antique shops and the arts and literary history in Medellin all remind you of that very European city way down at the bottom of this continent.
Medellin makes a good impression immediately and on many levels. Architecturally, this city is lovely. Built almost entirely of red brick, with almost every structure topped by a red clay tile roof, the place is pleasing in its consistency, especially when viewed from some height. From the windows of one of the city’s penthouse apartments, for example, Medellin appears a sea of red clay tiles and red brick buildings interspersed regularly by swatches of foliage and flowers. The effect is calming and peaceful.
Another thing you’ll notice immediately upon arrival in Medellin is that this city is nowhere near as scary as you might have expected. As every local resident you speak with will assure you with pride and relief, the drug wars are history, not a current reality. I’m sure some drug trade continues, as it does in every city of any size anywhere in the world. But the drug business is no longer a defining part of this city.
Far from intimidating, the people of Medellin are friendly, helpful and hospitable. Traveling across the city on its metro one afternoon, my husband and I stepped out from our train and on to the station platform uncertainly, looking left, then right, then down at our small pocket map. We weren’t sure which way to go next and were moving slowly as we tried to get our bearings. An older gentleman who had been on the train with us, a native of the city, began to walk out of the station but then turned around and came back toward us. Addressing my husband politely, formally, he asked, in Spanish, if we needed help. Lief explained our ultimate destination, and the man walked us over to the big map on the wall to point out the quickest route then personally escorted us out to the street.
Medellin is impressively green, with trees, plants and small gardens everywhere. It’s also remarkably clean. In the central neighborhoods, you see no litter. The metro, another point of pride for the local population, is spotless and like new.
Medellin is a pretty, leafy and clean city that is safe, peaceful and welcoming place. That’s a good starting point. But would this city with such a troubled past actually be an appealing place to plan to spend time in your retirement? I was won over by both the face and the spirit of Medellin within 48 hours of arriving on my first visit. Today, three years later, having enjoyed many return visits since, I’d say that, yes, no question, this would be a very nice place to retire.
One important plus for would-be retirees is the climate, which istemperate year-round. You could say that Medellin’s climate is near-perfect. As it’s situated on the side of a mountain, the city’s altitude ascends from around 1,500 meters to 1,800 meters. The surrounding mountains rise to more than 2,500 meters. Temperatures range from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit every day of the year. The rainy season is during the second half of the year, but it’s mild. Prolonged rainy periods and flooding are uncommon.
The city’s altitude gives it a gentle, agreeable climate and, as well, means there are few bugs. Some residents I’ve spoken with insist they’ve never seen a bug. I won’t try to convince you of that, but I will say that, living here, you could keep your windows open night and day, year-round, without screens.
Next, Medellin is culturally and recreationally rich and diverse. Living here as a retiree, you’d never want for something fun and interesting to do. On any given day, you could go hiking or bike riding. You could visit a museum or one of the many shopping malls. You could see a tango show or an opera (in season). Come evening, you could dance the night away (tango is a national pastime) and sample the local rum in one of the bawdy nightclubs or enjoy a fine meal and white-glove service at one of the many international-standard restaurants.
It’s not only restaurants in Medellin that can be of international standard. El Tesoro, for example, is as impressive a shopping mall as you’ll find anywhere in the world. It’s a five-minute cab ride up the hill from Parque Lleras, the heart of downtown Medellin and the best address in the city.
Medellin is the second-largest city in Colombia and is known as a major industrial center for the country (main products are textiles, coffee, and flowers). It is also, though, a city of parks and flowers, with interactive outdoor museum-parks, where children can build and experiment, run and play. There’s an aquarium, an amusement park, delightful botanical gardens, a planetarium, a “barefoot park” with a Zen garden and dozens of small parks and treed plazas, all well-tended and even manicured. At every turn, this city begs you to come outside and enjoy what it has to offer.
Medellin is not only an industrial, economic, and financial center for this country, but also a literary and an artistic one. It’s also the base for newspapers, radio networks, publishing houses, an annual poetry festival, an international jazz festival, an international tango festival and an annual book fair. Back in 1971, Medellin was even the venue for Colombia’s answer to Woodstock, the Festival de Ancon.
Among the many things I wasn’t prepared for arriving the first time in Medellin was the developed level of its infrastructure. This is a place where things work. Here in the city of flowers, the roadways are wide and well-paved, and wireless internet is ever-present and free in many places, including at Juan Valdez Cafés, the Colombian answer to Starbucks, with branches all over the city and the region.
Medellin was built in a deep valley surrounded by tall, pine-covered mountains. The domestic airport sits almost downtown, making travel to other cities and regions in Colombia easy. The larger international airport is on higher ground but only about an hour’s drive from the city.
There’s no bad season for travel to Medellin, but some times of the year are more interesting than others, and we’re approaching perhaps the best season to plan a visit. Late June is the International Tango Festival, when the people of Medellin celebrate their love affair with this sultry dance. July is the International Poetry Festival (in Spanish), the biggest celebration of its kind in the world, attracting more than 100 poets each year. And early August is the Festival of the Flowers, the most important event in the Antioquia Province where Medellin is located, when the region remembers one of its most important industries—the cut-flower business. Dating to 1957, this extravaganza features parades of antique cars, flower carriers, and horses.
Retirement in Medellin isn’t for everyone. You would need to speak at least a little Spanish, and you would be breaking new ground. Whereas Panama City, for example, is an established and developed choice for foreign retirees, Medellin is an emerging one. On the other hand, this still very misunderstood city has a great deal to offer foreign retirees with an open mind and a spirit of adventure.
Colombia is working hard to change its image, investing millions in advertising abroad using the catch phrase, “The only risk is wanting to stay.” Once you’ve seen the city for yourself, you’ll understand.
Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 28 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her newest book, How To Buy Real Estate Overseas, published by Wiley & Sons, is the culmination of decades of personal experience living and investing around the world.