PROS and CONS of Living In Medellin, Colombia

Welcome to an insightful exploration of the Pros and Cons of living in Medellin, Colombia. In this concise guide, we’ll highlight the key advantages and challenges of choosing Medellin as your residence, offering valuable insights for retirees, entrepreneurs, and anyone considering a move to this dynamic city. From its affordable cost of living and vibrant social scene to the complexities of renting apartments and addressing safety concerns, we’ll provide a balanced perspective to help you make an informed decision about living in Medellin.



1. Cost Living

One of the great things about living in Medellín, Colombia, is the affordable cost. Whether you’re retired with a pension, a successful entrepreneur, or a digital nomad earning over $2,000 a month, you can enjoy a comfortable life here.

In Medellín, the minimum wage is only $250 a month. You’re considered upper-middle class if you’re making over $2,000 a month. With that budget, you can rent a lovely, unfurnished apartment in areas like El Poblado or Laureles for $600 to $800 a month. Long-term renters usually find more budget-friendly options than Airbnb.

With your apartment expenses covered, you’ll still have plenty of money left for a maid who can come in twice a week for around $100 to $200 monthly. This person can help with cleaning, cooking, and laundry. Groceries for a couple of weeks or months will cost around $200 to $250.

The remaining budget can be used for entertainment, education, Spanish lessons, and more. Uber rides are also affordable, costing most trips less than $12.

Even with my business income, my monthly expenses are about $2,200, leaving room for savings and investments. This level of financial freedom is hard to achieve in the United States, and I’ve even considered owning multiple properties here.

The next advantage…

2. Social Life

Another great thing about Medellin is its lively social scene. Colombians are known for their friendly nature, and that holds here. You can find something fun to do any day of the week.

If you want to dive into the local culture, plenty of options exist. You can attend soccer matches or hit up salsa clubs in neighborhoods like Laureles, Belen, or downtown.

Learning to cook Colombian dishes is also an option, and it’s affordable compared to the United States.

Your social circle will naturally grow; if you’re an expat, there’s a thriving community. You can connect with fellow expats through Facebook groups and WhatsApp. The MDE community is a helpful resource; check out the link below.

I’ve been here for 13 years, and my social life is vibrant. Even at 42, I meet people regularly. If I were in the United States, my social life would be as rich. I have local friends and staff, and I also frequent a sports bar where I meet people worldwide. It’s an enriching experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

3. Hiring Local Talent

Another significant advantage of living in Medellin is hiring local talent. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner like me, you can find people who speak English well. The best part is that you can offer them good salaries that are lower than what you’d pay in the United States.

When I first arrived and worked as an English teacher, my colleagues often faced financial difficulties because Colombian salaries were relatively low. Many Colombians have family obligations, so the chance to provide a better income is a significant benefit.

The lower cost of living also means you can afford to pay well and, in turn, have loyal and dependable workers. Colombian employees tend to stay with their employers when they’re treated fairly, and it’s less common for them to constantly look for better job opportunities as it can be in the United States.

In short, Medellin offers the advantage of hiring skilled and committed local talent at competitive rates.


When it comes to the drawbacks of living in Medellin, I’d like to address them one by one:

1. Renting Apartments:

Renting an unfurnished apartment through a local agency can be challenging, especially for foreigners without a local ID. If you don’t have a local ID, you’ll likely have to go through a company catering to foreigners, which often means higher prices, significant deposits, or advance payments. Even with a local ID, renting can be tricky because you’ll need a Colombian credit history, work history, and a co-signer, which can be a hurdle for newcomers. This situation might lead to sharing accommodations until you establish your credit and financial stability.

2. Mortgage Loans:

Getting a mortgage loan to buy property can be impossible for foreigners without a local ID, credit history, or work history in Colombia. Even if you meet these requirements, you’ll generally only receive a loan covering 70% of the property’s value, meaning you’ll need to come up with a substantial 30% down payment. This differs significantly from the United States, where you can often secure loans with lower down payments and interest rates.

3. High Crime Rate:

Despite Medellin’s remarkable transformation into a safer and more prosperous city, it still experiences a higher crime rate than many other places globally. While comparisons to dangerous areas in the United States might be made, it’s essential to remember that safety standards can differ significantly. Even in upscale neighborhoods in Medellin, robbery or mugging is possible. It’s crucial to remain vigilant and cautious about personal belongings. Although I’ve lived here for 13 years without experiencing street crime, I’m aware that it’s a possibility, and I always stay cautious.

In conclusion, while Medellin offers numerous advantages, it’s essential to acknowledge its downsides. Despite the challenges, the pros have consistently outweighed the cons for me, so I choose to live, work, and share this information with you here. If you’re considering a move to Colombia, whether part-time or full-time, I encourage you to explore the Medellin Master Class through the link in the description below. Remember to like and subscribe for more information.