Medellin Is Attracting Expats, Entrepreneurs, And Investors

Making It Young In Medellin

Jan. 29, 2015, Medellin, Colombia: Medellin, Colombia, is not only a top choice for retirees but also for expats, entrepreneurs, and investors of all ages.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

A handsome couple in their mid-20s, Lauren Brown and Jason Richter are living an international lifestyle that most of us, unfortunately, don't consider until later in life. Most of us wait until after kids, mortgages, and careers to think about making the break from North America and setting off on the adventure of building a whole new life somewhere else.

Of all the somewhere elses you could consider, I'd put Medellin, Colombia, the city that Lauren and Jason have chosen for their adventure, at the top of the list. Recently I met with these two youngsters who've moved to the city that I've likewise chosen for my life's reinvention. Over coffee in the fashionable El Poblado gourmet ghetto of Carrera 37, I asked the young couple what brought them to fair Medellin. 

“I met Lauren at a conference in the States,” Jason explained. “She was being sent to Mexico with a San Francisco-based startup, and we ended up doing the long-distance Mexico-Canada thing for a year. Then when Lauren was offered a placement in Colombia, we talked about the idea of the two of us moving and starting a life together. 

“In the end, the placement with the tech startup didn't work out, but, by that time, we were excited by the idea of moving to Colombia... so we went ahead and made the move on our own. Now here we are.”

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Strong U.S. Dollar Makes Japan Travel Affordable

Strong U.S. Dollar Means This Country Is On Sale, Too

Jan. 28, 2015, Tokyo, Japan: The strong U.S. dollar means travel in Japan is now 30% more affordable.

 

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

I love a sale, and I'm never one to pass up a bargain, especially if the item is one that I've had my eye on for years. So I was thrilled to see, starting a few months ago, that Japan is on sale. 

Two years ago, the Japanese yen was trading at 85 to US$1. It has now stabilized at about 120 yen to US$1, meaning that, at last, Japan is an affordable country to visit for us dollar-holders. My husband and I made our reservations, planning our trip to coincide with the autumn colors. 

What struck us most about the experience is how different things are in Japan. This country bears little resemblance to China and is culturally different from other countries in Southeast Asia, a region where we spend a lot of time. If I had to make a comparison, I'd say that Japan is reminiscent of Singapore, though the climate is certainly different. 

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Advantages Of Diversifying Into Global Property Markets

12 Reasons To Participate In This Golden Age Of Global Property Investing

Jan. 27, 2015, Panama City, Panama: Foreign property markets offer top options for diversification and investment in this golden age of global property investing.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

We are enjoying a golden age of global property investing. Markets in various stages of crisis, expanding middle classes around the world, and important infrastructure investments present big and growing opportunity.

Meantime, the U.S. dollar is flying high, making real estate valued in euros and other key currencies irresistibly affordable to dollar-holders.

If you haven't already, you should be looking to diversify your investment portfolio to include real estate overseas. If you already hold foreign property, you should be thinking about buying more.

In that context, let's regroup on the big-picture benefits of this form of investing. Owning real estate abroad has made a big difference in the quality of my life, and it can do the same for you. With an investment in foreign property, you can...

Own a second home in the sun. The vacation or second-home owner can spend US$80,000 for a house on the beach in Brazil, rather than US$500,000 for a home on the beach in New Jersey. For many of us, buying abroad is what enables us to afford a second home at all. 

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Anti-Austerity Government & Falling Euro, Greece Property A Bargain

A Home Of Your Own On The Blue Aegean? Now Could Be Your Chance

Jan. 26, 2015, Panama City, Panama: The new anti-austerity government and falling euro make Greece property more affordable than it’s been in a decade.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

When I was in Athens in July 2013, effects of the austerity measures that had been in place for more than two years by that time, intended to help save the ailing country and its bankrupt economy, were visible everywhere. Traffic was light, restaurants along the shore were mostly empty even though it was the height of the season, garbage was rotting in giant piles across Athens, Greeks we spoke with were frustrated and demoralized, and real estate prices were low.

This last, of course, was of particular interest to me, and one big question on my mind at the time was whether real estate in Greece was a good investment. 

I concluded no then, and I'm still not convinced this morning after the “anti-austerity” party won yesterday's elections in Greece.

The euro is down to 11-year lows, hovering around US$1.12 as I write, so investing in something in the Eurozone is an idea anyone with U.S. dollars in his investment account wants to be paying attention to right now. Currency pundits are calling for euro parity with the U.S. dollar before the end of this year. We haven't seen that since 2002. Again, this is a window of opportunity that you want to consider acting on.

At the same time, it's possible Greece won't be using the euro long term if the anti-austerity party now in power doesn't keep to the terms agreed for the bailout provided by the rest of the Eurozone in 2010. 

Should we care what currency Greek property is priced in? It doesn't matter much if no one is buying Greek property.

So the question becomes whether the new government of Greece can turn the country's economy around... erase a 25% or higher unemployment rate... and reduce debt levels from their current 175% of GDP.

Real estate prices have fallen every year in Greece since 2008, including double-digit declines in 2012 and 2013 before a further single-digit decrease in 2014. And we could be nowhere near the bottom.

Read more...

Comparing Panama & Colombia As Top Live, Retire, & Invest Choices

Sizing Up The Competition—Panama Versus Colombia

Jan. 25, 2015, Panama City, Panama: Panama and Colombia are both top live, retire, and invest overseas choices.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

I've been interviewed twice this week by Colombia media, including, Thursday night, a live interview on Colombia national public radio. My host wondered how Colombia stacks up against its live- and invest-overseas competition. 

Panama is generally recognized (by us and others) as the world's top retire-overseas option, meaning Panama is Colombia's primary competition in this arena. Specifically, in these two countries, I'd target Panama City and Medellin as top contenders for your attention.

Where would be the better place for you to think about investing your time or money? Let me try to help you find an answer to that question by drawing out the similarities and differences between these two cities that, in fact, couldn't be more unalike...

Arriving in Panama City, you recognize instantly that this town is open for business, pushing for growth, and both embracing and chasing prosperity. Your heart rate quickens, and your mind works quicker, too, trying to keep up with the commotion all around. 

Arriving in Medellin has the opposite physical effects. Your heart slows a bit, your mind settles. 

Unlike Panama City, Medellin's cityscape isn't all high-rise condo towers and features nary a single building of glass or steel. From any height (the windows of one of the city's luxury penthouse apartments for example, or the top of one of the surrounding hills), Medellin appears a sea of red clay tiles and red brick buildings interspersed regularly by patches of foliage and flowers. The effect, again, is calming, peaceful.

Read more...

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

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