We are thinking of moving to my City, Bogota to live. We are a family of 4, my husband, me, an 8 year old boy and a baby. I can make about $30 thousand dollars a year working as a contractor from there. My husband could teach Spanish at a private school. Is $30K dollars a year a good salary to buy an appartment, pay a good school, have a maid, etc. in Bogotá.

Thanks for any information you can give me.

Mariangela

Posted on November 4, 2004


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you'll be living like kings! 30K USD/yr is about 7million peso/mo, plus 2-3mill/mo from your husband. Hopefully you'll pay your maid a better than average salary, you definitely can afford it.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Live like a king/queen $30,000 USD is equal to about $75,000,000,00 pesos or $6,250,000,00 pesos a month. Since the minumum wage is about 4.000,000,00 a year or $350,000,00 pesos a month $30,000 USD is a ton of pesos, A school teacher with ten years experience would make about $1,250,000 pesos a month. The AVERAGE wage in Colombia is about $325.00 USD a MONTH.

Cut to the bottom line your $30,000 would be like say $150,000 in the USA. Don't forget you make maximum use from you dollars downsize and live like the locals.



Go for it.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Thanks a lot for the feedback!! That is exactly what I wanted to hear! You guys have given me a lot of hope. All my family is there. I am dying to go and raise my kids around my parents, aunts, cousins, and old friends. My husband is ready! We need to sell our house here. Hopefully, we'll be able to go next year. I have been in the USA for 13 years and have a nice life here, but really want to go back home. I miss it sooooooo much! I know my kids will benefit a lot from being around the family.

Gracias por sus consejos. (Thanks for your advice!)

Posted on November 4, 2004


A lot depends You can certainly live a nice life on $30,000 in Bogota. WAY better than on the same amount or even twice that in much of the US. A lot depends on the level you're trying to live up to.



It's misleading to hear that the average Colombian salary is $300 something a month because the average Colombian is living in poverty (statistical fact, not moral judgement). The cost of living in the really nice parts of Bogota is about like a average upper-middle class existance in the cheap parts of the USA. A nice 3 brdm estrato 5 or 6 apartment might run between $900 and $1600. Cars and gas are expensive. Travel to and from Colombia is expensive. Private schools are expensive to get into (Nueva Granada has a $10,000 (USD) joining fee, I'm told. Food, restaurants, movies, clothes, are cheap. Any kind of service is generally affordable.



But you could easily live a middle class Colombian lifestyle (estrato 4 apartment, use public transport, etc.) and have a great time on that money.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Average Wage When I speak of the average wage I am using the same numbers provided by the Colombian government (take that for what it is worth). I am well aware of the grinding proverty because I see it every day.



However, the average salary of $328 a month is just that. Statically the average salary in the U.S. is $36,764. The average salary is another way of describing the mid point of a group of salaries being analyzed. The average is computed by adding the salaries in a distribution of salaries being analyzed, and then dividing their sum by the number of salaries used.



While the average US salary of $36,764 might seem like a lot of money to someone in Dead Cotton, Mississippi, it sure as hell would not go far in midtown Manhattan.



I agree with Mr. Hollywood except I would upgrade the apartments he speaks about from "nice" to very nice. It really depends upon the individuals lifestyle and comfort level. The hell with the car, bus service is great and taxis are cheap. The fairly new bus service called El Transmilenio. Big clean new buses that look like two hooked together. These buses only stop about every 500 meters at designated stops. This beats the other buses that stop anywhere they please. Which drives me crazy and eats up the time.

Nueva Granada is like a top of the line prep school in the USA-think a big name in the USA and you will get the idea but I don't knopw the cost-10,000 USD seems high. The Colegio Anglo-Colombiano is very good. Many of the schools are good and run maybe 150 USD a month-all require a uniform. I will ask one of the wife's sisters, who sent her kids to private schools in Bogotá, for her recommendation.



As to your husband-better to try for a job teaching English, too many Spanish teachers available.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Sorry, my post above-forgot to log on nt

Posted on November 4, 2004


Thanks again. If we go, my husband will try become an English teacher in a good school. We were there 8 years ago and he tought at Colegio Santa Maria. He loved it, but the pay was a joke. We are only considering to go back now because I will be able to generate a better income as a freelance translator. I will work for my current US clients. It is still a scary move, but we are analizing every aspect of it. I have lots of family there, but their opinion is not as objective. Some are afraid we'll make a mistake or my husband will get kidnapped, and others are just too excited about the possibility and tell us to go tomorrow. Your feedback is much more objective, and I really appreciate it.

Mariangela

Posted on November 4, 2004


Mariangela! Remember. The saddest four words in the English language are: "If I only had."



¿Por qué no te aprovechas de esta oportunidad? La puerta está abierta de par en par.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Gator is right. This is a great chance for an adventure. A couple plusses I'll point out are:



Americans get a $90,000 tax exemption for money earned overseas (some conditions attached but not difficult to meet). So you won't be paying US income taxes.



Since you have kids and are a freelancer, the costs of babysitters, nannies, etc. are so much cheaper than in the USA. I know what it's like to try to freelance and have a family; virtually impossible. Here you can have the greatest people helping you with all the domestic responsibilities and focus your work energies on making money. You'll actually probably end up having more, not less quality time with your kids.



Security isn't a problem, really. As long as you use common sense about where you travel, Bogota is really safe. Personally, I feel safer here right now than in a major US port city. The threats are different and to me, more manageable.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Gator, ¿tú vives en Bogotá? ¿Eres norteamericano? ¿Te vas a quedar en Bogotá por mucho tiempo?

My husband lost his job two weeks ago. He was a tech. writer for a big company. Now, he is faced with the reality of being a contrator again, going from job to job, not knowing if he is going to be renewed, and NO HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE FAMILY. My salary here is not enought to pay for the house, cars, etc. Plus, I have a 9 month old baby and can't work as much. So, it's hard. That is why the idea of going to Colombia sounds like a good opportuniy. I will be able to work more and will have a lot of help. Plus, health care is much cheaper and we have friends and family who are doctors and dentists. So, it sounds better that staying here as prisoners.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Gracias, Mr, Hollywood!! You point out all the facts that we have been thinking of. I am now trying to work as a freelancer, but with my 9 month old baby demanding attention averyday and crying in the background, I can't do it! Like I told Gator, my husband is unemployed now, and tired of this situation. His profession is being outsourced to India, and it is getting harder and harder to get a full time job in his field (Technical Writing). So, we may go afterall. Maybe we can all get together once we are in Bogotá. I am dreaming already...

I was in Bogota in the summer with the kids. My older one speaks fluent Spanish and made a lot of friends. I felt home from the moment I step out the plane. I am still very attached to my city and my family. My family is very loving. So, it seems like the right place to be for us. I can work hard and expand my business. It will be much easier!

Posted on November 4, 2004


Sorry! I forgot to sign my last message. It was me... Mariángela

Gracias, amigos. ¡Seguro nos veremos en Bogotá!

Posted on November 4, 2004


Yes Living in(staying temporarly) in Bogotá pending a move to Santa Marta PROVIDING mi esposa makes up her mind and I had better be do it quickly. If not mi amigo Hunter just might have a neighbor in Medellin. Visit the wife's family in Cali and sister in Medellin from time to time.



Soy gringo (by birth) pero Colombiano by the grace of God.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Great! I can see you love Colombia. Hope you can move ahead with your plans. Thanks again for sharing your ideas with me.

Mariángela

Posted on November 4, 2004


Gator... What will you be doing in Santa Marta? I love that area of Colombia, and daydream about kicking back there for a long time.

Posted on November 4, 2004


salary in general in colombia I USED TO LIVE IN PEREIRA AND THE MINIMUM WAGE WAS PRETTY BAD. IM PLANNING ON MOVING BACK NEXT YEAR AND IM INTERESTED IN GETTING A JOB MAYBE TEACHING ENGLISH BUY I NEED TO KNOW THE REQUIREMENTS TO DO THIS, ALSO I NEED TO FIND A PLACE TO BUY IN PEREIRA KINDA NICE TO LIVE, MAYBE AN APARTMENT. ANYWAY I KNOW THIS YEAR THE NEW SALARY WENT TO $ 380.000 PESOS AROUND 175 BUCKS A MONTH, WHICH IS NOTHING REALLY. IF ANYBODY'S GOT ANY INFO ABOUT A NICE APARTMENT IN THERE AND A COOL GOOD PAID JOB, LET ME KNOW, RIGHT NOW IM WORKING IN THE US NAVY SO MAYBE A RELATED JOB WITH THE US OR COLOMBIAN GOVERMENT WILL BE GREAT.

THANKS IF YOU WRITE ME BACK

Posted on November 4, 2004


Be aware of the facts!!! Yes, the minimum salary in Colombia is 380.000.00 (COL), but the cost of living, only the necesary (without hungry), is arround of 1.500.000.00 (COL) per month, i.e. we need four working people in a house to have a living. So, if your family makes 7.000.000.00 (COL) a month, you'll not live like kings, however, you can live quite well.



This is just the true!!

Posted on November 4, 2004


jpagm By courtesy, and politeness, do not write in capital letters, it is considered YELLING in written communication.



This is just the true!!

Posted on November 4, 2004


What can I do.. My wife was deported to Bogota a few months ago... but I want to go there and find myself a good job as teacher. Can anyone help me with some leads? I am fluent in English and Spanish. And by the way I am a computer wiz!

Posted on November 4, 2004


US EMBASSSY JOBS! Your husband could apply for US Embassy jobs since he will be in Colombia and is a U.S. citizen? I hate the State Department myself because I cannot apply for these jobs since I don't live in Colombia

yet I am a US citizen? Duh? State wants these jobs for the relatives of foreign service officers to pad their incomes. Yes it is NEPOTISM and the US govvernment is NOT an equal opportunity employer! No way Jose not with this policy!



BTW If state ends up giving the job to a Colombian cause they can't find an American they pay the Colombian less! This is why I laugh when I read the Embassy webpages and they criticize the Paras or FARC when they are are bunch of hypocrites in their hiring practices right there!



When you get there have him search the employment section of the embassy web pages. They had two mail clerk jobs advertised a few weeks ago paying $24,000 which isn't bad for Colombia. Bet those jobs werre all ready filled with for some couple headed down from Washington? This is your tax dollars at work for a job you can't apply for unless you live in Colombia and this is BS!

Posted on November 4, 2004


I have got the power? Politicans, Union leaders, so called "not for profits", business leaders, Human Rights Watch, Catholic Church, leaders of the FARC,

you want money? You have to have the power. All the above mentioned live well in spite of their rhethoric about this injustice and that....I trust none of them and you should be weary of anyone with a title......I cry for the poor boys I see in Bogota on the cart with the mule as they pick garbage out of the garbage cans....what a world of fakes and frauds.....what would Jesus say?

Posted on November 4, 2004


Moving to Colombia? I would be very grateful for opinions regarding such a venture. As I have illustrated in a category on this web site I find myself part owner (with my wife) of a large building plot in a very beautiful area north of Bogota. My wife is English but married a Colombian and lived in Bogota for 20 years. She has two children one of whom lives in Colombia. We have two homes in the UK and are planning to sell one and have a house built on the plot. When in Colombia I drove from Bogota to Cali, over the linear, and to many other places. I,m 6feet tall with blonde hair and blue eyes and at no time did I ever feel threatened or in danger. I loved the country and the people. I'm 48, live in Northumberland on the border between England and Scotland.......would be grateful of any comments!!! Phil

Posted on November 4, 2004


Phil, I suggest you open up a new forum thread because your post might get lost at the tail-end of this one.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Phil Sparrow, Moving to Colombia? "large building plot in a very beautiful area north of Bogotá." That covers a lot of territory can you be a little more specific? For example is it north of Bogotá near Chia?



My wife and I contracted for a house in a gated community to be built by Pedro Gomez in that area. Difficulties with transferring funds resulted in our canceling the contract. The law has now been changed with regard to documents required for filing form 11 so you should not have a problem with the Bank of Colombia.



As I am sure you are aware, building a house is a major pain in any country. Colombia is no exception and some of the problems will be magnified. As long as you have good guidance you should be able to proceed with success.



With regard to safety, you will need to be aware of your surroundings just like you do in most urban centers. Not sure it would be wise to build a house in some areas without some security.

Posted on November 4, 2004


You'll be loved by all your neighbors 30K USD/yr is about 7million peso/mo, plus 2-3mill/mo from your husband. Hopefully you'll pay your maid a better than average salary, you definitely can afford it.



Not,, no way, they'll think you a stupid rich Gringo. If the rates go up you'll be the cause. I'd suggest paying the current rate. Sleep well.

Posted on November 4, 2004


this thread is soooooooo old, that phil sparrow is maybe living somewhere else in the world!!! and celebrating his 50 birthday!

Aztec what were you thinking, when you brough this thread from the death LOL

Posted on November 4, 2004


You arre correct. Had no idea it was that old. I better start paying closer attention to what's going on around here.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Close but get Turbo Tax and plug in the numbers. The USD$90,000 tax exemption is if the money paid is in Colombia?



If you make money you pay taxes and it essentially does NOT make any difference where you made the money. You file your tax return in the U.S. every April 15. You get a 90K deduction on your income. PLUS you get your "regular" deductions.



You still must pay the FICA, etcs on ALL your income.



Pay Colombia? I'd guess the answer is YES but I'm not sure. I know the companies I work for (unless temp. in country) PAY the local taxes but I'd imagine they negotiate the rate.



This is WHY a work permit or other documentation to work and earn money in another country is required.



Last I checked the requirement to get a deduction required you be outside the U.S. for 335 (maybe 330) out of ANY 365. It is NOT a calandar year but you might only get a portion of the full amount if the time was in the middle of the first year.



This explains why most folks don't spend more than 30 days back in the U.S. for vacation in any one year.



The KEY is to NOT come back. Imagine if you were ONE DAY short and Oh-Oh,, maybe a full 30% PLUS on ALL your wages. Could be an expensive DAY,, like 30K plus.

Posted on November 4, 2004


Rocinante Poco pretty much covered your questions about the foreign earnings exemption with his answers. It doesn't matter WHO is paying you but, rather, where you are performing the work and IF you are able to prove foreign residence either by the "Physical presence test" (the 330 day a year thing) or what they call "bonafide residence." It's also not 330 days in a given TAX year but, rather, a rolling qualification once you achieve it. All in all it's fairly complicated and a question for a tax professional but the deduction DEFINATELY makes it worth staying out of the country enough days to qualify.



download a form 2555 from the IRS to figure it out.

Posted on November 4, 2004


The the person asking the question never got an answer In 2 years - but she is doing well.



I love posting to useless threads. The more useless the better I like them. PLUS it's hard to find,, oh, forget it.



Posted on November 4, 2004


You may want to try this luxury but cheap apartment or rooms in Bogota, Colombia on your next vacation. Our flat is good accommodation for short or long term rentals. As low as $17.99 a night.

http://www.welovebogota.com
http://www.apartmentinbogota.com

Posted on November 4, 2004