NewsTop destinations for retiring overseas
Top destinations for retiring overseas

Top destinations for retiring overseas

Given the current cost-of-living fears, some retirees are looking at taking advantage of new visa options in Asia to up sticks and move north to a more luxurious lifestyle.

But while Thailand and Indonesia are undoubtedly cheaper and now offer 10-year visas to retirees with enough in the bank, are those good enough reasons to move? And what are the most popular destinations for Aussies retiring overseas?

It's estimated that there are now 2000 Australians on retirement visas in Bali, mainly men. The visa changes mean if you have A$200,000 in a local bank, you're welcome to stay a decade.

Thailand, too, has a 10-year visa which doesn't require so much money. Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and others also have their 'deals' to attract well-heeled seniors and younger digital nomads.

The Expat Financial site suggests Malaysia is the best bet as English is widely spoken, and Thailand comes a close second. They weigh up the following criteria beyond the purchasing power of the ex-pat.

If you are thinking of moving, don’t just consider the cost of a cold beer or a dish of noodles.

The criteria are: buying and investing potential, renting abilities, benefits and seniors discounts, ability to obtain visas and residency, cost of living, assimilation, entertainment and amenities, healthcare, healthy lifestyle, level of country development, climate, opportunity and governance. 

The Australian About Retirement site says some 90,000 retirees are living overseas and says the likes of New Zealand, Italy and European countries where their families live are also top choices.

You can get your age pension paid overseas, but there are conditions, so check first. Not surprisingly, the cost and access to healthcare is a crucial consideration for many.

However, you don't have to go for ten years. Shorter stays are also possible, perhaps to 'try before you buy'.

While our dollar is not so flash these days, it still stacks up well against many other currencies meaning help around the house isn't limited to the ultra-rich.

Even in semi-retirement, I would like the sense of renewal that might come with a medium-term move elsewhere, subject to all the considerations above.

Asia is attractive and affordable but often too hot. Europe is accommodating (usually) but getting more expensive. I'm just not sure.

How about you? Whereabouts would you like to retire? Have you moved, or are you considering retiring to Asia? If so, what have been your experiences so far, and if there's no way you'd leave Australia in later life, why not?

Any information contained in this communication is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs.

Originally posted on .

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Someone from WA commented:

We have been researching overseas retirement for many years. Penang is our choice. Visited it for a short stay in 2015 and were very impressed. It is a truly international community where English is spoken by virtually everyone, and the healthcare is second to none. The only thing I wasn’t so happy with was the cloudy sky! I missed our big blue Perth sky which brings me joy every day. We would always prefer to stay in here Perth, but if we find we can’t afford the lifestyle we want for our retirement, then we will relocate to Penang. 

Robert from NSW commented:

There is no way we would leave Australia to live. Best country in the world. Got out of the city and made the sea change to a regional area of the NSW south coast 18 months ago. It's like living in a coastal holiday destination year round. We can walk to just about everywhere we need to go, lots of new things to do, lots of new friends, not too far from kids and grandkids, and old friends (obviously ) like to visit. Amenities and services are all OK for us ( including medical ) so far, Prices are a bit higher than city prices, time doesn't seem to matter much, and we've adapted to buying some things on line or making the odd trip of 50km or so to a mall. Wouldn't have it any other way. 

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