Retirement in Bali, Indonesia

FACT: 83% of Brits Haven't Saved Enough to Retire Comfortably!

But far away in more balmy climes lies an island paradise where you can retire like a king on as little as US$1,500/month.


Wave the Recession Goodbye

It's the place which thousands of Western retirees have already made home.

It’s the place where Mick Jagger and David Bowie
maintain secret villas.

And it’s the place where Julia Roberts came to “discover” herself in the filming of the international best selling novel Eat Pray Shag.

Forget “rip-off” England where the good life is only for the rich and famous.

Because here in Bali, the average monthly pension can adequately fund not only the essentials but ALSO “luxuries” like a house keeper... regular dinners out... tickets for vibrant cultural performances (dance, music etc)… travel… – all on a vibrant paradise island where lush rice paddies surround spectacular volcanoes…

And that’s saying nothing of the magical sandy beaches!

The Indonesia Telegraph says this place is a "smart choice for retirees who want it all."

Business Asia dubbed Bali "the New Hawaii."

Forbes declares, "The true paradise."

For Rp130,000 (US$15) a month, you'll have wireless internet. A live-in housekeeper will cost you no more than Rp1,000,000 (US$110) a month. A lunch out can be as cheap as Rp30,000 (US$3) and a kilo of tropical fruits will cost you less than one piece of the same tropical fruit back in Old Blighty!

Not forgetting of course that the balmy tropical weather is free!

Low Overheads, Tropical Style

Take Ben and Susan Russel. They're renting a condo on the beach in Kuta, South Bali for only US$600 a month –two steps past the pool and you're on golden sands!

They report: Their cost of living has sunk by about 70%.
"It just may be the most viable retirement solution for the 21st century."

"The most we've paid for a meal here was about Rp180,000 (US$20) for a huge steak with salad and three jumbo prawns on top," Susan beams.

In other words, in this island paradise, you can live in up tropical style with very low overheads.

"Once we did the maths, we realized that if we retired in the UK, we'd have to move to some desolate little shithole on the coast living in a caravan with only the ice-cold North Sea winds for company,” says Ben only half joking.

“Well. F*** that for a laugh. And so Bali it was”.

For Susan, life hasn’t been better. She’s out on her boogie board when the surf is up and she has a deeper tan than your average Hollywood celeb living the dream in California. Her free time is spent reading, cycling, doing yoga, feeding the monkeys, painting, swimming…

The practicalities

1) Despite what anyone may tell you, foreigners absolutely CANNOT own property legally in Bali (or anywhere in Indonesia for that matter). So you must rent. Renting is, however, a blessing in disguise in my view because it gives you the flexibility to easily move later on. And if you find the area isn’t really for you or there is an emergency back home, you’ll really be glad you rented. The way to fund the rent is by renting out your place in Old Blighty. If you play your cards right, your rental income from Old Blighty should far exceed your rent in Bali. The difference can be used to supplement your monthly pension allowing you to hopefully live like a King!

2) The Visa. Bureaucracy can be a nightmare in Indonesia, so use an agent to sort out your retirement visa. You should be eligible if: a) you have sufficient cash funds, b) you are not a well-known criminal, and c) you are aged 55 or over. The cost of the visa is high, but that’s the price of living in proverbial paradise.

3) Sample living costs. The cost of living in Bali is much less than in the UK. Of course you can blow money very easily in Bali by eating out at expensive restaurants but that’s also true anywhere in the world!

Sample Monthly Budget for a Couple in Bali (south Bali or Ubud area)

Rent on 2-bedroom beachside apartment or house in a village

US$200 to US$1,500 and up

Utilities with moderate A/C use (electricity, gas, water)




Visa costs (amortized)


Supermarket Items (food and household items)


Maintenance and fuel for one small car (cheaper is to get a motorcycle)


Entertainment for two


Communications (phone, internet, Satellite TV)


GRAND TOTAL (for a couple)

$1,500 to $2,800


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