Retiring in Asia: Why, Where, and What to Look Out For?

So, you’ve decided to spend your retirement years outside of the United States. Congratulations! You are beginning a journey that will change your life in great ways.

If you are in the beginning stages of your planned retirement abroad, you may be trying to determine what location would best suit you.

There are many amazing places to choose from. Central America is a very popular retirement destination for those looking to spend their time relaxing on the beach and trying new Latin American cuisines.

Asia, however, offers things that can’t be found on this half of the world. If you can get through some of the early challenges, the cultural benefits can be abundant.

Why Asia?

You may not have looked at Asia as an option before, but let me tell you, there is a plethora of reasons why several countries in Asia could become your new home.

One main reason that many Westerners are taking to the East is the very low cost of living. In each of the listed countries below, housing, goods and services, and food are more than reasonably priced.

The activities can be amazing educational experiences – while the food can be a different kind of adventure in itself.

Many cities in Asia are also very accepting of visitors, making for an easy time getting to know the country, and making it an enjoyable transition.

WHERE:

Malaysia

Rent: $300-$600

Meal: $3-$5

Once a colonized country, called George Town, Malaysia sits high on the “Live and Invest Overseas” list for retirees. Most people in Malaysia speak English, due to the colonization. Though the official language is Bahasa Malaysia, it’s easy for expats to communicate with the locals.

The cost of retiring abroad in the country is low, like many of the other countries on this list. Visitors pay the same price for goods and services as the locals. An expensive apartment in George Town can cost you around $480 a month, and hiring someone to help out to clean can be lower than $4 an hour.

Attractions include museums, jungle parks, beaches, and amusement parks. Healthcare and public transportation are highly lauded, as they are modern and efficient.

Thailand

Rent: $300-$600

Meal: $2-$3

Along with the low cost of living, Thailand boasts having great beaches, mountains, and jungles. The culture is laid back, accepting, and houses visitor-friendly infrastructure.

One favorite expat-friendly city in Thailand is Chiang Mai. Renters pay approximately $320 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. It will cost residential buyers around $145 dollars per square feet.

Thailand is known for its white sand beaches, clear water, and great climate, along with a rich history that includes ruins of ancient kingdoms and temples.

The food is great and the country offers a mix of busy cities and quiet small towns. Quality healthcare and Western-style amenities are only more reasons to visit.

The Philippines

Rent: $200-$600

Meal $3-$4

This Asian country is known for its tropical climate and beauty. With mountains and coral reefs, visitors will not run out of daily adventuring, including any of the abundant beaches.

The Philippines has an even lower cost of living than most of the countries on this list! In the university town of Dumaguete is around 4,000 expatriates. Renting a one-bedroom in the city can be a little over $200 a month.

The country is welcoming to expats, with a government agency set in place to attract foreign visitors. Expats are allowed to work and even start a business in the country, which offers permanent residency options.

The island of Cebu and Makati are also retiree-friendly, with access to good shopping, high quality healthcare, beaches, and other outdoor activities.Consumer Resource Guide

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Though there are many perks of living in Asia, there are also quite a few drawbacks – one of them being communication. Asian languages are very different than Western languages, even having completely different alphabets.

Even if you did take the time and go through the hard work of learning the language of your new home country, with a wide array of languages in the continent, it may be difficult to travel to nearby countries.

Another aspect that needs to be noted before retiring abroad to Asia is the cost of returning home. One of the perks of places in and near Central America is the accessibility to the U.S. Coming home from Asia can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

Though there may be some challenges, for those with an adventurous spirit, Asia can be the perfect place to spend retirement.