A new report from the editors at Internationanlliving.com/au points to three overseas retirement hubs where the latest rise to the Age Pensionstretches a lot further than home.
The most recent increase to the Age Pension rates stand at $8.20 per fortnight for a single person, $213.20 per year—which equates to just about one coffee a week extra in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.
For a couple, the rates have increased by $12.40 per fortnight or $322.40 extra per year. But take that modest sum overseas and retirees can watch their opportunities grow. In the right locales, Australian dollars go a lot further allowing expats to indulge in luxuries out of question back home.
That same annual increase for a couple—$322.40—will cover your house keeper’s wages in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for eight months or cover the cost of 12, 90-minute full body massages with hot rocks and oil at a spa in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam—so that’s a free massage at Christmas, Australia Day, Easter, Labour Day, The Queen’s Birthday and your birthday—or 32 dinners for four in Lovina, Bali.
More and more Australians are discovering they can live much better in the right spots overseas than at home—and can afford indulgences like a housekeeper, regular meals out, trips to the spa and more.
Three low-cost spots International Living Australia’s editors have pinpointed as good-value escapes for retirees include Cambodia, Bali and Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most dynamic cities in the world. Fast-paced, welcoming and quick to accept new ideas, the city of almost 9 million people in the south of Vietnam is a hotspot for international business, start-ups, English teaching opportunities and digital nomads and has all the facilities you would expect of a genuinely international location.
Known as Saigon, foodies will delight in the abundance and variety of great eats on offer in the city. And to top it off, there are thousands of coffee shops dotted around the city to meet the enormous demand.
The city’s international credentials combined with superb transport options— Saigon’s International Airport, Tan Son Nhat, is a major airline hub—makes Ho Chi Minh City the ideal low-cost overseas location for those wanting to live a big city life and stay connected with the rest of the world.
Even though Ho Chi Minh City is one of the more expensive locations in Vietnam, a couple can still lead a very comfortable life with plenty of social and entertainment activities for less than $1,800 a month.
One of Australia’s nearest neighbours, Bali, has long been an exotic dreamscape for many an expat. A couple can live like royalty in most towns on the island for $2,500 per month but in the right spot, expats can live for less.
Lovina, located on the north of the island is one of the least expensive places to live in Bali that still has most of the western amenities you might want. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom pool villa runs at about $400 per month.
Peaceful Lovina makes good offerings for expats looking for a laid-back, low cost retirement.
Minimarts and local supermarkets are conveniently located around the town and there are many open-air bars, Western and Balinese style restaurants here too. You’ll also find food and drinks are cheaper here than the southern end of Bali. You can dine out on local delicacies for as little as $3.
For relaxation and wellness there are a number of spas in the area and you can treat yourself to a massage for as little as $13.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Once famed as the “Pearl of Asia,” the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, has lots to offer expats—a stunningly low cost of living, bustling markets, and a thriving food scene, set to a backdrop of colonial French architecture and temples.
Attracted by its beauty, the warm and welcoming nature of its people and its supreme affordability, retirees living in Phnom Penh can afford indulgences out of reach at home, including staff like a house keeper or gardener.
For golfers, it’s a wonderful place to have fun without breaking the bank. Not only is the weather great for a round of golf throughout the year, but the idyllic settings and lower prices make it a hole in one for keen golfers on the interesting and ambitiously designed courses.
A retired couple could enjoy a good life here on around $2,000 a month.
Learn more on taking the Age Pension Overseas in a special report by International Living Australia, here: What You Need to Know About Taking Your Age Pension Overseas
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