What exactly makes retirement to Bali such an attractive option?
Maybe it’s precisely this “holiday, every day” sensation, where life moves at a slower pace, and you’re greeted with genuine smiles from the mostly English speaking Balinese people that in recent years has seen more expats, and particular retirees, make ‘Isle of the Gods’ their permanent home. Either way, we’ve compiled a list of the top reasons why you should retire to Bali.
Arguably one of the crucial deciding factors for anyone considering retirement abroad is affordability. In most western countries the cost of living as a retiree can quickly devour your savings and create financial insecurities.
Everyday necessities like rent, food, and transport are comparatively more affordable than the majority of western countries, in most cases between 60-90% cheaper!
Click Here to compare Bali prices with those of your city.
On top of that, Bali offers you all the amenities to live a life of luxury, such as personal carers, chefs, drivers and maintenance staff. Whether you rent a modest room at a nice guesthouse or choose to retire in a stylish villa at a Luxury Lifestyle Resort, you’ll be comfortable and well taken care of for many years to come.
2. Experience the Balinese culture
Although a tourist hotspot, Bali has managed to keep its authenticity with ancient traditions still embedded in everything they do. The island positively buzzes with creativity and culture, a culture rooted and influenced by religion, which is Agama Hindu Dharma, a form of Hinduism unique to Bali. From the art, music, drama, and ancient temples- true architectural wonders! - to traditional dance, which forms an integral part of every important religious and cultural ceremony within the community.
And speaking of ceremonies, you’ll see plenty as every important human event, whether birth, death or marriage along with any Balinese holidays is followed by a specific ceremony. You’ll often spot a big procession of people dressed in white or colourful traditional attire as part of a big ceremony or celebration.
Added to that, the contagious smiles and genuine hospitality of the Balinese people make the island a truly peaceful, happy and harmonious place to call home.
3. The “holiday, every day” climate
Another major factor for retirees is the climate of their new potential home. If you come from a place that is prone to icy winters, chances are you’re looking to migrate towards warmer pastures so to speak. The tropical paradise of Bali could be just that place!
The island basically has two main seasons: the rainy season, and the dry season.
During the rainy season, November through March , unlike other areas in South East Asia there is no rain at all for months on end . Rather, there will beautiful sunny days with a few hours of rain to cool down even the hottest of days.
The dry season from April to October brings sunny days with cooler temperatures and fresh breezes that might even have you reaching for a jumper! The waters are calmer and clearer, which is ideal for water sport activities and gives you the opportunity to pursue that new snorkelling or scuba diving hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
An added bonus is that the majority of the dry season coincides with the low tourist season making the streets, beaches and sightseeing spots far less crowded.
4. A sense of community
Friendly locals aside Bali also has a thriving and welcoming expat community of all ages and cultural backgrounds and caters to a variety of social interests.
Whether it’s salsa dancing, a monthly book club, writers focus group, or volunteering your time to organisations, you’re bound to find your tribe in Bali. There are also facilities that are specifically geared towards fostering a sense of community for retirees where you can enjoy the prime of your life with a like-minded and similar-aged community.
5. Location, Location, Location
Bali is surprisingly accessible, more so than most islands. International flights depart daily from Denpasar International Airport. This makes Bali an ideal location to spend your retirement years living a relaxed and comfortable life far away from the rat race, but also close enough to hop on a short 2-4 hour flight to the rest of South-East Asia with low-cost airlines like Air Asia. So if you’ve always wanted to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia, or marvel at the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, shop until you drop in Bangkok with a quick pitstop in Singapore before flying to your home country to visit family and friends, no problem! it’s all very possible and hassle-free.
Prefer to keep it local? Hop on a ferry to explore one of the many neighbouring islands for that ultimate remote island getaway.
6. Active Lifestyle Opportunities
Modern-day retirees live longer, are relatively healthier and look forward to their retirement being filled with the freedom to pursue new hobbies and adventures. Even though Bali is a tiny island, it offers up a multitude of opportunities for an active lifestyle for retirees to pursue.
Being part of a community focused on social engagement, allowing you to develop new skills and maximise your time as an active 55+ retiree, provides both physical and mental stimulation.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking adventure, an established (or budding) artist spending hours crafting away in the studio, or even if you just prefer prestigious golf courses to golden sandy beaches, you’ll find you’re bound to find your tribe!
7. Modern Amenities & Infrastructure
In recent years, Bali has made vast improvements in its infrastructure, accessibility to neighbouring islands along with the upgrading of medical facilities to meet the standards of international healthcare.
Bali has become a hub for digital nomads, who live a lifestyle of location independence with the freedom to work from anywhere as long as they have reliable wifi. Other than co-working spaces that have popped up in places like Canggu and Ubud that are geared specifically for these remote workers, the rest of the island has caught on and fast and stable wifi is readily available across Bali. This makes it a perfect location for early retirees who possibly still have business commitments elsewhere that they need to check in on or manage remotely.
Dining & Shopping
Fancy a day out on the town? Bali has no shortage of shopping and dining options! From luxury boutiques, upmarket jewellery and decor stores with bespoke items, to a multitude of local markets filled with beautiful handcrafted items - there is something for everyone’s taste (and pocket).
While Indonesian food is delicious it is worth noting that Bali has transformed into quite the culinary hub, with a focus on serving beautifully crafted, delicious, yet healthy meals that cater to almost any dietary preference. Starting your day with a smoothie bowl that is almost too beautiful to eat is standard practice in Bali!
There is also no shortage of spas and western-style beauty salons for the ladies (and gents if you please!) to spend a day of pampering that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Pharmacies are easily accessible for stocking up on those everyday medicine cabinet essentials. In recent year medical facilities have improved considerably with the emergence of internationally certified hospitals as well as specialist centres for anti-aging and aesthetics.
BIMC International Hospital with its full-service facilities including 24h Medical and Emergency Care, CosMedic Center, Dental Center as well as Dialysis Center, along with experienced and internationally trained, English-speaking doctors and surgeons, makes it a preferred choice for expats.
8. Stunning scenery
Bali’s natural scenery is unbelievable and breathtaking. The typical picture that comes to mind when one thinks of Bali, is most likely azure waters and white sandy beaches and you wouldn’t be wrong, however, there is so much more to this tropical paradise. Even though Bali is not a large island the diversity found from one end of the island to the other is quite unique!
You could easily start your day off with an early morning trek to view the sunrise from the summit of a dormant volcano or hike through the dense tropical jungle for a refreshing shower under one of the many majestic waterfalls. If you’d rather spend some time in the tranquil setting of the incredible rice terraces found in the mountainous area of central Bali and finally wind down with a cocktail on a golden, white or black beach! You’ll never tire of the astounding beauty Bali has to offer.
9. Bali Retirement Visa
Another great reason to make Bali your home is the fact that the Indonesian government has conveniently created a visa specifically for expats who wish to retire to Bali!
Obtaining a Retirement Visa allows you to live in Indonesia for years; enter and exit the country as often as you like; get a local bank account and drivers licence and most importantly lease land or property.
The current requirements to apply for the visa are as follows:
Age 55 years or older
Work No plan to work in Indonesia
Life & Health Must have health insurance
Lease Must have a lease agreement for a minimum of one year
Maid Must hire a maid or domestic helper
Funds Must produce evidence of min US$18,000 funds per year
*Disclaimer: these are the current requirements to apply for a Bali Retirement Visa but we advise to always check with your local Indonesian embassy for updated regulations and requirements.
An added perk is that quite a few local attractions, restaurants, parks and even some medical facilities will offer you discounts if you hold a Bali retirement visa.
Last but not least, and one of the key factors people use to determine where they should retire to is if they would be able to purchase property, and if so, would that property be comfortable and affordable enough so that they would make it worth the move. The great news is that in Bali retirees with a valid retirement visa you would be able to obtain a property. Property is sold on a 25-year lease basis after which you can extend for another 20 years.
You are allowed to modify an existing property or build your dream home on empty land or simply bring your suitcases and move into a first of its kind luxury lifestyle resort which will offer you all the home comforts with resort luxury. A popular choice for those seeking a high level of comfort and style to make you feel at home whilst having all the benefits and luxuries of a resort environment.