Retire Like Royalty: Expat-Friendly Retirement Destinations in Southeast Asia

If you’re nearing retirement age but haven’t save up enough to live comfortably where you are, things can be rough. You may feel you have to keep working or settle for less, but you might not have to. If you retire overseas, you can cut your costs by quite a bit – especially if you move to Southeast Asia.

A popular destination for expatriates, Southeast Asia has several countries where you can live a relaxed life for much less. Imagine it – blue skies, beautiful beaches, crystalline waters. It’s like a long-term vacation for a fraction of the cost of living in the U.S.

retire-like-royalty-featHere are two of our top picks.

1. Malaysia

If you envision your retirement including beautiful beaches and incredible food, Malaysia might be the place for you. Local fare often includes a mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisine. And living by the beach is far more affordable than it is in any costal city in the U.S.

Prices for everyday goods and essentials are much lower there, though alcohol is heavily taxed in most areas.

If you’re worried about there being tough language barriers, don’t be. Many people in Malaysia speak English quite proficiently. The country has long had historical ties to the British Empire which certainly had an impact.

Plus, there’s also a retirement visa program that makes it easy to call Malaysia your second home.

2. The Philippines

If you don’t want to completely give up your western culture upon retirement, it’s alive and well in the Philippines. Here you’ll still find fast food joints and Christian churches just as you would in the U.S. Plus, you’ll even shopping malls that are still quite active, unlike many of America’s now-desolate former retail spaces.

Once you’re ready for a little more adventure, there are many incredible sights to see and places to visit. There are gorgeous beaches, lots of fantastic Spanish colonial architecture, and even breathtaking volcanoes.

You don’t have to be rich to live richly in the Philippines either. Even a fully furnished 900 square foot apartment in an area considered “expensive,” is often less than $900 a month. In an average-priced area, you can cut that figure in half. You’ll quickly find your money goes much further here.