If you are feeling the urge to trade bustling city life for the peaceful tropics, two questions are probably ringing in your mind: Where are the best places to retire in Indonesia? How to retire in Indonesia?
You're not alone in this quest. Many retirees from around the world dream of spending their golden years in serene, exotic locations.
People are drawn to Indonesia due to its captivating charm, affordable living, and mesmerizing landscapes.
However, the myriad of choices can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we will unveil six of the best places to retire in Indonesia, focusing on key factors such as cost of living, safety, healthcare, and more.
Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Let's dive in!
Sanur, a charming seaside town in Bali, is a paradise for retirees. With its serene ambience and proximity to amenities, it offers a perfect blend of tranquillity and convenience, making it a top choice when deciding where to live in Bali.
The cost of living in Bali, specifically Sanur is affordable compared to other touristy areas in Bali, with a monthly budget of around $1,200 to $1,800 covering housing, groceries, dining, and leisure activities.
Safety is a priority in Sanur, boasting low crime rates and accessible healthcare facilities. Reputable hospitals in nearby Denpasar ensure quality medical care. Getting around is easy with various transportation options, including taxis, ride-sharing services, and scooter rentals.
Sanur enjoys a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and refreshing sea breezes throughout the year. Retirees can explore the pristine Sanur Beach, immerse themselves in art at the Le Mayeur Museum, and discover the historical significance of the Blanjong Pillar.
The town offers a diverse dining scene to cater to various tastes. Warung Little Bird serves traditional Indonesian dishes, and Massimo Italian Restaurant offers authentic Italian cuisine. For health-conscious retirees, Genius Cafe offers a beachfront setting and a menu focused on healthy and vegan options.
Pros of living in Sanur:
- Affordable living compared to other Bali tourist spots, increasing retirees' value for money
- The calm, relaxed atmosphere encourages a peaceful, stress-free retiree lifestyle
- Convenient access to quality healthcare facilities
- Some of the best co-working spaces in Bali
- A thriving expat community providing social interaction and support
- Easy navigation by local transport or foot, enhancing independence and flexibility for retirees
- A good destination for living in Bali with family and kids
Cons of living in Sanur:
- The tranquil, slow lifestyle may not suit everyone, especially those seeking a vibrant social or entertainment scene
- Parts of Sanur can be touristy, possibly hindering a fully local experience for retirees
- While healthcare is satisfactory, it may not match the range and quality of larger cities
- Sanur's flat terrain may be unappealing for retirees desiring mountainous landscapes or varied outdoor activity terrains.
Ubud, nestled among Bali's lush central uplands, is an ideal retirement sanctuary for those seeking cultural immersion and a peaceful lifestyle. The cost of living in Ubud is reasonable, with a monthly budget of $1,200 to $1,800 covering accommodation, dining, utilities, and entertainment.
Ubud provides an extensive array of accommodations, encompassing everything from villas and apartments to hotels and home stays; indeed, it leaves no stone unturned in its offerings. If you are interested in buying property in Bali, our team of knowledgable real estate agents will point you in the right direction.
Safety is not a concern in Ubud, and the town offers local healthcare clinics for routine medical needs. However, more specialized care may require travel to larger cities.
Ubud boasts a well-developed transportation network, including taxis, online ride-sharing services, and public buses. Many retirees prefer to rent a scooter or car for added convenience and independence.
With its higher elevation, Ubud enjoys a cooler climate than Bali's coastal areas, providing a welcome respite from the humidity. The town offers a range of attractions, such as the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, and Ubud Royal Palace.
Ubud's culinary scene is diverse, catering to a variety of tastes. Whether you're craving local Indonesian delicacies or international cuisine, Ubud has something for everyone.
Some recommended dining options include; Ibu Rai, a popular choice for traditional Balinese dishes. Muse Cafe, A relaxed setting offering a variety of dishes, with several vegetarian and vegan options. Milk & Madu is known for its wood-fired pizzas.
Pros of living in Ubud:
- Lower cost of living allows for a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank
- Rich cultural and artistic scene provides numerous opportunities for learning and exploration
- A great place to live in Bali with family and kids
- Cooler climate, compared to the coastal areas, provides a comfortable living environment
- A wide variety of dining options cater to diverse food preferences
- A wide variety of the best co-working spaces in Bali
- Presence of yoga and wellness centres offering holistic health and well-being
Cons of living in Ubud:
- Ubud can become crowded during tourist season, which could impact the town's usually peaceful atmosphere
- Although healthcare is available, major health concerns might require travel to larger cities
- High humidity during the wet season can be uncomfortable for some people.
Jakarta, the sprawling capital of Indonesia, offers an intriguing balance of traditional culture and modern city amenities, making it a dynamic retirement option.
The cost of living is higher compared to smaller towns or rural areas but a comfortable lifestyle can be achieved with a monthly budget of $1,300 to $2,000. This budget, however, can fluctuate based on personal preferences and the chosen residential district.
The safety in Jakarta is generally reliable, with central and more upscale areas being particularly secure. The city is home to advanced healthcare facilities, including internationally accredited hospitals such as Siloam and Mayapada, ensuring retirees have access to top-tier medical care.
The city's transportation infrastructure is impressive, with a variety of public transportation options such as buses, taxis, and a modern Mass Rapid Transit system. Jakarta's climate is typically tropical, characterized by high humidity and frequent rainfall.
Among Jakarta's numerous attractions are historical monuments, beautiful mosques, amusement parks, and a vibrant food scene.
The food landscape is diverse, ranging from bustling street food stalls serving traditional Indonesian dishes to high-end restaurants like KAUM and the popular vegan chain, Burgreens, both offering unique culinary experiences.
Pros of living in Jakarta:
- Extensive entertainment and dining options provide a myriad of activities for retirees
- Access to advanced healthcare facilities ensures top-notch medical care
- Well-developed public transportation makes navigating the city easier
- Vibrant cultural scene with numerous events and festivals throughout the year
- Numerous shopping options ranging from modern malls to traditional markets
Cons of living in Jakarta:
- High traffic congestion can make getting around time-consuming
- Higher cost of living compared to smaller cities or rural areas in Indonesia
- The city's fast-paced, bustling atmosphere may be overwhelming for some
- High levels of air and noise pollution in certain areas
- The tropical and humid climate, along with frequent rainfall, may not be comfortable for everyone.
Lombok, Bali's unspoiled sister island to the east, offers retirees a peaceful retreat with stunning beaches, waterfalls, and mountains. The island's affordable cost of living is a major attraction, with a monthly budget of $1000 to $1,400 covering rent, utilities, dining, and leisure activities.
Lombok is generally safe, with a laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals. While healthcare facilities may not be as advanced as in larger cities, they are sufficient for routine medical concerns. Serious health issues may require travel to Bali or Jakarta.
Transportation in Lombok is easily facilitated through scooters, car hires, or taxis, allowing for convenient exploration of the island's beautiful landscapes.
Lombok experiences a warm tropical climate year-round, with a distinct dry season (May to September) and wet season (October to April). The dry season is ideal for outdoor activities, while the wet season showcases the island's lush beauty.
Lombok is a natural wonderland, boasting attractions such as Mount Rinjani, the Gili Islands, and Senggigi Beach, providing ample opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
When it comes to eating out, Lombok offers a range of culinary delights. Bush Radio is known for its eclectic menu and chill vibes, Mama Pizza serves delicious wood-fired pizzas, and Kenza Lombok offers a healthy menu with vegan and vegetarian options. Sea Salt is a beachfront restaurant serving fresh seafood and a variety of other dishes.
Pros of living in Lombok:
- Low living cost, making it a budget-friendly retirement spot
- Peaceful and less touristic, offering a genuine Indonesian experience
- Beautiful nature and abundant outdoor activities
- Friendly local community
- Delicious local cuisine, especially for seafood enthusiasts
Cons of living in Lombok:
- Limited healthcare services, possibly requiring travel to cities for complex medical treatments
- Less developed infrastructure compared to bigger cities, possibly concerning for those needing urban conveniences
- Less comprehensive public transportation, often necessitating private transport
- Limited nightlife and entertainment options compared to Bali or Jakarta
- Potential language barriers due to limited English fluency among locals.
Flores, a gem in the Indonesian archipelago, offers a serene retirement experience against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty. Its landscapes vary from verdant forests to pristine beaches, while the cultural scene is a vibrant fusion of local traditions and customs.
A notable feature of Flores's biodiversity is the presence of the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard, making the island a haven for nature lovers.
Despite its natural splendour, the cost of living on Flores is remarkably low. A budget of $1000-$1,500 per month allows for a comfortable lifestyle. Safety is generally high, with a low crime rate and a local community known for its friendliness and hospitality.
Healthcare facilities, while basic, adequately cater to everyday medical needs. For more complex health services, mainland Indonesia provides better-equipped facilities. Public buses, boats, and car rentals serve as popular modes of transportation, with scooters being a particularly beloved choice among locals and expatriates alike.
Flores' climate is tropical, characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. However, the island's mountainous terrain can bring cooler temperatures, particularly during nighttime.
Flores is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The UNESCO-listed Komodo National Park, Kelimutu National Park with its colour-changing lakes, and the vibrant underwater life at Riung Marine Park are major attractions.
The dining scene is also impressive, with establishments like Paradise Bar & Restaurant, Happy Banana, and MadeInItaly Ristorante Italiano offering diverse cuisines, including vegetarian options.
Pros of living in Flores:
- Very low living costs enable a comfortable lifestyle with a modest budget
- Unspoiled landscapes and rich biodiversity cater to nature enthusiasts
- Peaceful and uncrowded settings ensure peace and privacy
- Unique cultural experiences through traditional villages and customs
- Tasty local cuisine, especially seafood
Cons of living in Flores:
- Limited healthcare facilities may require travel to cities for serious medical care
- Less developed infrastructure might pose challenges to those accustomed to urban amenities
- Limited public transportation, personal transport often necessary
- Fewer entertainment options and less diverse shopping facilities due to the island's relative isolation
- Potential language barriers, as English, is not commonly spoken outside tourist areas
Sumbawa, an alluring Indonesian island east of Lombok, provides a distinct retirement experience. Its charm lies in rugged landscapes, traditional communities, and excellent surf locations, making it a compelling choice for retirees seeking an authentic Indonesian lifestyle away from typical tourist routes.
A low cost of living facilitates a fulfilling lifestyle on a modest budget of $1000-$1,500 per month.
The island boasts commendable safety, characterized by welcoming locals and serene surroundings.
Although healthcare facilities are less sophisticated than in larger cities, they suffice for basic needs; more intricate medical services necessitate travelling to bigger cities.
Buses and ferries are common transportation modes, but car or motorbike rentals offer more convenience. Sumbawa's tropical climate features dry and wet seasons, similar to its neighbouring islands.
For the adventurous retiree, Sumbawa abounds in attractions—world-class surfing at Lakey Beach, or exploring Moyo Island's natural beauty, Sumbawa is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
The island's culinary landscape is diverse. Lisa's Garden offers a selection of fresh, locally sourced Indonesian and Western dishes. Tropical Beach Cafe, is a beachfront eatery, with varied meals, and Fatmah's Restaurant is favoured by tourists for its authentic Indonesian and international vegan-friendly cuisine.
Pros of living in Sumbawa:
- One of Indonesia's most affordable living costs, ideal for budget-conscious retirees
- Traditional lifestyle, devoid of tourist crowds
- Excellent for surfing, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits
- Beautiful, untouched landscapes for exploration and relaxation
Cons of living in Sumbawa:
- Limited healthcare facilities, potentially requiring travel for serious health conditions
- Its remote, less-developed nature might not suit those seeking a cosmopolitan setting
- Less efficient public transportation, often necessitating a personal vehicle
- Potential language barriers, as locals predominantly speak Bahasa Indonesia.
Remember, your retirement should be an enjoyable and comfortable time of your life. So, take time to explore and choose the best fit for your preferences. Reach out to our real estate experts for a detailed understanding of each location. Happy retirement planning!
Where can I retire in Indonesia?
You can retire in diverse spots like the peaceful coastal towns of Sanur and Ubud in Bali, dynamic Jakarta, serene Lombok, or naturally beautiful Flores and Sumbawa - indeed, the best places to retire in Indonesia cater to various lifestyles.
Is it cheaper to retire in Bali or Thailand?
To retire in Bali or Thailand is a common question. While both offer affordable living, the cost of living in Bali, specifically in areas like Ubud and Lombok, is generally lower than in popular retiree destinations in Thailand.
Indonesia offers an array of enticing retirement destinations catering to diverse lifestyles.
From Bali's tranquil coastal towns of Sanur and Ubud to the bustling city life of Jakarta, the serene island living on Lombok, Flores, and Sumbawa, there's something for everyone.
Each location brings its own unique benefits and considerations, ranging from costs of living and healthcare facilities to local culture and natural beauty.
Regardless of your preferences, you're likely to find your perfect retirement harbour within this vibrant archipelago. With careful planning and exploration, your dream retirement in Indonesia awaits you.