Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Choosing Bali Indonesia as Retirement Destination

Bali is steadily getting up through the list of top retirement destinations, successfully competing with traditional countries like Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama.

It is actually, not a big surprise since with consistently perfect weather and beautiful beaches, Bali joins dozens of other beachfront locations that make for great retirement living. According to The Wall Street Journal, retirees can settle down on the Indonesian island for about $1,000 a month (not including housing), the expenses which cannot be compared with the similar retirement style costs in most developed countries.

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Beautiful country

Bali, with its lush vegetation, exceptional beaches and awe inspiring scenery, is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Bali’s attractions include fishing villages featuring black sand beaches, coral reefs and excellent diving, areas with botanical gardens, an active volcano (Mount Batur) with great mountain scenery cool temperatures and fruit growing, and hiking, cycling and bird-watching at various locations.

Bali is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana but with heavy Balinese influence. There are an estimated 20,000 temples on the island, each of which holds festivals at least twice yearly. The large island-wide festivals are determined by two local calendars.

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How much does it cost to live in Bali?

Accommodation: Rented accommodation is available from around $7000 a year upwards. The cost is dependent on the location, size of property and facilities. You should expect to budget $10-12,000 a year. Long term rentals are paid yearly in advance, some landlords ask for longer terms. If you purchase you own property then your outgoings is greatly reduced and you have the advantage of an asset which is continually growing.

Utilities: For a typical small house you would only need around $30-50 a month for electricity and water, without air conditioning. Depending on usage an A/C will cost around another $50 a month. Broadband internet access costs from $30 a month.

Living: Well how do you want to live here? You can eat well on just $2-300 a month, or even less if you cook fresh from the market. If you eat out every day and spend your nights in a bar then you could still only need $1000 a month for food and drink.

Entertainment: Entertainment can be had every day, with a walk on the beach or through the rice fields. Watch the children learning to dance in the Local Banjar or sit back and watch the garden grow.

Legal: You will need around $700 a year for your retirement visa and will be expected to pay a small contribution to the local banjar, typically $10 a month.

The trouble with any idyllic retirement paradise, including Bali, is that it can become too popular. Tourists, in particular, can swamp the infrastructure. For example, many of Bali's problems - water shortages, frequent electricity blackouts, dodgy phone and internet connections, poor sewage facilities, traffic congestion - have increased in step with the booming tourism sector.

To address these issues, the government has established a program to establish up to 16 accredited and international-standard retirement communities around the island, away from the tourist hubs, based on the success of radical retirement communities Bali.

Medical care, another potential trouble for retirees and elderly, is substandard when compared with the USA, but the signs of good medical facilities are starting to appear.  Some retirees typically have evacuation insurance to a country chosen by their insurer, typically Singapore or Australia.

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While there is no Safe Heaven in the modern World, while looking for Bali as retirement (or even travel) destination, you have to be aware on the particular threat of the terrorist acts. Tourist safety in Bali has been of special concern in the wake of terrorist bombings that targeted foreigners in 2002 (more than 200 killed) and 2005 (20 killed and more than 100 injured). Authorities implicated members of the radical group Jemaah Islamiyah in most of the attacks. The U.S. State Department designated Jemaah Islamiyah a foreign terrorist group in October 2002, and suspects it of having ties to Al Qaeda, a worldwide terrorist organization that frequently proclaims its hatred for Americans and their allies.


Most travel sites assure that Bali is a safe destination, relatively free of violence. Petty thefts and pickpocketings, however, can be problematic.

Retirement visa for Bali Indonesia

To be eligible for a visa for retirement you must:

  • Be 55 years or older.
  • Have no intention to work in Indonesia.
  • Be in good health and character.
  • Your Passport needs to be valid for at least 18 months.
  • You will be a citizen of one of the following countries.

* Australia
Brunei Darusalam
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
South Korea
United Arab Emirate
United Kingdom

If your application is approved, you will be allowed to come to Indonesia initially for one year and your visa can be extended every year to a total of 5 years. Then you can apply for a permanent stay permit (KITAP).

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Requirements and required documents

  • Copy of your passport and/or travel documents which are valid for at least 18 months.
  • Statement from Pension Fund Foundation or Bank from the country of origin (or Indonesia) of funds available, minimum of US$1,500 per month, to provide the applicant living expenses during the proposed stay in Indonesia (Total US$18,000 per year).
  • Proof of medical/health Insurance, life insurance, and third-party personal liability insurance in country of origin or Indonesia.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Any applicant whose spouse wishes to apply for a Limited Stay permit Visa for elderly tourists must provide a copy of their marriage certificate.
  • A personal Guarantee Letter, stating: To live in the provided and agreed accommodation in Indonesia (Bali in particular) with proof of receipt or through renting proof of rental agreement. The mentioned accommodation must be located at an authorized tourist area and in accordance with the prevailing regulations. Minimum cost of US$35,000 if purchased house/apartment or, a minimum rental cost of US$500/month in Jakarta, Bandung, and Bali; US$300/month for other cities in Java Island, Batam, and Medan, and other cities a minimum US$ 200/month.) in the tourist areas according to the regulations.
  • Employment Letter - Affidavit. You must employ at least one Indonesian citizen for assistance kind of work, such as nursing, housekeeping or any other kind of assistance during your stay in Indonesia. In that regard, you must submit a letter stating that you are currently employing or intend to employ an Indonesian assistant.
  • Payment of Immigration Fee based on effective regulations.
  • Sponsor letter from the appointed travel agency, costs to be paid by applicant.
  • Photographs sized 4 x 6 cm - 10 pieces , 3 x 4 cm - 4 pieces, 2 x 3 cm - 4 pieces (Red Background).

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Sources and Additional Information:


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