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Seriously looking to retire to Bali

Hi All
New to this site and seriously looking at Bali for the perfect place to retire. If I was to move to Bali now I would have a monthly income of around 11,500,000 IDR. Would this be enough to live on in Bali. Not looking for anything fancy accommodation wise but would like to be near a beach. In 2018 my income would rise to around 21,000,000 IDR per month but I'm hoping that my current income would allow me to move now.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

It also depends on what visa you intend to retire.

If you go for the retirement visa (KITAS Lansia) then are are various requirements to be fulfilled. You will need to provide latest bank statement, proof of pension (or similar available funds), rental agreement, health insurance etc.

Then the Rp 11.500.000 will not be enough

Thanks happyhour. I understand that I wont fulfil the requirements for a retirement visa until I'm in receipt of my full pension (2018). What I am hoping to do is use the intervening years to scout out the situation. Is it possible to 'pop in and out' on tourist visas? and if so would I have enough money to live on?

There will not be a problem to "pop in and out" on a tourist visa to scout out the situation, that probably is in your case the best solution.

Then you can find out yourself if Bali is the right place to retire in the future, still I am personally not sure if Rr 11,500.000 will be enough to cover all your expenses, it very much depends on your life style and cost of accommodation you have in mind and also if your tickets to get in and out are included in your budget.

stro11er :

Thanks happyhour. I understand that I wont fulfil the requirements for a retirement visa until I'm in receipt of my full pension (2018). What I am hoping to do is use the intervening years to scout out the situation. Is it possible to 'pop in and out' on tourist visas? and if so would I have enough money to live on?

You can get a 30 day visa on arrival, then extend for 30 days at immigration.
I understand the process is a bit messy, taking a couple or three visits to do it, but it can be done.

Several returns may be a problem if they're very close together.
I saw a Japanese chap at the airport yesterday having a devil of a job getting in.
Too many VOA stamps together, immigration assumed he was working, so held him back.
I saw him a little later, so he managed to get in, but he was lucky.

I totally agree...11.5 million IDR a month is very close to bare bones for an expat.  It can be done...living in a kos, eating at warungs, shopping at pasars, etc. but, you will literally be living hand to mouth. 

One thing is for certain...you will absolutely need to be fluent in Indonesian.  You haven't a chance otherwise. 

You can't change your appearance, so you'll have to overcome "harga bule" (white man's price) and your only chance of that is to be able to at least speak like a local.

Wow..... I don't think it's enough to live in Bali. Especially if you live in the capital like Denpasar. In fact with that amount it's difficult to live in other place in Indonesia unless if you want to go a bit further outside the capital. But live can be tough for foreigners living outside city/capital. Moreover, you are a "bule", where everything oftenly cost higher than to local people. Consider it very very very carefully because if you can't manage your cost of living and lifestyle wisely, you might have face difficulties. Especially if you are not alone have dependants with you.

Ubudian :

I totally agree...11.5 million IDR a month is very close to bare bones for an expat.

Are prices in Bali that high?
I've stopped bothering with supermarkets (except for baked beans and a few other things), so my shopping bill has dropped to nothing.
My outlay, without trying to save cash, is running at well less than 8 million/month.
That includes the eldest kid's school fees and a house rent of 28/year.

It does not include my cameras and other toys.

Fred, I'll bet that one of the key aspects to your ability to live within that budget you mention is your lease which I'm guessing is one that you negotiated some years back before the crunch.  Another aspect (and one which I also enjoy) is being able to rely on "Mrs. Fred" to do the negotiating and shopping.   :top:

In Bali, any newly arriving expat to be is going to face much higher real estate costs, and "harga bule" rules on Bali, even if one chooses to live in a small village without other expats.  Keep in mind that in Bali, just about anyone with a white face is thought of as a tourist.  Even visiting Indonesians from other islands have to learn to get around the local mentality of "harga tamu" and this is a frustration I've heard being often voiced by other Indonesians.   

The simple answer to your question is yes, things are that much more expensive in Bali.

Fred, I'll bet that one of the key aspects to your ability to live within that budget you mention is your lease which I'm guessing is one that you negotiated some years back before the crunch.  Another aspect (and one which I also enjoy) is being able to rely on "Mrs. Fred" to do the negotiating and shopping.

We moved at the end of January, hardly getting much discount on the place, but it's a fair size and easily big enough for us, including Michelle's toys.
Mrs. Fred (The poor woman) likes local food, rejecting most bule stuff except the odd McD once a month or so.
If we go to a shopping centre, I head for bule delights, but she goes for the nearest indonesian stuff, usually at nothing and a bit to buy. I do have a weakness for..

http://static3.id.orstatic.com/userphoto/photo/0/6R/001C628E6CC39835BEBE1El.jpg

You'll have to forgive me that one, they're lovely.

Most of the stuff Mrs. Me buys comes from the local veggie man who wanders around with his kaki lima.
I have to admit, I'm a big fan of tempe and rice, so I often partake of really cheap food.
We hardly bother with Giant any more, so a few hundred thousand per month is all I spend there.
My favourite meat is chicken, and a full bird only costs Rp30,000, so that works out cheap.
I go to a local place where they slaughter as you order, so we know they're very fresh.

The car is bought and paid for, so that's pretty cheap now, and we don't run it much so it usually costs about Rp100,000/month in fuel.
The bike mostly gets used for short trips, so that costs about Rp30,000/month to keep running.

Hi I am planning to buy a leasehold for 25 years on a villa in Canggu . I am a surfer that is why I am moving there . I am 56 years old single guy  so I will apply for a Kitas visa to retire in Bali . Can anyone give me some advice on monthly living costs . I have looked into living in Bali information like Medical Insurance , Visa costs , and employing a local to complete my visa requirements . But I cannot find much information for maintaining my villa , electricity , food , cable TV  , internet and food . Thanks Geoff :)

Rupiah 11.5 million per month? Just an actual comparison @ Year 2013.
My family of 2x Adult (1x working) and 2x Child (1x school going).
Minimum Rupiah 10 million for bare necessities. ie. grocery, transport, toiletry, misc.
Does not include the occasional meal out, take aways, toys, books etc.
So a budget of Rupiah 20 million does not go far anymore.
The reality is such.....even so more for migrating adults.

Update

I live in Jakarta with my wife and two kids.
The total spend runs at around Rp10/month at the moment unless we go out a lot.
That's running a car but we don't drink, something that's costly here.

Basically, it's all down to the lifestyle you want.

I've just returned from a short trip into Central Java, a place where rents start at 5 million/month and the cost of living generally is not much.
A small three bed house will set you back from Rp300 million in Purwokerto.
I'm toying with moving back down there and setting up a language school. Loads of cash in the area but the estate agents havn't managed to send prices up to 'stupid' yet.

Thanks Fred for the information you have given it is  much appreciated . I see you have a Family to provide for which would cost  much more than me being a single man . I am selling my house in Australia and down sizing  so I was budgeting for 20 million Rp per month to live in Canggu because that is where I am going to buy my villa leasehold for 25 years .  Plus I will be buying a smaller house or apartment  in Australia to come back to if I want to if I need to and it will be generating income  for me which is part of my budget  .  I will also have about $100 thousand AUS cash in savings to invest as I have heard interest rates there are much higher than here in Australia ? It will also help me get through to I am available for a age pension in Australia . I do not drink or go out much Fred but I hope I could go out 1 maybe 2 times a week if it was possible with my budget . Plus I think I would need cable TV and internet at home . But instead of employing a maid or house keeper is it possible to employ a driver/ gardener as I was thinking of buying a car .  So  he or her could take me to the beach to surf so I don,t  have to drive the car . Because I have heard if I am involved in a accident it will be my fault no matter what because I am a foreigner and I will have to pay compensation for any damage or god forbid I hurt some one . Do you think what I am planning is reasonable or am I dreaming Fred  . Thanks Geoff .

One question - why a long lease?
If I were moving to a new country, I would rent for a year or two to make sure I liked the area before I committed to long term.

Driving is quite amazing here, something I would not recommend for a new arrival. Rules of the road are less than strict and no one bothers to enforce them most of the time anyway.

20 million/month would be fine in most of Indonesia but I'm assured things cost more on Bali. You might also want to take a look at Lombok were the prices aren't as crazy and the water sports are a plenty.

As for investing, I'd be a lot more tempted to go for the bank interest and forget the hassle of business if I were in that position.  Check out BCA and BNI deposito accounts.

http://www.bni.co.id/id-id/bankingservi … osito.aspx

https://www.bca.co.id/id/Individu/Produ … -Berjangka

Hi Woody54,
Iam Helmi ,Indonesian living in Japan .
Just to give you another choice of your retirement  living plan.
I suggest Kuta of Southern Lombok as a good choice beside Canggu ,if you like surfing or another water sports(even kite surfing ,para/motor gliding )
I bought some land plots few years ago and iam looking for someone to be a partner to build villa or bungalows.
Many foreigner ,most of Australians ,owned property at that area.
The price is quite cheaper compares to Bali.
A good place for investment and a great place for a surfer-investor to live like you.
PM me for more details.
Cheers
Helmi

Helmi Zanni :

Many foreigner ,most of Australians ,owned property at that area.
The price is quite cheaper compares to Bali.
A good place for investment and a great place for a surfer-investor to live like you.

No - It's a terrible investment because it's illegal and the property can be taken by the state without compensation at any time.
Foreigners can rent/lease land in Indonesia but they can't buy.

However, foreigners can buy some apartments as long as no land is included in the deal.

Building on someone else's land is perfectly legal but very foolish as the land's owner can basically do what they want as it's extremely difficult for the foreigner to get their investment back through the courts.

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Thanks Fred for your advice on this subject . I had read some where  it was law that I cannot own any land or property and I have no intention of investing money this way . I am moving to Bali for a no stress life style not to make money . Been there done that . Thanks again Geoff .

Thanks Fred I have thought about just getting a 1 year lease . But at the moment I am just over living Western life style . I have had enough of Australia with stress and all the garbage that is going on . What ever happens I will always own some thing here in Australia if things don,t work out . But the big step is just to do it and jump into a new life . Thanks Geoff .

Hi I am retiring to Bali with a Kitas visa as I am 56 . I have heard that Bali Banks term deposits have much better returns than here in Australia . My question is will I be allowed to invest money in term deposits being on a Kitas visa  and also is it worth while ? Thanks Geoff .

A KITAS holder can open any type of bank account legally, that including high interest accounts or deposito investments.
The interest tends to get better when you hit Rp100 million+.

As for 'big step', sure is and one that'll put new life into you.
Enjoy the mystery.
Just avoid all the temptations and offers to invest, stick to bank interest (if that's enough to pay the bills) and chill out.
I'd suggest sticking to renting a nice gaff and skipping the long lease - easy to move around that way and there are lots of very interesting places to wander to in Indonesia.

Hi Fred thanks for your advice . I really appreciate it very much . Yes it is a big step for me and thank you for the encouragement . Here some friends support my choice and some family and friends can,t understand my choice to move to Bali . But they also always complain about life here getting to hard and how they are going to afford to retire ?  I cannot wait to move to Bali and just go surfing and chill out and live life . Thanks Geoff .

Go for it.
I was told I was mad to leave the UK and move here but time has proven my sanity and the madness of those who stayed in the UK struggling with a mortgage and god knows what else.
My sister and I have about the same income, but her disposable
is a tiny percentage of mine.

The one, and most important key to a successful and enjoyable retirement on Bali comes down to one word...networking.

The idea of "retirement on Bali" is a vast area, and what goes on in one area of Bali is always different than in other areas of Bali. 

My point is simple.  In whatever area of Bali you have chosen as your "nest" it is essential to network and get to know other foreigners who have made that specific area their "nest" as well.

Adat, or village traditional "law" can be vastly different even between two adjoining villages, so you can only image the potential disparity when it comes to districts and regencies.

Anyone considering retirement in Bali should allow for a trial run BEFORE committing to long year leases and other commitments.

The most important and useful advice regarding retirement in Bali would be to take a trial run before making a long term (lease) commitment here.

The second most important and useful piece of advice would be to network (get to meet, know and get advice) from other expatriate foreign retirees now living in that specific village you have in mind.  And keep in mind that adjoining villages can be night and day apart in many aspects. 

The third most important and useful piece of advice would be to always keep in mind that Bali is the ultimate seductress.  In my 18 years of 24/7 living here I have seen countless numbers of well intentioned, but totally naïve foreigners come to Bali “to live” only to be leaving in a few years, or less, after their arrival.  In Bali, foreigners ebb and flow like the tide.   

And the fourth most important and useful piece of advice I can offer is to get to know, and know as well as possible, the key players (most importantly the village head) of any village you are considering.  In a nut shell…the Balinese are very, very used to foreigners here, but they will NEVER take a foreigner who disregards, or is ambivalent/disinterested in their culture or way of life as someone deserving of the privilege of living here.

And the fourth most important and useful piece of advice I can offer is to get to know, and know as well as possible, the key players (most importantly the village head) of any village you are considering.  In a nut shell…the Balinese are very, very used to foreigners here, but they will NEVER take a foreigner who disregards, or is ambivalent/disinterested in their culture or way of life as someone deserving of the privilege of living here.

100% pure gold post,

Anyone who doesn't take that advice is doomed to failure.

Hi everybody in here! I have another question regarding retirement / long term stay in Bali:

The German Embassy informs that to apply for retirement visa one condition is to "provide proof of having contacted a local (Indonesian respectively Balinese) travel agent specializing on assisting with retirement visa."

They indicate in their website that a list of such authorized travel agents can be downloaded, but such a list does in fact not exist in there.

Question: Any idea which travel agency in Ubud or in the DPS/Kuta/Sanur region could be contacted in this respect?

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Thanks, Im not a buyer and don't look for sales offers.

Hi Priscilla,

Thank you for the advice, we were not aware of that.

We actually sent an enquiry a little while ago as to how we could place an advert.

We can be contacted with details of advertising procedures and rates

Kind Regards

Richard Flax

Hi Fred thanks for your advice it is much appreciated . Just one more question Fred on term deposits with Bali banks . Is there a tax rate they I have to pay on interest I will receive on my term deposits . Thanks and have a good weekend . Geoff .

Still pretty easy to find a new lease on a house in Bali for 25 to 30 juta a year.
Just have to drive around on a scooter down the alleys etc and you will find dozens of places in the price range.

tanami :

Still pretty easy to find a new lease on a house in Bali for 25 to 30 juta a year.
Just have to drive around on a scooter down the alleys etc and you will find dozens of places in the price range.

The same applies in much of Indonesia, even in Jakarta, but there's always loads of advertising and other pressure on expats to rent a villa with a swimming pool you'll hardly ever use at some crazy price.

Hi what is a Juta ?

Juta = million.
This is normal here and has found its way into local English.

Thanks Fred . Have a good day . Geoff

Is driving the alleys the best way to find housing?  Do you have any other suggestions..? We are new here and still finding our way around, looking for permanent housing at a decent price.  I am on a retirement visa, my daughter is a student for a year.  We are exploring the option of being here for longer....

Runner1 :

Is driving the alleys the best way to find housing?  .

It works, and you get to know the place as a nice bonus.
It all depends on the type of housing you're after, but cheaper places are commonly found by wandering around and using site with private rentals advertised, OLX being a prime example.
My first week here saw us wandering around and we found some very nice places at prices far lower than the estate agents were advertising similar properties for.
It really doesn't matter what country you're in for from, estate agents are always into inflating prices as much as they can.

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