Retiring in Malingping, Banten

My wife and I are finally getting ready to retire in Indonesia. This is something we've planned for years, but after 25 years living on a small farm in Texas, it has taken more time to prepare than we realized. So much STUFF to get rid of.

But now we've gotten most of our books (a considerable sized library) packed for shipping. Soon we will have an auction to try to get rid of a lot of tools and equipment we can't bring with us. Then we will call Rami Formalities to get the paperwork going and a relocation shipping company (any suggestions?) to estimate what size container we'll need. So at least it looks like within a year we should be able to move.

We have already bought a house (though my wive's sister, an Indonesian citizen living in Depok) in a village (Sukamanah Lebak) on the Indian Ocean and have been having it repaired (replace roof, windows, well pump, listrik, etc).

My Indonesian wife became a U.S. citizen in 2008 and we both receive U.S. Social Security benefits based on my work history.

Also my work 401K (now IRA) and an individual investment account are managed by Fidelity Investments, but they will not manage accounts for non-US residents, so I need to find some place to manage these accounts. Any suggestions? (it's not a fortune, but it's all we have!)

Any help/suggestions/warnings you can offer will be appreciated.

Bob in Lone Oak, TX  USA

I can't find the place on Google maps, the only one of that name being nowhere near anything bigger than a river, so it's impossible to say much about the location.
Sounds like you already know most electronics won't work, so it's easier to buy new here.
If you can get a google maps reference for the town (not the exact locatiion), members may be able to offer more specific advice.

[url=,+Lebak+Regency,+Banten,+Indonesia/[at]-6.8159504,106.0103838,245m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x2e425999ac3bc967:0xa14b616d38446a19!8m2!3d-6.7688124!4d106.0052437]my house (soon to be residence)[/url]

Got it. You have chosen a place just off the middle of nowhere, and that has advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantage is it can be crazy cheap to live in such a place (I lived on 2 million/month for almost 3 years), the main disadvantage being shopping, or lack of it. There's an Alfamart not far away - that being a massive bonus as they have pretty much everything you need for day to day stuff.
Another disadvantage is transport so something like a 125 cc scooter might be a good idea. You'll need a local licence (SIM C) to ride one and you'll have to watch Indonesian drivers (They tend to be poorly trained, thus dangerous), but personal transport will be seriously handy.
Villages tend to be poorly served with internet but, if it's skype, forums, and email, a sim card in your phone or personal wifi modem will be enough.

Your US cells will work over here as long as they're unlocked to any network.

Your nearest bank seems to be a BRI branch in the next village. The bank is trustworthy so no problems there. Most US ATM cards should be fine as long as you have chip and pin, but opening a local account is a good idea.  You can open your account once you have a KITAS.
You probably realise your sister in law can Sponsor your KITAS so no need to mess around with expensive agents.


Thanks for the information. Yes, it is in the "middle of nowhere" :) That "feature" and being directly on the pantai are what attracted us. My wife and I are both retired and live on a 20 acres (8 hectares) farm out in the middle of nowhere Texas. So we are used to driving 30+ minutes to get to any store.

We've looked at the mitsubishi L300 4WD pickup for transportation (every Texan has to have a pickup truck!). I'm not much on motor bikes and never mind the wife!

I'm sure we will have many more questions at "the time" approaches for the forum and you.

Thank you (I guess I should say Terima Kasih)

Check out the roads before you buy a big lump of metal. The roads are small and commonly in bad condition so too big can often be a disadvantage.
Driving will require a SIM A.

As I'm now Indonesian, I don't have the messing around expats have to do to get a licence, but hopefully others will advise you on that.

House renovation. If it's a tiled roof, make sure they use metal struts. Termites are common in Indonesia and love to destroy your house.

You can get away with using an International Driving Permit for a while, I used one for many years until it was no longer possible to get one from the UK via mail. The Sim A is the local driving license and is valid for 5 years and easy to get.

Fred & Shill88,

Thank you for all the information.

The roads around the house are pretty nice (according to my sister-in-law) so transportation shouldn't be too hard. I used to have an international drivers license (1975 or so), but will hire a pak supir when I need to until I get a local license. I already have a man (and his family) that live next to the house that has been taking care of the property for nearly 40 years. We are in daily contact with him (via Skype) and my sister-in-law.

We're really eager to get this move underway. Anybody want to buy a farm in TEXAS ????

Your offer of the farm is very nice but NOOOOOO ! :D

Sounds like you have a lot worked out on the move. How much time have you spent in Indonesia?

Too bad about the farm :(

Actually I've only spent a month in Indonesia back in 1988. Stayed with my wive's parents in Cinere, Jakarta but spent most of the time driving from Jakarta, to Bandung, Tasikmalaya, Cilacap (they let me out!) to Jogja and back along a bunch of back roads. Great trip... I love the way Indonesians drive :) (who needs lanes anyway?)

We've been trying to keep up with what Jokowi has been up to building toll roads and such. My sister-in-law has been going back an forth from Depok to Malingping and taking pictures along the way and documenting the work being done at the house. We feel like we're half way there already. The final half is going soooo slow though!

The number of cars and bikes has increased wildly since you were last her, as has the number of dangerous, poorly trained drivers/riders. Just when you think you've seen every possible suicidal bit of driving, a new experience comes along.

The new toll roads are pretty good, uneven and not safe at high speeds, but the things have improved long distance transport like you wouldn't believe ... just not in your area.

There are unlikely to be many white foreigners anywhere near you so, if that description applies, expect a lot of attention and invitations to visit local schools. You aren't allowed to work but one off visits are never going to be an immigration issue as long as it's casual rather than a business.

How are you doing for immigration documents?
A retirement KITAS is easy enough but there are rules, one being the need for an Indonesian sponsor. No need for agents as your sister in law can do that. Your wife can get a KITAS as ex-WNI, but I'm unsure of the rules on that one.

Do you really think a 6' tall, blonde haired, overweight bule, that speaks bad bahasa with a Texas accent will stand out ;)

rbrothers :

Do you really think a 6' tall, blonde haired, overweight bule, that speaks bad bahasa with a Texas accent will stand out ;)

The odd person may notice, but only if you wear a blue shirt.

On a more serious note, you will find a few people less than happy about the US, so I would tend to avoid clothes with old glory and that sort of stuff on them.
Many a time I've been asked in a less than friendly voice if I'm an American, that attitude changing when I explain I am not.  It's extremely unlikely you'll experience any serious problems.

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