John is 78 years old and Maria is 68.  For much of their professional lives (over 20 years) they have lived and worked in various cities in Asia; Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

In 1997, they moved back to Sydney from Hong Kong to look after Maria's father who was ill. 

After both of Maria's parents passed away, they retired to Surfer's Paradise on Australia's Gold Coast. They chose it because of friends in town, a good and famiiar lifestyle and it ticked all their boxes.  

Five years on, they realized they don't have enough money for another 20 years.  As self-funded retirees, their biggest asset is their apartment. Selling it, banking the money and renting and living in a much lower cost market will extend their finances for many more years.

They had several countries/cities in mind.  They considered Thailand first because they like the Thai people and they had heard Penang was a potential hotspot for retirees.  

With this in mind, they plotted a 6 week trip to check out Koh Samui and Chiang Mai in Thailand, then Penang in Malaysia.  Their planned date to leave Australia is mid 2015.

 To help them decide how each city stacked up, they created a comprehensive comparison chart with all the things they felt were important to their lifestyle.  

Download John & Maria's Evaluation Form (cost of living)