Sick of being ripped off in Australia? Here are FIVE STEPS you need to move to Southeast Asia - and cut your living costs by 80 per cent
PUBLISHED: 07:12 GMT, 27 August 2014 | UPDATED: 04:06 GMT, 28 August 2014
The kids have grown up. The career has ended or it’s just too intolerable to put up with any more. The family home is way too big. And you are still only a pup at 60. So just what are you going to do?
Well, many Australians are moving to Penang, to Ubud, to Chiang Mai or other parts of Southeast Asia for a vastly cheaper but better quality of life. But you need to get organised and prepare yourself as well as you can before you jump on the plane.
A new book called Sell Up, Pack Up and Take Off and an associated website looks at retiring on a shoestring in Southeast Asia.
So why take the plunge? For starters, the cost of living in these areas is anywhere from 50-80 per cent lower. Better still, you can take your Australian pension or continue to receive superannuation when living overseas.
The book is written by Stephen Wyatt and Colleen Ryan, a married couple - both former financial journalists - who are seasoned in the art of the expat.
Ms Ryan told Daily Mail Australia the couple came up with the idea when they were working as correspondents for the Financial Review in Shanghai between 2004 and 2010.'
'We went to Southeast Asia regularly, and we met a wealth of expat Aussies over there who were really living it up. The expat lifestyle gets a bad-wrap, but at the end of the day it can be incredibly social and fulfilling.'
'We quickly realised that nobody had made a guide for Australians looking to move to Southeast Asia. There's a lot of financial planning involved in this sort of move, and Stephen and I both have a history in finance. We decided we were the right people for the job.'
'There are other destinations with similar living costs to Southeast Asia, however we chose this area as the focus because it's where Australian baby-boomers seem to be most comfortable.
'Southeast Asia is the same time zone as Australia, which allows you to stay in touch with everyone back home, and there are lots of budget airlines which make it easy zip back and forth when needed.'
Before simply packing up and taking off though, you need to do your homework and cover some basic issues.
So the couple have shared with Daily Mail Australia their five tips for Australians looking for a cheaper and better life.
Funds - Get your finances in order before you leave. Make sure that your superannuation pension stays tax free while you are overseas. If you have a self-managed super find, it will need to be restructured to ensure it remains a complying fund. If you are relying on the age pension for income, you will need to be eligible for, and already receiving, that pension before you relocate.
Visas - Organise your long-stay visas from Australia. There are retirement visas available in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. You will need long stay visas for Europe unless you have an EU passport.
Security - Take out an international health insurance policy. It is worth the expense. There is a very competitive global market for health insurance products. Use sites like medibroker to compare products.
Rent - Renting before you buy in your new country is a great idea. You may find that it may be best not to buy at all – property rules for foreigners can often be complex and, in Southeast Asia at least, rents are very cheap.
Technology - Make sure that you get on top of technology. Get set on Skype, Viber and Facebook as they are fantastic free communication tools to stay in touch with friends and family back home in Australia.
Sell up, Pack up & Take Off, published by Allen & Unwin, is available from August 27