Living the good life overseas on a pension or low retirement income

There are many countries where Australian, European and American pensioners now live to make their retirement income go a lot further than if living in their home countries

Many Australians now live a the high life in Bali, Thailand, Philliphines or Malaysia.

Europeans have moved in droves to cheaper housing & cost of living in Ireland, Portugal and Spain

Many American pensioners have moved to Belize, Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador

Have you considered moving. I have. Wouldnt it be nice to spend winter in a tropical paradise and return here in summer

Here's a link to a site (albeit a commercial one) that provides more info


 As I am an avid gardener I like living where I am.

My plants would miss me.

i enjoy travelling amnd immersing myself in new cultures and enviroments. love asian, spanish, italian, portugese food.

if I had the money, i'd be travelling all year round. Sell the house with the yard and buy a low maintenance townhouse or apartment which we could lock up when we go away.

and yes - no dogs too - coz they would just cramp our nomadic lifestyle :)

Traveling as a tourist is pretty exhausting a night or two here or there, living in a country, working there too is much more satisfying and you really get to know the people and culture. My favourite meal was a home cooked Spanish Paella tho now I think about it real Chinese or creole cooking is pretty good too!

need to get off here or I will never achieve selling this house and getting somewhere smaller without stairs! but with a small back garden for my dog essential.

Well, no need to zip through cities and countries once you're retired, so take the time to stay in a place long enough and live like a local.

1-2 months in any one city would be the ideal

one cant stay in most countries now longer than the becoming standard 30 days tourist visa.

that makes staying anywhere for a cupla monts or more very difficult.

if anyone knows of where one can stay for longer than 30 pls let me know.

My missus and I are considering timeshare - anyone done that albeit within the 30 days ?

H2O man, when we travel to Europe, everytime we arrive, we got a 6month visa as I recall. Haven't been there for a year and a bit. Will confirm later.

Have you tried living underwater Mousey,without the asswalung of course,

just take a deep breath and voila,no more Mousey...hehe

you will miss me when I'm gone, admit it

I would check Centrelinks rules before embarking on any lengthy overseas jaunt. I understand from friends who often go to Thailand for months at a time that Centrelink have new and harsher rules on pension payments.

Isn't it something like only 6 weeks at a time before the pension is stopped if overseas?

Obviously doesn't apply to self funded retirees but if they return after a long stint overseas expecting to receive a supplement or full pension they might also find they haven't met residency requirements.

As kfchugo says worth checking with Centrelink

I believe if you are granted  an age pension and go abroad within two years,you lose it.

funnily enough debbie answered a query on this not too long ago

the govt doen't want to increase pensioners benefits  but are not happy for them to live a better life overseas. go figure

Got nothing to do with being O/S its about them enjoying a holiday while these overpaid pasty faced pollies are stuck in minus freezing weather in Canberra,they dont want you sitting on a beach drinking Pina Colada,they are jealous!

Glad you posted that Jaguar, I had not seen it before, it answers a lot of questions.

viv - govt can do what they like -  its not going to stop me from spending 3 months in spain

love my paella, but love the tapas and wine even more.

how do you get away with 3 months Jags ?

See above. Oz and kiwi passport holders get 6mths I believe. Let me check and confirm later

India and Mexico are 6 months visas - there are a few 3 months

Mexico and Cuba sounds exciting Waterman. Love Mexican and Spanish food. We lived on Spanish street food the whole 3 weeks we were there a couple of years ago.

Here's the visa details for Europe

From Smarttraveller

Australians seeking to enter countries that are parties to the Schengen Convention are advised that only the country you plan to visit can provide up-to-date and accurate information about its specific visa requirements. Travellers should contact the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of the countries they plan to visit well in advance of travel.

Generally, Australian tourists planning to spend less than a total of 90 days within a 180 day period in the 'Schengen area' do not require visas for countries which are parties to the Schengen Convention.
The following countries are parties to the Schengen Convention: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

I find it very hard to understand why, when the Government informs us that the medical bill for pensioners is bankrupting the Country, they are so against the pensioners living in places like Thailand,  the Philippines & China & paying there own medical expenses.

They dont want us to find out how much they have been overcharging us for medical here in Australia,what we dont know wont hurt us!

When you get a pension the Gov'mint dont like that so they try to take it back in all kinds of taxes and levies,they cant get their hands on it in Asia.

Funny that  I myelf wouldnt go to any other country to live in as a retiree these days.

Australia is a great place to travel around too as a retiree and you have no problems taking the dogs along either as most do.

I love cats too but cant travel with them easily.

Anyone who does not like dogs I dont trust much as found the dogs are good judges of character.


I suppose only the healty ones go and live abroad and the sick ones stay at home.

Spot on Abby,spot on!

Yesterday I returned from Bali, where I had a good long  look round for the possibilty of living there in my retirement.   I am 67.

I learned Bhasa Indonesia beforehand so I could talk to the locals  Which I did 24/7

I ate local food etc. etc. Lodged in  downtown Denpasar where the tourists do not go. Just so I could dig out a little truth about what is going on there.

I learned lots.   More than you may imagine.


I am happy to share my findings.  Just ask.









Phil :)

Do you see yourself in Bali for your retirement ?


wonderful phil

i actually saw a tv program recently where they interviewed a couple of pensioners living a very comfy retirement in bali.

however, i also know friends who did the same in Malaysia. after 4 years, they have decided to pack up and come home. reasons given were, it was great for a the first 3 years, but now they miss home, and are sick of the 35 degree heat all year round.

i still say good on them for chasing a dream, enjoying it while it lasted,and are now about to take on a new adventure, which is to by a 4wd +caravan and do the grey nomad thing around Oz

Phil - Makan Babi Guling ? Sedap !!!

Jauar , Ya,  saya makan babi guling.

Found it in a wayang jam packed with locals  Way out of tourist area of Denpasang.

It took me a lot of courage to venture inside, but turned out to be the third  best meal I have eaten anywhere....




Jaguar,   I have seen and spoken to the sort of people that have retired to live in Bali.

I have put a truck load of effort into this area.


Half an hour in their company is all I can spend without feeling ill at ease.



let me guess - pretty shallow lifestyle ? apologies if im being presumptious

Jaguar,  you are spot on..  They lead a very shallow self indulgent lifestyle.



Jaguar, please excuse me for being presumptious.   I guess that you are into retiring overseas.   Ya?     Me myself, I have lived on the same street for 25 years, and I want to live somewhere else in my latter years.

Italy  has the second highest level of healthcare in the world, and it has a reciprocal arrangement with Australia.  

What happens in Italy?    ...........You walk out of your hotel to check out the scene.

And come across a free concert like this..........Which I did,    I was there!!!





How amazing!!!!

we experienced a similar concert one day in Salzburg.

yes my wife and I would like to spend more time in Southern Europe - italy, portugal, spain.

these countries are so much more affordable than other parts of Western Europe.

I've heard that the medical care in Bali leaves much to be desired.

Never been in Bali myself but lI also heard that water leaves much to be desired

This was from Nov 2012. I understand that legislation has now been approved. (GBP 130,000 = AUD 220,000)

Spain offers residency to anyone buying a home worth more than £130,000 in bid to save its housing market

Read more: 

Also in what may be a related move, recently the Spanish government announced that the estimated thousands of descendants of Jewish people who were exiled by Spain during the 15th Century Inquisition can now claim Spanish citizenship in an expedited process.


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