Earlier this year, Brisbane was the setting for International Living Australia’s first-ever retire overseas event. Due to its huge success and high demand, International Living Australia have organised a second conference—this time in Bangkok, Thailand.
At this landmark overseas event, retirees and soon-to-be retirees will meet the International Living Australia team and their network of experienced in-country correspondents in person—people already living better for less overseas. They’ll share their on-the-ground insights about what it’s like to actually live in dream overseas spots the world over.
Attendees will be given the inside track on beachfront locations, idyllic island retreats, charming UNESCO World Heritage spots, thriving cosmopolitan cities, secluded mountain hideaways—all places where you can enjoy a high-end lifestyle on a surprisingly modest budget.
And the good news is, you don’t even have to go that far from Australia to turn what would be an average retirement at home into a life of leisure and luxury.
“I can live like a king here compared to Australia,” says Brisbane-native Joe Martin of his new hometown, the picture-perfect Balinese seaside town of Sanur. “The cost of living is marvellous, especially for someone like me who is here on a pension.”
These days, Joe lives the good life in a place that he loves, indulging his passion for cooking and relaxing in the private pool. He pays just $666 per month for his three-bedroom, 150-square-metre furnished villa.
Joe employs a housekeeper, a gardener and a man who takes care of the pool. “The staff cost a combined wage of just $150 per month,” he says.
Many Australians choose to make Southeast Asia their new part-time or full-time home because it’s easy pop back home without spending days upon end travelling.
At the conference in Bangkok, the ILA team will dive in way beyond a simple country “overview” and hand out ultra-specific recommendations for the communities ILA insiders like best for retirement all across Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America.
The idea of living in Old-World Europe is romantic but many retirees fear it’s financially out of reach. But in the right places, expats can find some truly surprising lifestyle bargains.
Take Perth native, Stewart Richmond, who moved to the South of France with his wife Lorraine and Dalmatian dog, Scooter, in 2015. Today he’s IL’s South of France Correspondent and one of the live overseas experts who’ll be sharing his insights at the Bangkok event.
“When people think of the South of France, amongst the first places that come to mind are destinations like Provence, Carcassonne, Nice and the Côte d’Azur,” says Stewart. “Indeed, they are all beautiful and you should put them on your bucket list to visit, but as tourist hotspots, they’re expensive and choked with people for much of the year.”
“However, there are outstanding towns in southern France that offer retirees an excellent quality of life—and are affordable, too. Life there, of course, comes with excellent food and wine and a wonderfully easy pace of living.
“Being an expat is living the dream. Lorraine and I decided to retire to France to immerse ourselves in French culture and have ready access to all Europe has to offer.
“France is a big and varied place. You can choose between verdant countryside, mountains, beaches, bustling cities or charming small towns. We took our time and had a good look around before deciding on the right spot for us.
“Life in France is more relaxed than Australia, most businesses close for a couple of hours at midday, which is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch.
“But, for us, being expatriates doesn’t mean being alone. Here in France and across Europe there are plenty of expat communities ready to welcome you with open arms.”