Top places to retire in Australia and overseas

As Australia's cost of living continues to rise, more and more retirees are seeking value for money—and not always in their own backyards

While some Aussies choose to stay in the family home in retirement, many are stretching their wings and enjoying life elsewhere in Australia, and overseas.

Retirement hotspots in Australia

Popular retirement destinations in Australia offer unique attractions1:

  • Esperance, WA―an unspoilt coastline, friendly community, relatively low-priced housing and local airport about seven hours south-east of Perth.
  • Hunter Valley, NSW―stunning golf courses, great food and wine, and better real estate deals within reach of Sydney’s big smoke.
  • Huon Valley, TAS―outstanding natural beauty, clean air, a cool climate and relatively low living costs.
  • Kadina, SA―community spirit, good health services, retirement and aged care living options about two hours north of Adelaide.
  • Mornington Peninsula, VIC―coastal villages, endless beaches, great food, vineyards and rolling hills dotted with orchards and market gardens.
  • Sunshine Coast, QLD―a relaxed community atmosphere, local airport, beautiful beaches and year-round sunshine.

The lures of a new culture

More and more Aussies are saying goodbye to a traditional retirement lifestyle in Australia altogether; packing up and heading overseas2. Living overseas is much easier for today’s retirees thanks to advances in communications technology, internet banking and cheaper airfares.

Some move to France and Italy for adventure and a change in culture. And many to south-east Asia where retirement savings stretch a lot further. Australia has been declared the world’s most expensive place to live3 so it’s no wonder that as Australia’s cost of living rises, many people want more value for money4.

Value for money

Many Aussies are retiring in south-east Asia where the sun shines, people are friendly and most importantly the cost of living can be up to 80 per cent less5.

In fact, during the global financial crisis, the number of government pensions paid to Australians living overseas increased by 30 per cent6. It’s easy to understand the attraction of a house in Bali with a pool, landscaped gardens and price tag of just $60,0007.

But Indonesia’s not the only hot spot that appeals to retired Australians. Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia are on the lists of many. Rent in Malaysia costs up to 80% less than in Sydney and you can enjoy eating out for about 30% of the cost compared with Sydney. Malaysia also offers an excellent health system and―along with Thailand― special extended visas for foreign retirees8.

But a move overseas can be challenging in many ways. From family and lifestyle challenges to issues relating to government pensions, super, tax, visas and healthcare, all of which need to be well considered in advance.

First things first

Wherever you choose to retire, be sure to get your finances in order first and plan ahead. Start by using our retirement simulator to find out how much you’ll need to fund the lifestyle you’re aiming for.

If you’re considering selling―or renting out―your home to fund your retirement, our home and retirement planner can help you work out how your home fits in with your plans.

Speak with a financial adviser or call us on 131 267 and we’ll put you in touch with someone who can help.

How much can you spend in retirement?

Calculate how much you will need to fund the lifestyle you want with our Retirement Simulator.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.