Ranking every Asian country for early retirement, travel, or international relocation
After years of toiling, saving, and making numerous sacrifices to achieve your dream of retiring early, you deserve a peaceful and adventurous time.
Asia is the ideal location for early retirement. This beautiful continent provides the perfect combination of new experiences, affordability, and diverse cultures.
With 48 countries, the only dilemma is in choosing the country that will be your new home. That’s why we are here--to make your decision-making easier. We will provide you with the best retirement destinations in Asia. And guide you through an effortless transition.
What Makes Asia a Go-To Destination For Those Who Want to Retire Early and Travel?
Here are a few reasons you should consider retiring in Asia:
Retirement isn’t just a resting phase of life. Rather than retiring at the traditional age of 65+, retiring early (at 40 or 30 or even 20 years old) leaves you with a ton of energy to have some exotic experiences and unexpected adventures, and you sure deserve it.
Asia has the best destinations to give you the excitement you seek. You will get to learn about different cultures, taste some finger-licking-good dishes, visit the most beautiful natural sceneries, and open your mind to a different way of life.
Low Cost of Living
There are often quite a few expenses that come with moving to a new country. You will want to settle in without spending all your savings.
Asian countries are affordable. Food, housing, health services, and other goods are low-priced compared to other countries. This affordability stretches to the adventure you are about to experience.
Just because you have enough funds and passive income to live through a few decades comfortably does not mean you should stop growing your portfolio.
Asia’s economy is growing. It is an emerging market worth exploring. You don’t have to open a business or start a company to take advantage of Asia’s booming economy. You can invest in Exchange Traded Funds, shares in reputable companies, create a high-yield savings account, or try a Real Estate Investment Trust.
Asia is the home for numerous natural scenic wonders ranging from white-sand beaches to breathtaking landscapes.
Due to its unique natural attractions, tourism on the continent is growing fast. It is a significant source of income for the residents, making them friendly to visitors. They are sure to make your transition smooth and manageable.
Expect to face some culture shock, but the new experiences make retiring in Asia worthwhile.
What are the Best Asian Countries for Early Retirees?
The diversity across the Asian continent makes it unique. Each country comes with distinctive traits that make it an ideal location.
First, let’s have a look at the top five countries you should consider as your retirement destination:
Malaysia is conveniently located, which means you can easily explore most of Southeast Asia from one central location. Its beaches, rainforests, and island make Malaysia a perfect destination to relax and explore. Most people speak English, so language will not be much of a barrier. Plus, the cost of living is also low, including healthcare.
The rich and ancient culture of Thailand, coupled with the warm locals, will make you less homesick. The country offers warm-water coastlines and a tropical climate that you are sure to love. It is always a good day to swim in Thailand. The low cost of rent, utility bills, health care, and food adds to Thailand’s attractiveness.
From breathtaking vegetation, forested highlands, river deltas and relaxing beaches, to healthy cuisines and low cost of living, Vietnam is an excellent place to relax in your retirement. The climate, especially in the city of Da Lat, is spring all year. And if you are a coffee lover, you will love that Vietnam is one of the top coffee-producing countries in the world.
Cambodia is among the best places to retire. Its sizeable international connection will make your transition easier. The country has it all! From beautiful natural scenery, to perfectly warm climate, ancient temples, and royal palaces. Not to mention the pocket-friendly cost of living.
5: Sri Lanka
When it comes to beautiful Asian countries, Sri Lanka may not be the first place that comes to mind, but those who visit are often surprised by its picturesque scenery. Plus, it has a perfect tropical climate which means you don’t have to worry about winter. You don’t have to worry about winter. It has a variety of cultures that make life in the country exciting. You can live close to the beach and wake up to the beautiful scenery every day.
Besides the affordability and adventure each country offers, you need to pay attention to the ease in obtaining a residency or citizenship, and the rights that come with it.
Scroll below to see where the remaining 43 countries rank on the quality of life they offer early retirees, but first, read these tips for making the transition...
How to Make the Transition to Full-Time Retirement in Asia as Smooth as Possible?
If you think being on a plane is filled with hassles, try moving permanently to a new country. There are a lot of adjustments you need to make, but there are ways you can make this transition easier.
Rent a house, before buying
You are probably used to living in your own place and would love to do the same in the new country. Hold your horses. Rent for the first year. Get to know the neighborhood first, no matter how perfect it appears. Consider other houses in other areas, and make comparisons based on security, infrastructure, and affordability.
As much as you are keen on settling in fast, you don’t want to be stuck in a bad neighborhood. Avoid renting or buying a house online before arrival. Fly to your destination first, find an Airbnb or hotel, and physically visit the apartments before committing.
Connect with others who have emigrated from your home country
You are about to experience some language barriers and cultural shock. Having people you can talk to before traveling and after arrival can make the transition smooth. Unless you have some friends or relatives in Asia, use online forums to find people who have been in a similar position.
InterNations, for instance, is an expat forum that connects expats from all over the world. You can find people from the city you intend to move to, ask questions, and get some tips to settling in with minimal hitches.
As is with any other place, people will always charge tourists higher prices for goods and services. Let your landlord know that you are there to stay, and see if they can reduce the rent. Try to bargain when purchasing household items as well.
But you need to negotiate respectfully. Ask for reasonable discounts. You wouldn’t want to have a bad rapport with the local vendors.
Adjust to new food slowly
Food is one of the areas where you may need to make some major adjustments. Although familiar dishes from your home country might be available, they will be expensive. You will need to adjust to the local food.
Start the transition slowly. Eat one new thing every day. It will make it easier to take note of any allergies you may have. You may experience some discomfort as your body adjusts to the new cuisines, especially the flavors. Be patient. You will soon learn to love it.
Research your country of choice
Most people underestimate the need to familiarize with the country they are moving to by reading about it. You can learn about the locals’ way of life, customs, and food. Learn the country's history. The more you know about the country, the easier your transition will be.
There are numerous resources you can use. Read books and watch documentaries that address issues about the country. Keep up with the current news. Read travel blogs which can provide valuable tips about adjusting to your new country If you do all of these things, the cultural shock should be less overwhelming.
Take a language class
You are going to be moving to this country permanently. Learning their language will be inevitable. You do not have to be fluent by the time your plane lands. But having some basic skills will be majorly useful. For instance, you should know when someone is greeting you, know how to ask for a cab or for directions.
An online class can give you some foundational aspects of the language. With time, you can learn more as you interact with the locals in your day-to-day life.
- Make an effort to socialize with the locals and make a few friends.
- Study the laws and expected code of conduct of your new country to avoid getting in trouble.
- Volunteer in community activities. Offering your services is a great way to connect with people.
- Create your home into a familiar space by hanging photos of loved ones. Use decorations from your home country, and have treats such as pastries in stock. Familiar items and foods will provide you with comfort as you adjust to your new life.
- When you are homesick, acknowledge it. But do not let it hold you back from having a good time.
Asia is the perfect place for early retirement or retiring before you turn 40. In Asia, life is affordable, adventurous, and locals make the transition easier. It also provides excellent investment opportunities.
Do your homework before travelling so that you are familiar with the country’s culture and language. Try to network with expats from your home country beforehand. Be open to change, allow yourself time to adjust, and you are sure to love your new life.
Best Asian Countries for Retiring Before 40 (Full List):
- Sri Lanka
- The Philippines
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- North Korea*
*Editor’s note: We don’t recommend living in North Korea, but it turns out you can visit... if you’d like.