Cambodia named cheapest place to retire

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Cambodia Named Cheapest Place To RetireCambodia has been named the cheapest place to retire in 2019 by International Living, a magazine that focuses on the best places to live and invest globally. The country came once more first this year in the cost of living category in the publication’s Annual Global Retirement Index.

It is the fourth year in a row that Cambodia has topped the list in the cost of living category. It was followed by neighbours Vietnam and Thailand, who came in second and third, respectively, followed by the South American nations of Peru and Bolivia.

Cambodia is being described by International Living as a country “undergoing a renaissance thanks to a 15-year boom in economic growth and tourism.”

“Cambodia is a place where retirees can upgrade their lifestyle to one of luxury on a modest budget,” it added, noting that a single person can retire “comfortably” on about $1,250 a month, while a couple will spend about $2,000 in larger cities such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, but much less in second-tier places such as Battambang or Kampot.

In Vietnam, the cost of living depends on where one decides to go, the report noted. It is naturally higher in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the country’s two largest cities, where one can live comfortably for about $1,400 a month. However, it’s less expensive in places like Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Vung Tau. In those areas, a monthly budget of $1,000 or less can be enough for a single person to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle, according to International Living.

Thailand, in turn, shows its ambivalence for long stayers and retirees. While it has topped the charts for bargain living for decades, that doesn’t mean that this is going on forever. As the litany of complaints that surface daily on websites suggest, it has long lost its shine as a price paradise with prices for rents skyrocketing, especially in Bangkok and most resort destinations such as Koh Samui and Phuket.

Living in a central area in Bangkok costs as much or even more as living in most larger towns in Western Europe. A comfortable budget including rent easily exceeds $2,000 a month. Restaurant prices and costs for many consumer goods have also reached Western levels, at least in the capital. That said, prices for imported wine and liquor are substantially higher than in the West, owing to disproportionate taxes. The same applies to imported vehicles.

Thailand has also recently launched a campaign “bad guys out and good guys in” to describe its efforts to tighten immigration and visas rules. Unfortunately, some of the moves and changes in rules have the potential to deter thousands of “good guy” retirees, who might prefer to move on to Cambodia for that reason.

Thailand is also tightening rules on the minimal guarantee deposited in the bank and strictly linking financial resources to visa stays that can extend beyond the usual one year to up to five years.

However, irksome red tape, such as the 90-day reporting rule, sends mixed messages. It’s a tiresome regulation, a throwback to the pre-Internet era that should be scrapped. Ending it would send a clear signal that Thailand respects retiree travelers as the good guys.

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Cambodia has been named the cheapest place to retire in 2019 by International Living, a magazine that focuses on the best places to live and invest globally. The country came once more first this year in the cost of living category in the publication’s Annual Global Retirement Index. It is the fourth year in a row that Cambodia has topped the list in the cost of living category. It was followed by neighbours Vietnam and Thailand, who came in second and third, respectively, followed by the South American nations of Peru and Bolivia. Cambodia is being described by International Living...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cambodia Named Cheapest Place To RetireCambodia has been named the cheapest place to retire in 2019 by International Living, a magazine that focuses on the best places to live and invest globally. The country came once more first this year in the cost of living category in the publication’s Annual Global Retirement Index.

It is the fourth year in a row that Cambodia has topped the list in the cost of living category. It was followed by neighbours Vietnam and Thailand, who came in second and third, respectively, followed by the South American nations of Peru and Bolivia.

Cambodia is being described by International Living as a country “undergoing a renaissance thanks to a 15-year boom in economic growth and tourism.”

“Cambodia is a place where retirees can upgrade their lifestyle to one of luxury on a modest budget,” it added, noting that a single person can retire “comfortably” on about $1,250 a month, while a couple will spend about $2,000 in larger cities such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, but much less in second-tier places such as Battambang or Kampot.

In Vietnam, the cost of living depends on where one decides to go, the report noted. It is naturally higher in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the country’s two largest cities, where one can live comfortably for about $1,400 a month. However, it’s less expensive in places like Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Vung Tau. In those areas, a monthly budget of $1,000 or less can be enough for a single person to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle, according to International Living.

Thailand, in turn, shows its ambivalence for long stayers and retirees. While it has topped the charts for bargain living for decades, that doesn’t mean that this is going on forever. As the litany of complaints that surface daily on websites suggest, it has long lost its shine as a price paradise with prices for rents skyrocketing, especially in Bangkok and most resort destinations such as Koh Samui and Phuket.

Living in a central area in Bangkok costs as much or even more as living in most larger towns in Western Europe. A comfortable budget including rent easily exceeds $2,000 a month. Restaurant prices and costs for many consumer goods have also reached Western levels, at least in the capital. That said, prices for imported wine and liquor are substantially higher than in the West, owing to disproportionate taxes. The same applies to imported vehicles.

Thailand has also recently launched a campaign “bad guys out and good guys in” to describe its efforts to tighten immigration and visas rules. Unfortunately, some of the moves and changes in rules have the potential to deter thousands of “good guy” retirees, who might prefer to move on to Cambodia for that reason.

Thailand is also tightening rules on the minimal guarantee deposited in the bank and strictly linking financial resources to visa stays that can extend beyond the usual one year to up to five years.

However, irksome red tape, such as the 90-day reporting rule, sends mixed messages. It’s a tiresome regulation, a throwback to the pre-Internet era that should be scrapped. Ending it would send a clear signal that Thailand respects retiree travelers as the good guys.

Share your vote!


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