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2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Old Feb 4th 2018, 1:58 am
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Default 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

I'm opening a new thread as the old one was closed and out of date.
The Indonesian Government has a Retirement Visa policy for anyone over 55 years which includes a few other simple requirements.
Th application for this Visa is mandated to be done thru' a 'registered by the Ministry' agent. This, unfortunately, gives them carte blanche to charge whatever they wish above the Government fees.
That's why I recommend, if wishing to apply, to request quotations from numerous agents and request detailed info on what they will achieve.

The general route, after selecting an agent, is to provide them with all documents and where, offshore, you wish the telex to be sent to the RI Embassy/Consul. If in Indonesia most go to Singapore to have the visa done by a reciprocal agent there in one day.
This eventually, on return, provides a temporary stay Kitas for one year with a Multi Entry Re-entry Permit (MERP).
This can be repeated, within Indonesia, for up to 5 years.
However, after the 3rd Kitas a Permanent 5 year Kitap can be applied for. This process is similar to the Kitas process but does last for 5 years except the MERP needs to be renewed every 2 years (? I know...illogical)
After the 5 years expires an unlimited extension Kitap can be applied for but the MERP still needs to be renewed every 2 years and a report made every 5 years.
The official cost for this unlimited Kitap is Rp 10.2 M and a 2 year MERP is Rp 1.75M....However, I've heard of agents charging Rp 50 M for this unlimited visa.
I do not know anyone who has applied for the unlimited retirement visa and I'm too old to get any benefit from it.

Fire any questions and I'll attempt answers.
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Old Feb 4th 2018, 3:54 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Thanks Davita!
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Old Sep 9th 2018, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Visited our Aussie friends that have retired to Sanur from Melbourne. Every question i asked them was answered easily and any issue I thought there would be in retiring here is solvable. For instance, I was under the impression you needed a certain amount in the bank. You do, however not as much as I thought and anyone with superannuation from Australia will qualify just on their statements. I thought you had to employ people here as well.... again you do but your agent, which costs these people 900 bucks a year basically fills in forms and even if that maid or gardener comes for a couple of hours each week, that's enough.

The one thing that threw me and I've got to found out a bit more with this, is the local "Insurance" schemes run by the community, which is half protection half insurance, apparently, it all works for the good. Not expensive and a way of getting to meet your neighbour and getting things and issues fixed.

So all in all, if you can come for a holiday and meet people that have retired here, you'll get information that people daren't put on the net. One thing I will add, you definitely do need an agent, and hopefully, you can work out a way of getting a personal recommendation of an agent from people that have used to retire here already. That's a face to face recommendation IMO. It really is crucial.

Not sure I will end up retiring here, the mossies have woken me up, I'm sweating like a pig and the wife has got Bali belly, so I doubt we'll be going far in the morning. Still, I reckon I really know how to do it now.

Come here and do the groundwork first is the best advice.
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Old Sep 11th 2018, 12:35 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Sorry to hear about the Bali belly, Ozzie - don't even clean your teeth in tap water or get any in your mouth in the shower. I hadn't had it for nearly 20 years until last year, when we stayed at Sanur for the first time, and I was so bad I had to get a doctor out. Some friends who live there do drink the water, they say your system gets used to it, but I wouldn't - I have too many autoimmune issues. (They also prevent me eating at too many local stalls, though I would love to.)

The sweating and mosquitos you'd get used to - doesn't bother me after living in Singapore, though I'd prefer not to have Dengue again.

I'm still trying to convince my husband Bali is the place for us.
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Old Sep 11th 2018, 1:35 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
Sorry to hear about the Bali belly, Ozzie - don't even clean your teeth in tap water or get any in your mouth in the shower. I hadn't had it for nearly 20 years until last year, when we stayed at Sanur for the first time, and I was so bad I had to get a doctor out. Some friends who live there do drink the water, they say your system gets used to it, but I wouldn't - I have too many autoimmune issues. (They also prevent me eating at too many local stalls, though I would love to.)

The sweating and mosquitos you'd get used to - doesn't bother me after living in Singapore, though I'd prefer not to have Dengue again.

I'm still trying to convince my husband Bali is the place for us.
Thanks Kooky, I'm still going to check out other parts of Aus in my Camper first, you never known something unexpected might draw us. One thing about the Aus expats that have retired that we've met is how willingly they've mixed with the local community and having a real go at learning Indonesian. I quite admire people like that. Better to be amongst it all rather than in enclaves.

Good luck with your convincing quest


Dengue eh..... stuff that !!!
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Old Sep 18th 2018, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
Sorry to hear about the Bali belly, Ozzie - don't even clean your teeth in tap water or get any in your mouth in the shower. I hadn't had it for nearly 20 years until last year, when we stayed at Sanur for the first time, and I was so bad I had to get a doctor out. Some friends who live there do drink the water, they say your system gets used to it, but I wouldn't - I have too many autoimmune issues. (They also prevent me eating at too many local stalls, though I would love to.)

The sweating and mosquitos you'd get used to - doesn't bother me after living in Singapore, though I'd prefer not to have Dengue again.

I'm still trying to convince my husband Bali is the place for us.

What are you planning to do with your spare time in Bali Kooky? Which I would imagine would be most of the day. The reason I asked is I struggled to see myself filling my days there. Especially after talking to the retirees there. Apparently, you cannot work there at all, which is fair enough, but those non-work rules apparently go right through to volunteering for things in case you displace a local out of a job.

Thing is in retirement, I see myself doing things like helping people with tech stuff and even going into the Solar realm. Setting up garages to run independently of the grid at first and working my way up as i acquire knowledge in the field. I don't think I'd be allowed to do any of those things in Bali, for fear of being reported, according to the locals I saw. So how do you plan to fill your days?
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Old Sep 18th 2018, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Oh that won't be coming for some time, as my husband is ten years younger than I am and his corporate salary pays most of the bills. (I'm in the non-profit sector.) I would definitely find a way to do some voluntary work, much as I did when I was a trailing spouse in Singapore. Even if all that amounts to is cuddling kittens at Villa Kitty Bali - which sounds like the perfect job to be honest.

Your plans don't sound much like retirement to me!
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Old Sep 18th 2018, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
Oh that won't be coming for some time, as my husband is ten years younger than I am and his corporate salary pays most of the bills. (I'm in the non-profit sector.) I would definitely find a way to do some voluntary work, much as I did when I was a trailing spouse in Singapore. Even if all that amounts to is cuddling kittens at Villa Kitty Bali - which sounds like the perfect job to be honest.

Your plans don't sound much like retirement to me!
Ahhaa....It's the key to my youth Kooky Honestly, people think I'm at least 15 years younger than my appearance, I like to keep up with things, Including music etc. That kind of stuff and looking forwards to new things is why I plan to keep up with tech and solar.

I'm not going to go quite as far as popping an ekky and listening to some Digweed, but..... Well, I've got solid plans to stay in touch with the current world.

Good luck with the Kittens, and half your luck on your younger partner
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Old Jan 4th 2020, 12:19 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Where is Davita these days?

When we lived in Bandung I often read his posts and found his knowledge of all matters Indonesian (especially in Bali but equally so in Jakarta) to be spot-on.

I (and I'm sure many others) had great hopes for this thread when he opened it in - woa! - 2018, but nothing since.

Are you still with us, Davita?

I've lived in Indonesia, off and on, since 2013. My modus operanti has been to get the 60 day tourist visa from Singapore (expensive, but easy to get) and fly out and in again every couple of months. So far it has served me well. Flying back into Jakarta (and on occasion, Surabaya) I've yet to get the "do you have a business in Indonesia?" interrogation - the immi officers glance at the visa (which fills up an entire page in my passport) and quickly stamp me in. I now do this flight out of and back into Ngurarai in Bali, and have yet to be stopped and queried. Processing in Bali is now fast and efficient, not like the good old days when every flight to Bali had to factor in a 90-minute delay at the airport while the passport queues moved at a funeral-like pace...

We relocated to Sanur in September and have settled in quite well. Costs are a little higher than I had expected, but affordable if one doesn't hang out in tourist pubs or lunch and dine out at the Batujimbar every day. The local supermarket (Hardy's) sucks, but there are good alternatives in Denpasar, which we visit every few days. The locals are friendly and on the whole, more approachable and helpful than in Kuta-Legian-Seminyak. there are a few scams about (buying mobile credit from THAT kiosk in Hardy's is still risky, but I now do this online anyway) and some of the main street moneychangers try to short you whenever they think they'll get away with it, but that's life in Bali. We draw entirely from ATMs anyway, which is another story.

Day to day life is pleasant and the walk along the seashore promenade has yet to lose its charm. However - there is always a however - hunting for a longer term visa has been quite an adventure. Advice, service and costs vary from place to place. A young woman in one of the agencies (many seem to deal as moneychangers/moneylenders/tourist agents!) was totally unhelpful in the office but later called on us at home, offering to do the visa herself and not through the office, offered an absolute guarantee (sure!) but for cash upfront and no receipts. Needless to say she was sent off, pronto.

Several sets of expat acquaintances have left Bali in the half year we've lived in Sanur, citing problems with bureaucracy (= immigration), corruption, and high prices. Some to Malaysia, a few to Thailand. One to Cambodia. Another lot plan to relocate to Vietnam mid-'20.

So here is Davida? I recall a post (which may have been on another site) in which he wrote about health problems, and being off sailing somewhere in the West Indies. What a life.

It would be good to revive this thread in the new year, and maybe get some input from other Bali expats about how they are getting on in Bali.

For the record, I'm early 60s and retired, travel a bit and enjoy my hobbies. no business sidelines. Partner is from Malaysia (so an ASEAN passport), employed as a professional, travels regularly out of Bali to places such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia. Which means I'm on my own about half the time. Not having any expensive vices to speak of (other than an occasional Bintang beer of an evening at home), I cope okay with being on my own. Having four rescue cats and a very lovely small house not in but not too far from the tourist hurdy-gurdy, helps. aPlese share your thoughts and advice.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and advice. Would be interesting to set up an ongoing dialogue about how we cope with living here. I'm sure we have much to share!

And Davita, wherever you are or if you are still with us, please return...

Last edited by scrubbedexpat019; Jan 4th 2020 at 12:21 am.
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Old Jan 4th 2020, 2:13 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Great to see this thread resurrected JDW.

Sanur is one of our favourite places in Asia! We have MM2H in Malaysia but down think we will ever settle down there. We use it as a base (PO Box, bank accounts).

We've been on the road for nearly 5 years now (sold everything in Europe and don't intend to return). Currently travelling around Australia but doing regular visa runs to Bali (next one in a couple of weeks) and we always stay in Sanur. At the moment it's top of our list for eventually settling down. After Australia we're heading off to Central America to check out Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador (have even downloaded the Spanish courses :-)) Will be interesting to see whether anywhere tops Bali for us.

We love Vietnam and I could certainly imagine living in Hoi An, but I believe that they don't really have any kind of retirement visa. We're both still just 60 but I can't imagine doing visa runs into my 70s and 80s (should we be lucky enough to still be around then).

Enjoy life in wonderful Sanur and hopefully Davita will respond soon.
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Old Jan 4th 2020, 2:37 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Originally Posted by JDW View Post

And Davita, wherever you are or if you are still with us, please return...
If you click on Davita's user name on his first post, you'll get a drop down menu that allows you to see recent posts. His last post was in September 2018 and he appears to be living in Malaysia.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 2:04 am
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Default Re: 2nd Retirement in Indonesia thread.

Originally Posted by Fenella View Post
We've been on the road for nearly 5 years now (sold everything in Europe and don't intend to return). Currently travelling around Australia but doing regular visa runs to Bali (next one in a couple of weeks) and we always stay in Sanur. At the moment it's top of our list for eventually settling down. After Australia we're heading off to Central America to check out Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador (have even downloaded the Spanish courses :-)) Will be interesting to see whether anywhere tops Bali for us.

We love Vietnam and I could certainly imagine living in Hoi An, but I believe that they don't really have any kind of retirement visa. We're both still just 60 but I can't imagine doing visa runs into my 70s and 80s (should we be lucky enough to still be around then).
My thanks to you for helping to keep this thread alive and moving. It has potential - we can share much useful information or just post about our daily doings. As others have written, finding things to do in Bali can be rather a demanding task at times. One can't always be a template tourist. I do a lot of photography so post-processing my many thousands of digital images on my MacBook Pro eats up a couple of hours every few days, any more and I would go blind!! I've also resurrected some old writing projects and am working in my usual fits-and-starts way on FINALLY the penultimate if not last edit of a spy thriller novel set in Bangkok I started in 1977...

Living the expat life in Sanur is pleasant if one can spot (and avoid) the fatal money pit traps, it would be so easy to fall into the social custom of strolling down to the nearest pub for a few Bintangs and chats with the friendly kupu-kupu malam ladies who all hang out there, or long lunches at Batujimbar or any of scores of other good cafes, would soon have me bankrupt if not begging on the main street. We eat at home, mostly vegetarian and fresh seafood with lots of tofu and tempeh, I limit my boozing to social outings. We employ a reliable cleaning and tidying up lady who shops weekly for us at the pasar (market) in Denpasar. I do the gardening and many of the house chores. Transport to anywhere is by negotiation before the trip with a neighbor's son who drives for a travel agency and gives us fair prices (I reckon halfway between local and budget tourist), a recent day trip to Bedugul took six hours and cost Rp480.000 and a reasonable tip. Previously a Bali freelance driver I used for several years charged Rp850,000. So yes, I can bargain, and I take the time and make the effort to find out the local prices and offer to pay it and a little bit more - it's known as the buleh surcharge.

I lived in Australia for several decades and did the coast to coast road trip many years ago (when it was affordable), also the Nullarbor train trip when the Indian Pacific didn't cost half a home remortgage. Distances are vast and costs are high, but so much to see. Since I retired (2012) we've lived in Malaysia (Ipoh and Penang) and I enjoyed it but due to a few unexpeced events we found ourselves in Indonesia (four years in Bandung, a year in Surabaya, now Sanur in Bali) which we find more economically feasible as well as culturally stimulating. For now, anyway.

Bali is nowhere as cheap as elsewhere (excepting Jakarta) but costs can be kept reasonable. We rent a house on a year's contract from the Indo wife of an expat (they now live in the USA) until mid-2020. It's a bit cramped and the garden means work for me (which I enjoy) but the rent is fair. She has the rep of increasing rent by 200% or more after the first year, so beyond June 2020, who knows? I have two offers, an apartment in Surabaya (not a great city, but with some advantages, few tourists, fast and easy travel to Bali and other cities in Java, a little cultural life, fantastic shopping, low living costs) and another city in Java which I won't name just yet. Watch this space for future updates as time passes.

The visa run to Singapore every two months suits me. Flying in and out of Bali is easy and fast (two hours and a bit to Singapore or KL), a break to explore the pleasant and inexpensive cities in Malaysia (definitely not KL, Melaka is pleasant, Ipoh is the current favorite and my partner's birthplace, so we have a family base there), a planned outing or two - I just did two days/one night in Pangkor Island in Perak State, enjoyable but definitely first time/last time, traveling there and back from Ipoh took many hours and it's nothing like Bali, very ordinary beaches and third-rate resorts and hotels, so more a weekend haven for Malaysian men to do their boozing and whoring in private. Not every beach island in Asia is like Bali.

Partner has an ASEAN passport so staying in Bali isn't an issue. I've found flying to Singapore for one night/two days every two months, for a 60 day tourist visa which is available easily if not cheaply from an established agency there, to be the easiest way for me. Two hours by air to Singapore or KL is easy and even I can live with that. I believe VIetnam charges US$35 (please correct me if I'm wrong) for a 30 day visa which would mean too many outbound/inbound flights for my liking - says he, who happily hops on and off Air Asia flights every couple of months!! But it's different...

Returning to Bali and going through immigration and customs is nowadays quick and easy. I've not yet (touch wood) had problems. Nor in Jakarta where the officials at Soekarno-Hatta Airport stamp you in and literally fling your passport back at you. In Surabaya the immi officers can be iffy - one uniformed baby doll who looked all of 15 asked dozens of questions and kept insisting I was running a business (pure fiction on her part) until I politely suggested we resolve the matter with her supervisor. Five seconds later I had my entry visa and left with a friendly wave and a sly smile and no cash handout which may well have been what she was after, but I won't play that game...

So yes, Indonesia isn't without its ups and downs. Life in Bali is fun and so far I'e not yet run aground on the shoals of bureaucracy. If ever I do, we will be relocating pronto, lock, stock, barrels and rescue cats, to a more user-friendly location, like (sadly) a few expats I've got to know have done in the past year.

If others have any input to share re long-term visas, I'm keen for any advice I can get. Local agencies are too money-grabby for my liking and while I'm told the cultural or retirement visas are more easily available elsewhere than in Bali, having to deal with the hard-nosed ex-immigration officers who've set up as agents and their cough-up-the-hard-cash mentality and wildly fluctuating prices and costs, annoys and irritates me.

Yes, okay, enough for this time, this rambling rose of a post has covered a lot of ground!!
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