After all the hard work you have put in to build your life, you deserve to enjoy your retirement in an incredible place. However, finding the right retirement destination can sometimes be quite a challenge.
Let me suggest Cambodia, which is an incredible Southeast Asian country with stunning landscapes, magnificent temples, hospitable people, and a low cost of living. From the country’s unique ecosystem to its rich culture, there are many incredible reasons why someone would want to retire in Cambodia.
So, we’re here to help you with your decision; after reading this detailed post, you will know everything you need to decide whether Cambodia is the retirement destination for you.
So, read on to learn more and possibly to reach an answer to a question: Is Cambodia the cheapest place to retire in 2021?
- 1 Pros and Cons of Retirement in Cambodia
- 2 How much do I need per month to retire in Cambodia?
- 3 Best place to retire in Cambodia
- 4 Eldercare for retirees in Cambodia
- 5 What are the requirements to retire in Cambodia?
- 6 How easy is it to retire in Cambodia?
- 7 Final Thoughts
Pros and Cons of Retirement in Cambodia
Like any other destination in the world, there are both pros and cons to retiring in Cambodia. When thinking about retirement, most people want a destination that provides a high standard of living without breaking the bank; therefore, here are some of the main focus areas where the pros and cons need to be considered.
One of the best things about Cambodia is that the cost of living is quite affordable. From groceries and rent to bars and restaurants, Cambodia is a destination that provides excellent value for money.
This means that you don’t need to have a massive income to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle in Cambodia. As seen in the comparison table earlier, living cost for a couple in Cambodia, say Phnom Penh is as little as $1,300 per month. You could even live off less than that when you focus on your spending carefully.
When it comes to accommodation, you can easily find apartments in some of the biggest cities of Cambodia, like the capital, Phnom Penh, for less than $350 a month, and utilities and bills are also easy on the pocket, totaling to about $100 at max.
So, you can count on a luxurious lifestyle in Cambodia without breaking the retirement fund.
There are loads of exciting things to keep you busy in Cambodia. If you live in the main cities, you can enjoy some amazing bars, hotels, restaurants, and even pool parties. You can join a country club, to take part in leisurely activities like golf.
Cambodia also has some of the most breathtaking sceneries that you can experience if you are a bit more outdoorsy; you should visit the Preah Monivong Bokor National Park, Cardamom Mountains, Bousra Waterfall, and the incredible Phnom Kulen National Park.
There are also several deserted beaches in Cambodia, where you can kick back and relax, along with several museums and historical temples for you to visit and be fascinated by. So, one thing is certain, Cambodia is a place where you aren’t going to get bored. There is no shortage of fun things to do in Cambodia, and it can be the perfect backdrop for you to enjoy a lively and active retirement.
If you are worried about immigration, and all the paperwork involved in moving to Cambodia for your retirement, you don’t need to be; Cambodia allows people to get dedicated retirement visas, which are very easy to process.
You have to be over 55 years to apply for a retirement visa and have valid passports. People from most developed countries can apply for a one-month retirement visa on arrival, which can also be extended up to 12 months with multiple entries through a travel agent, only at the cost between $275 and $290.
Though retirement does mean that you don’t want to work anymore, it is not the case in all situations. Many expats who are retiring in Cambodia would want to start a small business to keep the cash flow going; however, with a retirement visa, you aren’t allowed to work.
You should consider applying for a business visa, which can also be easy enough to get, especially if you are from a developed country.
To enjoy your golden years to the fullest after retirement, good health is essential; therefore, the healthcare system of the country you are retiring to is a significant concern. Therefore, we recommend that you get health insurance in Cambodia, which is actually quite affordable when compared to other countries.
You can get health insurance from private companies even if you only plan on living a few months in Cambodia. Here is the list of private insurance companies in Cambodia you could get a quote from (non-exhaustive list):
Though the government health system in Cambodia might not be on par with that of more developed nations, there are several private facilities that are developed. However, they can be a little expensive.
Still, they are more affordable than other countries.
The major cities of Cambodia have several pharmacies, where you can easily get any medications that you are prescribed at home. Additionally, there are many health specialists in the major cities; still, many foreigners living in Cambodia (and many of the local) chose to travel to nearby countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, or China for serious surgeries and other treatments.
How much do I need per month to retire in Cambodia?
Cambodia is actually one of the most affordable places in Southeast Asia, which is why it is an ideal destination to retire to. Many people have chosen Cambodia as their retirement destination precisely because of its sheer affordability.
So, if you are going to live on a pension or a retirement fund, you are probably wondering how much it costs per month.
One of the biggest chunks of your monthly budget is going to go to your accommodation; however, even in the popular cities of Cambodia, Like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, you can easily find a one-bedroom apartment for as little as $250, even in pleasant locations.
Next up, you have to spend on utilities, like your electricity bill, which will depend on your usage. However, according to many expats, you have to spend about $100 per month for electricity, garbage disposal, water, and cable bills.
As far as your cell phone and mobile internet bill are concerned, that is quite cheap here, with about $10 being enough for a month. Furthermore, you can make international calls from Cambodia for less than 5 cents a minute.
Most people who are retiring to Cambodia, and are in their golden years, don’t really want to spend their time on housekeeping, and quite frankly, neither do they have the energy for it. Therefore, if you are also considering hiring some help, it is quite affordable in Cambodia. You can hire a maid to clean up and wash your clothes for as little as $50 per month. This will allows you to spend your time relaxing and enjoying your post-retirement life, rather than worrying about chores.
As far as groceries are concerned, you won’t have to spend too much either. There are several supermarkets in the major cities of Cambodia, where you can get fresh local produce and find international name brands as well. Meals will cost you just a few dollars at most, and the street food in Cambodia is even cheaper; however, I wouldn’t suggest living off it since too much can sometimes upset your stomach.
Your monthly expenditure in Cambodia may vary largely depending upon the region you retire to, and the kind of lifestyle you choose
So, where we can give you a fixed answer for how much it will cost per month to live in Cambodia, many expats say that their monthly budget can range from as low as $1000 per month to $2500 per month. Many people who have retired to Cambodia or live there say that they can live comfortably for an average of $1500 per month.
Best place to retire in Cambodia
Many western people choose Cambodia as their retirement destination because of its incredible laid-back atmosphere and affordable living costs. However, there are many places where you can retire to Cambodia.
The best place for you may vary depending on several factors, like the kind of atmosphere you enjoy and your healthcare requirements. However, here are some of the most popular places in Cambodia that you should consider as your retirement destination.
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is by far the most popular and best place in Cambodia to choose as your retirement destination. This incredible city has everything you might need to enjoy your retirement, from good food and entertainment to the necessary public and healthcare services.
Finding an affordable apartment in Phnom Penh is easy enough, and despite being a developing and growing city, it is still close to several spots where you can relax and let loose.
There are several historical sights in the Capital city, like The Royal Palace, in Chey Chumneas. It is an intricately designed complex of historic buildings that also serves as the residence for the King of Cambodia.
You should also visit Wat Phnom, which is a historic hilltop Buddhist complex. If you are looking for a more lively spot, you should make your way to the Russian Market, which will probably be a regular spot for you if you choose Phnom Penh as your retirement destination. It has several food stalls and small markets that you can do your regular shopping from.
All in All, Phnom Penh is probably the best destination you can retire to in Cambodia, and it should be on the top of your list.
If a rapidly modernizing city like Phnom Penh is not your cup of tea, Siem Reap is an excellent voice for your retirement destination. This popular resort town in the northwestern region of Cambodia is the gateway to the ruins of Angkor.
It has preserved its traditional and natural charm while having most of the urban comforts that you may need to make your post-retirement life more comfortable. Though Siem Reap dissent has the business infrastructure that Ponhm Penh has, it is loaded with tourists from all over the world, and you will certainly meet loads of incredible people here.
There are several outdoorsy and historical spots to spend your time at near Siem Reap. Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm Temple are some of the most popular destinations that you should visit.
Eldercare for retirees in Cambodia
In old age, health care is one of the main concerns for many people, and it can put a pin in many people’s retirement plans.
As far as normal healthcare is concerned, there is the public sector and the private sector. Public healthcare is very affordable, and it is also easy to find medications; however, it isn’t the best, especially when compared to other western countries and countries in the region.
There are some respectable private hospitals in major cities like Phnom Penh that have great doctors who are also fluent in English. However, if you ever need to get a more challenging treatment, you should consider going to some of the neighboring countries, like China, Vietnam, or Singapore. Singapore is an excellent option because the level of healthcare there is much better while still being affordable.
Another concern that many elderly people have is that they constantly need help. For such cases, you can easily find a nice elderly care home in major cities like Phnom Penh. You can choose to live in a retirement home, which is considerably affordable, or you can also hire a personal nurse or maid to help you at your house or apartment.
In conclusion, Eldercare for retirees does leave more to be desired, but it is still good enough that it’s not a dealbreaker. If you don’t have a very serious medical condition that requires constant care, you should be too worried about moving to Cambodia for your retirement.
What are the requirements to retire in Cambodia?
The entire visa application process for Cambodia is quite straightforward. There is even a special retirement visa that you can apply for. All you have to do is opt for the E-class visa rather than a tourist visa when you arrive in Cambodia. This will allow you to apply for a retirement visa later on.
However, there are some requirements you need to meet to get a retirement visa to Cambodia.
- You need to 55 years or older in age
- You cannot seek employment or start a business in Cambodia
- You need to prove that you are retired with your pension papers, social security documents, or retirement fund.
Initially, you can apply for a retirement visa of one month; however, it can be extended to a year, with multiple entries and exits, so you can easily visit home and come back to Cambodia without having to apply for a new visa.
A full-year extension may cost around $290, so head to a travel agency near you, which can help you with all the paperwork involved in retiring to Cambodia.
How easy is it to retire in Cambodia?
Whether you have a retirement fund, or a regular pension, retiring in Cambodia is very easy and extremely enjoyable as well. Though Khmer is the spoken and official language of Cambodia, you will be pleasantly surprised by how many people actually understand English.
Many travelers say that the English level in Cambodia is much better than the neighboring countries like Thailand, where English speakers are only limited to the tourism industry. Therefore, you don’t need to worry much about the language barrier; however, learning some important phrases in the local language can be helpful.
Furthermore, the people in Cambodia are very welcoming and hospitable. They will make you feel at home and make your retirement experience much more enjoyable.
The Visa and immigration process is also simple, and as far as the cost of living is concerned, you won’t have to worry much either. So, all in all, Cambodia is easily one of the easiest and most incredible retirement destinations in the world.
The Kingdom of Cambodia in the heart of Southeast Asia, and it is filled with breathtaking landscapes, historical sights, and incredible cities that you can enjoy at a very affordable budget. This is one of the reasons that many are attracted to Cambodia and choose it as their retirement destination.