Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Baby Boomers in Expat Luxury; Byron Authors Write the Ultimate Guidebook

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Baby Boomers in Expat Luxury; Byron Authors Write the Ultimate Guidebook

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRISTIAN MORROW

THINKING of retiring soon? Have you got $2 million in super and do you own your own home?

If not, it may be a challenge to live comfortably as a self-funded retiree in Australia.

So you may want to scrape your assets together and retire to Asia where the cost of living can be anywhere between 50-80% cheaper.

That's the premise of a new book by Stephen Wyatt and Colleen Ryan, a husband and wife team from Byron Bay.

Sell up, Pack up and Take Off is a practical guide to retiring to South-East Asia for Baby Boomers closing in on retirement and wondering how to maintain a decent lifestyle after the pay cheques stop rolling in.

As well as the cold facts, there are stories of those who are already living well in Asia and Europe, making their savings go further and often living in better houses, with a better social life, more luxury and more adventure.

Geoffrey and Michael are one couple who, at the end of vibrant working careers, were facing grim retirement in trailer park in Western Victoria or Western Australia.

That's before they decided to pack up and move to Ubud in Bali, where they live in a lavish traditional Javan house with an in-ground pool, landscaped gardens and three staff. All this for around $60,000.

Not only does it make sense financially for these retirees, but many also take on a new lease of life.

"They are going out every night, and almost without exception, people said they felt younger," Stephen said.

"People are more open to experience in an expat environment and are more open to making friends.

"In Australia, you tend to live in your own milieu, whereas in the expat environment, your social life is less stratified; it's more vertical.

"You will know the High Court judge, the street sweeper and you will have friends from the age of 20 through to 70.

"In places like Chiang Mai and Penang, people were really busy in their cycling clubs, their wine clubs and travel clubs. …

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