Moving abroad does sound appealing, doesn’t it? What it would be like to get out of the dank weather and old buildings to walk amongst nature and get some culture. But it would be so expensive, right? Wrong. If you’re over the idea of where you are, there are plenty of cheaper options to live. Take a look at our list for the top options.
The best-known country on this list, Thailand offers everything you could think of. Temples and elephants can be found in the north, beach-side living and party lifestyles in the south and in the middle of it all is the gem that is the city capital: Bangkok. The city offers the modern world city experience with culture that is constantly evolving in every corner.
Chiang Mai is especially ex-pat friendly and is a popular choice for both families and digital nomads looking to enjoy the laid-back vibe. Bangkok attracts foreigners from all over, with a substantial growing digital industries sector. Meanwhile, retirees and those looking for a slower pace of life will be attracted to the sun-kissed beach resorts of Phuket.
Crucially, all of these options offer flexible visas for long-term stay. There is the retirement visa, which allows people over 50 with a minimum monthly income to live, or the Non B visa for businesspeople, and the new Smart Visa which is a four-year-long visa that includes spouse and children.
Singapore is like Malaysia’s city equivalent. Since they are both small islands surrounded by the same countries, they share a lot of culture in common. With an added appreciation for technology and advancement, it keeps its citizens in a very clean and organized environment. Plus, English is the official language of business, meaning less miming out of what you’re looking for.
Singapore has a diverse population, which means, a large variety of delicious food. The islands have three major types of local cuisine: Malay, Chinese and Indian, with the cross variations that would naturally come with.
Moving to Singapore will take some planning, since it is best to look for a short-term lease before you move. The cost of property can be particularly steep in Singapore, but the cost of living out with housing more than makes up for it. Arriving in temporary accommodation will allow you to explore the island and browse what mortgage and renting offers are available to you. There are also a number of houses available, but for a larger price.
You will also need a job before you move to Singapore. It is vital to secure it before you come since strict employment laws regulate the ability of their workers. You will need to get your hands on an employment pass from the Ministry of Manpower.
Malaysia is a beautiful option for one who wishes for the simple life. There are so many enjoyable activities in Malaysia, it makes it hard to feel bored, but also hard to feel overwhelmed. The environment allows for a lot of naturally occurring ways for stress to dissipate when you’re walking along a sandy beach or hiking up a mountain or exploring the rainforest.
To ease even more stress, the cost of living in Malaysia is famously low. Money from a more developed country can last a long time, offering a better standard of living than in your own. And to put the cherry on top, remittances from abroad are not taxed at source.
House prices have been rising for the past few years but even with this, prices are very reasonable compared to other countries. Detached houses are widely available for rent and purchase and apartment living means living in a building constructed in the past 20 years which come with a variety of facilities like tennis courts, pools, BBQ areas, gyms and more.
- The Philippines
The Philippines is the dreamland. Wake up with your toes in the sand and the waves gently crashing over one of seven thousand tropical islands. The deserted cluster of islands offers English as a widely spoken language and the locals are very friendly and welcoming to foreigners.
It is a quiet life of enjoying the little things. Hike over the beautiful hills or swim in the clearest ocean between islands. You can even grab a boat and go island hopping, seeing the variation between islands from the rural to the city.
On top of all that, the cost of living is very low, particularly once you get out of the more tourist-filled areas. The Philippines reputation for being unsafe has been worked on lately with significant improvement over the islands, but it is less developed than most places, with the quality of schools, hospitals and public transport varying greatly across the islands.