Re­tirees eye Bali life­style

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - NEWS -

WHILE Bali is one of Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions for a quick and cheap trop­i­cal get­away, de­vel­op­ers are in­creas­ingly bank­ing on Aus­tralians want­ing to stay there a lit­tle longer.

With an age­ing pop­u­la­tion re­sult­ing in record num­bers of Aus­tralians ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment age, our north­ern neigh­bour is emerg­ing as an al­ter­na­tive for people look­ing to main­tain their qual­ity of life through­out re­tire­ment while sav­ing money.

Sen­tosa World­wide Re­sorts chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Duf­fell said it was a travel trend that has been seen in Europe for decades, with the Bri­tish in par­tic­u­lar turn­ing an­nual hol­i­days in Mediter­ranean hot spots such as Spain into per­ma­nent stays when they re­tire.

How­ever, he said it was a rel­a­tively new con­cept among Aus­tralians, but it was one he ex­pected to see in­crease as Aus­tralians are told to rely less on their pen­sions and live longer on their sav­ings. While the el­i­gi­bil­ity age for Aus­tralia’s pen­sion re­mains 65, Trea­surer Joe Hockey last month backed moves by the Bri­tish Govern­ment to hike the state pen­sion age to 70 for those now aged un­der 30.

He said Aus­tralia should con­sider do­ing the same.

“When people start to think of re­tire­ment, the ques­tion is how and where,” Duf­fell said.

“A lot of people are al­ready mov­ing to Bali for the life­style and we de­cided there was an op­por­tu­nity for the over 55s.”

Nearly one mil­lion Aus­tralians vis­ited In­done­sia last year, with the ma­jor­ity head­ing to Bali.

Sen­tosa World­wide Re­sorts man­ages lux­ury prop­er­ties across In­done­sia, in­clud­ing Sen­tosa Seminyak where Schapelle Corby stayed af­ter her re­cent re­lease.

It is in the process of build­ing the Sen­tosa Res­i­dence Umalas, a res­i­den­tial en­clave for re­tirees and those near­ing re­tire­ment.

Sen­tosa Res­i­dence Umalas will of­fer a mix of one, two and three-bed­room vil­las rang­ing from $US200,000 ($A220,290).

It’s sched­uled for com­ple­tion by the end of next year and Duf­fell said it would of­fer other fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing 24-hour med­i­cal care, a su­per­mar­ket, a com­mu­nal bar and pool and out­door cin­ema.

Additional ser­vices will be avail­able for an an­nual fee.

Duf­fell said Bali pre­sented it­self as an ideal re­tire­ment op­tion as it’s only about a twohour flight from Dar­win and rel­a­tively close to other ma­jor Aus­tralian cities.

He said Aus­tralians could also get a long-term visa to live in Bali pro­vided they can prove their abil­ity to sup­port them­selves, and the cost of liv­ing is far lower than in Aus­tralia.

The idea of turn­ing Bali into a re­tire­ment hub for older Aus­tralians fol­lows its grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity as a place to live for Aus­tralians in­volved in fly-in, fly-out jobs.

Duf­fell said it was an idea that could also work in other parts of Asia, such as Thai­land.

Ac­cord­ing to Matthew Upchurch, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of lux­ury travel net­work Vir­tu­oso, re­tirees are be­com­ing an in­flu­en­tial travel de­mo­graphic. He said they con­sid­ered travel to be “a right” and in­creas­ingly viewed the pe­riod af­ter stop­ping work as a time for them to see more of the world, rather than to slow down.

Upchurch said travel com­pa­nies, cruise lines and re­sorts were con­stantly look­ing for new ways in which to cater to the re­tiree mar­ket, and this had led to the de­vel­op­ment of new prod­ucts.

TROP­I­CAL RE­TREAT: Nearly one mil­lion Aus­tralians vis­ited In­done­sia last year, with the ma­jor­ity drawn to Bali and its beau­ti­ful tem­ples like Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Wa­ter tem­ple.

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