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The top countries for retirement migration in Asia

After making the bold move of retiring abroad, one must then decide which foreign nation best suits their needs. Asia is a stunning and culturally rich part of the planet. When considering where to retire in Asia, ex-pats have a wide variety of options. 

Asia Pacific

Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka make International Living’s list of the top five Asian nations in which to retire. Each country is evaluated on 13 different dimensions, including its buying and investing potential, its rental abilities, its benefits, and senior discounts, and its ease of obtaining visas and residency. Also its cost of living, its ease of assimilation, its commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, its level of development, its climate, its opportunities, and its level of governance. Before making a permanent move to Asia, you should research the country’s healthcare system.

Where to retire in Asia

The following are the top countries to retire in Asia


It’s easy to see why Malaysia was voted the best place in Asia to spend your retirement. Located to the south of Thailand, Malaysia is renowned for the stunning beauty of its many islands and the pristineness of its beaches and forests. Malay is the official language of Malaysia, but English is widely spoken and understood. The fact that it is spoken by so many people will make it easier for retirees to relocate. Retirees seeking new experiences should also make Malaysia a top destination. The country is sizable, offering a wide range of landscapes and exciting experiences. Additionally, its central location places the majority of Asia within easy reach. The convenience of international travel makes it possible to see all that Asia has to offer.


Thailand came in right behind Malaysia. It’s no surprise that Thailand, Malaysia’s northern neighbor, is the second most popular destination for retirees from other countries.

“The Land of Smiles” contains everything a retiree might want, and then more. Expats can take advantage of the country’s tax-free system for money earned outside, the culture is mostly unspoiled, the cost of living is minimal, and the healthcare system is generally uniform. Retirement ex-pats in Thailand also benefit from simple yearly visa renewals, making the country a viable option for anyone looking to settle down for the long haul.


Cambodia is a great place to retire in Asia and it has long been one of the most promising destinations for retirement. The country, which is rapidly growing, has a lot going for it: stunning natural beauty, a pleasant year-round climate, and the convenience of a strong international network. The availability of easy long-term visas is a big perk of retiring in Cambodia. And the country does not have the strict income requirements that many other Asian countries do in order to receive a long-term visa.


Vietnam should be on the top of your list if you are a retiree looking for a new adventure and a change of scenery without breaking the bank. Like its neighbors, the country is well-known for its beautiful landscapes and balmy temperature, but it also boasts an abundance of nutritious and appetizing cuisine. The lack of a government-sponsored retirement visa program may account for Vietnam’s poor ranking compared to its Asian neighbors. This could make it harder to settle in the country permanently. You can extend your visa while you’re already in the country, which makes the renewal process easier, but the maximum length of stay is still three months.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka rounds up our list of the top five Asian retirement destinations. In terms of climate, Sri Lanka is similar to other Asian countries in that it provides a lovely, consistent temperature all through the year. Sri Lanka also has a first-rate healthcare system.

Expats in Sri Lanka are free to immerse themselves in new cultures and traditions, adding to the island nation’s reputation as a multicultural haven.

A “Dream Home Visa Programme” in Sri Lanka provides 55-and-older retirees who meet the country’s financial requirements for ex-pats with an initial 2-year visa that can be renewed.

Even after researching the best places to retire in Asia, an ex-pat who plans to go abroad should still get global health insurance. Long-term medical care abroad is most secure and convenient when covered by a global health insurance plan. You can take your international health insurance policy with you if you move around a lot. This is crucial information for retired people living abroad who want to spend the holidays with their families in their native country. Get in touch with Expat Financial for any of your foreign insurance questions and concerns.

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