A guide to luxury retirement in Asia

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For the young at heart

Sunplay Bangsaray

There are many reasons Asia makes an attractive retirement destination. Year-round sunshine, white-sand beaches, good medical care and increasingly solid infrastructure to name just a few selling points.

Whether Asia is already home and you’re looking for the perfect spot to settle, or if you’re a westerner wanting to move sunnier climes, there are many options to choose from.

Here are five country destinations which offer fantastic quality of life for retirees, and some up-and-coming properties to invest in.

Thailand

Thailand has long been popular with western seniors, and this is being reflected in a number of new retirement community developments (not to be confused with nursing homes) which aim to offer a vibrant, comfortable home.

One such development is Sunplay Bangsaray, which offers not only sleek sea-view condominiums within a gated community, but also aims to provide a certain lifestyle to its residents. With a superbly equipped clubhouse, lagoon style pool, cycle track and on-site healthcare options, as well as 10 world-class golf courses and Yacht clubs nearby, it’s ideal for those who want to maintain an active and independent life.

It also benefits from its location. Being just outside the popular beach town of Pattaya, it’s a mere 90 minute drive to Suvarnabhumi airport and two hours to central Bangkok. While Pattaya itself may not be to everyone’s taste, once you venture away from the main town, paradise awaits, with a multitude of peaceful beaches and swathes of unspoiled green landscape.

Sunplay, The Heights Bangsaray

The first units of Sunplay, The Heights Bangsaray, are expected to be ready H2 2018, with prices ranging from THB9.5m (USD268,665) – THB35m (USD1m).

“We’re not aiming to be the cheapest” said Chris Delaney, Managing Director of Sunplay Asia, “but we are aiming to be the best.” This ambition appears to be paying off – Sunplay is already seeing strong investor interest from both domestic and international markets.

More: Meet the Bangkok high-flyer who found her ideal retreat in Khao Yai

Malaysia

Malaysia recently ranked highly on International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index, and for very good reason. With its rainforests, beaches, mountains and UNESCO heritage sites, it can suit beach bums and adventure junkies just as well as culture vultures.

The healthcare should also match up to those with scrupulous standards. According to International Living’s Malaysia correspondent Keith Hockton, “Malaysia has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia, and most have learned their profession in the U.S. or the U.K.”

Like Thailand, a number of dedicated retirement communities are sprouting up, such as GreenAcres, which aims to be Malaysia’s premiere retirement village. Upon completion it will occupy an area of 10 acres and will comprise 110 units of landed villas together with 70 low-rise apartments,

A rendering of GreenAcres

The project is located two hours drive from Kuala Lumpur in the city of Ipoh – a favourite retirement destination for Malaysians due to it’s moderate size; providing all the desired amenities, without being too crowded and congested.

Phase One is now open for booking, and there are four variants covering one and two bedroom units.


More: Why Malaysia’s market woes may soon be over

Indonesia

Donald Trump once described Bali as “one of the best resort and residential destinations globally.” Whatever your political leanings, it’s hard to disagree with him here.

While a long-time favourite with Australians, Bali’s appeal in recent years has spread further still with seniors from all over the world choosing here for an extended visit. It’s luxury property market is also thriving, being the “standout performer” in Knight Frank’s 2015 Prime International Residential Index (PIRI), with luxury property prices rising by 15 percent y-o-y.

While no high-end communities specifically targeting retirees exist yet (not that we can find, anyway) there are some gorgeous developments to consider.

Selong Selo

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is set to brand and manage a portfolio of luxury Residences just across from Mandarin Oriental, Bali. Both hotel and residences will be part of an integrated resort development located on Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula. 30 homes are scheduled to be completed in mid-2018 and are sure to become a firm favourite with Asia’s elite.

We also love Selong Selo, an 80 luxury villa community on the island of Lombok – a quick boat ride away from Bali. It includes a clubhouse with a wide range of sporting facilities, as well as a beachside restaurant, pool, spa and children’s area (perfect for visiting grandchildren). The first three villas were completed in December 2016, with a further 10 to be finalised this year. Having picked up a number of gongs at the Indonesia Property Awards, it’s clearly doing something right.

Spacious two bedroom villas start from USD465,000.

More: Could Cambodia’s southern coast be Asia’s next resort hot spot?

Cambodia

Cambodia was recently named the cheapest place in SE Asia to retire. While it may not suit those after ultimate luxury, it can work very well for those wanting a comfortable lifestyle while making their dollar stretch.

Cambodia has “great-value property rentals,” according to International Living correspondent Steven King. “Western style apartments are available to rent from USD300 a month in the capital of Phnom Penh, and go for as little as USD200 a month in the beach town of Sihanoukville.”

D’Seaview

D’Seaview in Sihanoukville is one to watch. Shortlisted for Best Mixed-Use Development at Cambodia Property Awards, it will include an exclusive condominium with all units facing south, and will be complete with a swimming pool, state of the art gym and squash court.

One bedroom apartments start at USD76,000.

India

In a society that has traditionally kept the family unit together, the idea of a retirement community in India is new. Nowadays, with a high value placed on study and work in places such as the US, UK and Australia, the older generation are being more frequently left to fend for themselves – no surprise then, that Bloomberg TV called it ‘a potentially huge new industry for India.’

Antara Senior Living Community is leading the way. Located outside the northern city of Dehradun, amidst 14 acres of vibrant green landscape and views of the Himalayas, it’s certainly the largest community on our list. The 200 bespoke apartments and 60,000 sqft clubhouse have been created by architects from Spain and New York.

Anantara clubhouse

Antara seems to be targeting primarily domestic buyers, but with India steadily opening it’s real estate market to foreign investment, we’re sure those with Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fantasies can get involved too.

There are 6 apartment types which are spread over eight Residences, ranging from INR 1.86 crore (USD269,604) to 7.56 cr. (USD1.1m).

Read next: Is Ubud Bali’s latest affluent enclave?