10 Hip Cities to Retire in Indonesia


One day, you will finally be able to sit down, relax, and enjoy your life after decades of hard work. Imagine 20 to 30 years from now, your busy days will be replaced by a “new” life that is calm, comfortable, and full of activities that you love.

For that, you need to start thinking about your retirement goal from now on. Some of the factors that you might want to consider include location, infrastructure, natural conditions, and the living cost to have the same kind of lifestyle you are enjoying today. Local entertainment in your destination would also make you feel happy to stay there for a long time.

Here are top 10 destinations we have selected for you to enjoy your retirement; these places are all reasonable because they are located in Indonesia:

1. Special Region of Yogyakarta

This City of Students is not only suitable for those who want to focus on their studies. The serenity that Yogyakarta offers allows you to have a comfortable and peaceful retirement, while at the same time you can still learn new things and be connected to local communities.

Vien is one of few people who decided to have an “early retirement” and lived in Jogja for the past two years. She chose Jogja because of its friendly traffic, affordable living cost, and she does not need to go far to get her daily necessities.

“I have more time to read books and enjoy the sunset,” Vien says.

If you want to know how affordable it is to live in Yogyakarta, Vien gives an example of breakfast which includes rice, scrambled tempe, shredded fish, crackers, and a glass of mineral water that she could get for Rp 3000. For accommodation, she currently lives in a two-bedroom house that she rented for Rp 5 million per year.

As someone who likes to live healthy, Vien says she can buy organic products at affordable price. “Medical costs in Jogja is also cheap,” she says, adding an example of her experience of having a dental surgery. The surgery, medicine and x-ray photo only cost her several hundred thousand rupiah. Not just general hospitals, this city also has several good specialized hospitals.

“How can’t I be happy here?” she argues.

2. Padang, West Sumatra

Over the years, Padang has seen a large number of its population migrated to the capital. As an evidence, we can now find big houses in Padang similar to those found in Jakarta. However, you can still feel the tranquility, and thanks to its geographical location near the mountains, the air quality in this city is still fresh and clean.

If you want to retire but stay productive, Padang is one destination that you should consider.

“There are business opportunities like farming, agriculture or tourism,” says Divo, who wants to retire in his hometown someday. From some relatives who still live there, he found out that there are many lands available at affordable price in the suburbs.

Infrastructure-wise, Padang has a lot of improvements. The pavements are more decent that people can enjoy their morning jogging routine. Public facilities like hospital are not as advanced in Jakarta, but considered good enough.

3. Wonosobo Regency, Central Java

As a regency that is governed by Sultanate of Yogyakarta, Wonosobo is a quiet area covered with cool refreshing air. In Javanese language, Wonosobo is literally defined as “the gathering place in the forest”. It is not surprising, because this town is located in Dieng Plateau with beautiful scenery, surrounded by hills.

“I imagine after I retire, I don’t go anywhere but relax at home, spending time and accompanied with tea,” says Sylvie, an employee of a private company in Jakarta. The ambience and weather of Wonosobo fits the dream retirement of people like Sylvie.

Wonosobo regency consists of 15 districts, with central administration located in Wonosobo district – an area inhabited by around 85,000 residents. If you are dreaming of a small beautiful town for your holiday, you can get it by traveling to Wonosobo. The charm of this town lies on its nature and highly affordable living cost. Unfortunately, this town does not have healthcare facility like those in big cities. However, since 2005, the local government has made incredible effort in building 27 community health centers ( puskesmas), and improving the transportation routes and irrigation system. At the moment, this town is also trying to move ahead by renovating a number of public facilities to make it disabled friendly.

Although Wonosobo is more populated than the other districts, the crime rate in this district is relatively low.

4. Manado, North Sulawesi

The nature and hot springs in Manado are two gems that attract tourists. As a result, this sister city of General Santos in the Philippines is in the process of becoming one of retirement destinations for Japanese citizens.

Manado is a big city with a relatively high population density of more than 500,000. Retail and property businesses are booming every year. Compared to other cities, Manado is considered as a big city with rich natural resources that is still comfortable for people who want to avoid stress.

For healthcare facilities, Manado has its own health program called Universal Coverage (UC), where people can have third-grade health services for free – starting from 15 community health centers to 7 hospitals that have signed a deal with the local government through PT Asuransi Kesehatan Indonesia. No wonder this city was awarded as the second most livable city after Yogyakarta based on the “Most Livable City Index” survey in 2009 and 2011.

For more info about Manado, visit its official website at  visit-manado.com.

5. Semarang, Central Java

Djoni, a Semarang-born resident who has been working in Jakarta for many years, decided to go back to his hometown to enjoy his retirement together with his family. The reason is simple; after living in Jakarta for a long time, mobility access becomes very important.

“Semarang is comfortable because it is medium-sized. Therefore, the traffic is not so jammed, but the access to various places is also available,” says Djoni.

As the capital city of Central Java, Semarang is not a small town, therefore it has acceptable healthcare and infrastructure. According to Djoni, “Hospitals, puskesmas, and clinics here are quite reliable because the service and equipments are quite good. Although there are some that are not good enough, but you can find other options.”

To make use of spare time, the infrastructure in Semarang would make it possible for you to be active, e.g. playing badminton or running around the residential area or the nearest sports stadium. Those who like sweet taste would appreciate the local food, e.g. Semarang spring rolls, tofu, or “pisang planet” (mash banana).

You can get more info about Semarang through its official website  semarangkota.go.id.

6. Malang, East Java

If your children are still at school by the time you retire, Malang has many good school options from kindergarten to university. You would even find a number of students from other cities came to study in Malang.

This town is relativity small but populated with nearly a million people. That is why, the city located around 100 kilometers from Surabaya has good infrastructure, as well as complete healthcare facilities.

As an entertainment, you can enjoy the sightseeing by riding a Malang City Tour bus, an open-top double-decker bus. Although there are not many of them, at least you can find something to do to ease the boredom throughout your retirement.

The city has a good layout, so you do not have to worry about the possibility of flooding, traffic jams or pollution. In general, the cost of living in Malang is much cheaper than Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali. For food, East Java is famous for its salty and spicy flavors.

You can get more information about Malang by visiting  malangkota.go.id.

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