Bali is a popular place in South East Asia and Indonesia to relocate to for many people from other countries. Those who want to retire and those looking for a job opportunity. Even for having a house to stay there for a few months during the cold winters. Moving to Bali does come with questions and sometimes mistakes. At the end of this article I will discuss the mistakes I have seen.
The tropical weather and luxury accommodation at prices for a fraction compared to other countries.
A lot of people from Indonesia themselves move to Bali. They relocate in order to find work or even to start a company. Bali is the most popular tourist island there is and this means work.
Unfortunately, now there is not much work because of the coronavirus and tourism has been halted.
Those who choose to retire and want to stay. There are some rules for foreigners who want to retire in Indonesia (or Bali). You are over 55 years old and you receive at least 1500$ from your pension per month. For married couples, both must receive individually over 1500$ per month.
Business entrepreneurs come and make the start of their new company here. Some start a company here because labor is considered cheap for foreigners. Fashion, hotel, export, or even tech, the country Indonesia has many opportunities for businesses to start. So have you done your research on your company that you want to start here?
Those who fall in love with the island because of culture, food, and people. Sometimes they also find the love of their life. First try to live here for 3 months and really see if you still like it that much. Being a tourist is different than becoming a local. Everything will be different when you start to live in Bali.
Why do they relocate?
There could be different reasons, for example, I mentioned meeting the love of their life. It is not uncommon to marry someone from abroad. But also the main thing is what people try to achieve is, increase the quality of life. Starting a business when at their own home country it would not be viable. Or start a new job because a company asked you to relocate to Bali (or Indonesia), then congratulations to you!
There is mostly a plan to be already sustainable. If you don’t have it, then focus on that first. How will you pay for everything and how long can you last in worst-case scenarios (like the coronavirus pandemic)?
The importance is that you can have a good quality of life, you have set goals that you want to achieve: Type of house/villa, environment, and enjoy life as it is.
Is it safe, moving to Bali?
Like any other country, we face nature and other factors that might be considered unsafe. If you are curious about what we have to deal with, check my post about what makes Bali unsafe. In general, I do think Bali is safe, we try our best to make a good situation now with the pandemic. Putting quarantine where it is required.
It all depends on the lifestyle if you want a fancy villa and transportation then you end up spending a lot compared to some basic house and simple scooter.
TIP: Make sure to have health insurance!
Live can be very cheap or expensive, it’s about the choices you make. My advice is to make sure you have enough to survive months/years without an income stream because in Bali we’ve had some things to overcome in the past. Last was the volcano Agung when tourism halted and we had two other things that made the history books that we were unable to make money from the tourism industry.
If you are an entrepreneur make sure you have a solid income stream to support you and your employees. Do not forget them!
Picking the right location in Bali
Ok we got some of the basics covered and now you need to pick the right location to live in. It’s important to pick out an area that matches your expectations. Don’t go live in an area which is so busy with traffic if you are looking for peace and calm.
TIP: Check out the air quality on the map of IQAIR to see the pollution density of an area before moving to Bali.
The advantage of busy areas is that they also have more facilities. The facilities that give more choices to do in your area and more comfort as well.
It’s also easier to make new friends as many people live there. A disadvantage is that the traffic might be too much than you are used to. You can hear the claxon honking a lot throughout the day and the air could be dustier as well.
Often remote and have fewer facilities (hospitals, clinics, supermarkets, and such). But it’s also a lot less noise, just and pollution. I currently live in a peaceful area and with 2x per week going to the city I o my groceries there.
Near the beach
Near the beach can be either busy or peaceful. The island is bigger than what most people expect and there are some very popular beaches. The places most popular are:
Even with the current pandemic, there are people roaming around looking for something to do over there. Imagine during the new normal it will be even busier.
higher towards the mountains for a cooler place
Towards Ubud and Kintamani are temperatures a bit cooler because they are well above the sea-level. It causes a nice breeze and there is (much) more rain during the wet season.
The sea is far, so for swimming, you would need to go to a hotel or villa with a swimming pool.
Good internet access in Bali
Before moving anywhere, do check the internet connection available in the neighborhood. Internet service providers offer fiber optic. The alternative choice is to use your phone for the internet (4g Connection). If you don’t live there yet, check with your cellphone how many wifi networks are in a neighborhood. The more there are, probably the more stressed the networks are.
Internet outage is nothing new and happens a lot in more populated areas with people being connected there. I currently live in a remote place, and took Indhome, on of the internet providers in Indonesia. Some people dislike the service provider but I am just happy to have a connection.
Water connection to the house
If you plan to live in the south of Bali, in the Bukit Peninsula it is important to be aware of the water situation. Some places do not receive water from the government or PDAM (the company providing water). These are not even that remote places but ordering a water truck every month can be costly. So make sure the water is connected.
Top 10 Mistakes made when living in Bali
Over the years I have been living here many foreigners have come and go. The reasons they went was because it felt like a mistake to them and they could not go on in Bali.
Not enough money
Bali isn’t a very cheap island to live. Accommodation can be cheap of you live in a normal house. But if you live in a villa and like to drink wine (or any alcoholic beverage) then it can become a costly adventure. The beer itself is underestimated: 1.25 euro (1.5usd) just for 1 beer.
Running a company can also cost a lot of money. As a foreigner you need the correct papers to own/start a company and this costs money. It’s called the investor’s visa and depending on if you use an agent, the cost can quickly go up to 2-3k USD.
A lot of businesses (physical) be it run by local or foreigner can fail. There are various reasons for it. But in the end, it did cost a lot of money, maybe all of it and thus the repatriating to start from 0 again.
Expectations were different
Bali is first often explored through the eyes of a tourist. All seems nice and wonderful. But being a tourist is different than living here in Bali.
When you move to Bali there is a difference in lifestyle and what you got to do to maintain it. Sometimes after several months (or even years), people yearn for home because the expectations were just not the same. The island was explored everything was already done. Ok, now what? Go back? Well, that’s up to you, but what was the goal in the first place to live here then?
Relationship broke off
This is hard and can happen. It’s a paradise island were people sometimes stress and fight with each other. Actually often money is a problem and a reason for the fights. After that, I have the feeling it’s also about boredom.
It was better somewhere else
Sometimes people come living here after they have lived elsewhere. They only then notice, it isn’t as good as they expected it to be. In fact their previous place was much better for different reasons.
You got to really love it being here or else it’s not going to work. If you live somewhere already and that’s working great for you, then your reason for moving to Bali should be even greater!
No more work available
Currently, during the pandemic it is a reason that many people had to leave. There is simply no work and it wasn’t sustainable to be here anymore.
Hi I am Dwik. I am a blogger, travel agent and a mom of a lovely baby daughter and wife to a supportive husband. I customize and plan tours in Bali and islands nearby for a living and have been doing this for more than 10 years. I started now to blog about handy information and things you can do while abroad or traveling. Get in touch via [email protected]