Cambodia is consistently ranked well in the annual global retirement index of InternationalLiving.com and can also easily obtain visas for retirees purchased in other ASEAN countries.
In 2019, the annual global retirement index InternationalLiving.com named Cambodia the 12th best place in the world for retirement. This is the fourth year in a row that the Kingdom has this title.
In the 2021 edition, Cambodia was also rated as one of the cheapest retirement destinations and one of the highest income countries ever. Nine.com.au has also named the kingdom one of the best sites for retirement. This article provides you with a step-by-step guide to retirement in Cambodia. We will cover the rent, get a visa and somehow stay active.
Obtaining a retirement visa to Cambodia
Obtaining a retirement visa in Cambodia is generally considered to be a relatively straightforward process compared to some other countries. The retirement visa, also known as the “E-class” visa, allows foreigners who are 55 years or older to live in Cambodia for an extended period of time.
Here are some key points regarding the process of obtaining a retirement visa in Cambodia:
- Eligibility: To be eligible for a retirement visa, you must meet the age requirement of 55 years or older. You also need to have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
- Financial Requirements: Cambodia does not have strict financial requirements for a retirement visa. However, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay. This typically involves showing a bank statement or evidence of regular income, such as a pension or investment income.
- Documentation: The required documentation may vary depending on the specific requirements of the Cambodian authorities. Generally, you will need to provide a completed visa application form, a copy of your passport, passport-sized photographs, and supporting documents to prove your financial stability.
- Visa Extension: Initially, the retirement visa is granted for a one-year period. After the initial year, you can extend the visa on an annual basis, typically without significant complications. The extension process involves submitting the necessary paperwork and paying the applicable fees.
- Health Insurance: While health insurance is not explicitly required for a retirement visa in Cambodia, it is highly recommended to have comprehensive health coverage to ensure you are prepared for any medical expenses that may arise during your stay.
- Engaging a Visa Agent: Some retirees prefer to engage the services of a visa agent or an immigration specialist to assist with the retirement visa application process. These professionals can help ensure that all required documents are in order and guide you through the process.
It’s important to note that immigration policies and requirements can change over time, so it’s always advisable to consult with the nearest Cambodian embassy or consulate or seek professional advice to obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding retirement visa requirements.
Overall, while there may be some documentation and financial requirements involved, obtaining a retirement visa in Cambodia is generally considered to be relatively easy compared to many other countries. The Cambodian government has made efforts to encourage retirees to choose Cambodia as their retirement destination, offering a straightforward process for obtaining a retirement visa.
Renting a property in Cambodia
If you’re considering of renting a property, there are several cities and towns to choose from, each offering its own unique charm and lifestyle. Phnom Penh, the capital city, is a popular choice for many expatriates and offers a bustling urban environment with a range of housing options. Rental prices in Phnom Penh can vary depending on the location and type of property, with average prices ranging from $500 to $2,000 per month for a one or two-bedroom apartment.
Siem Reap, known for its famous temples of Angkor, attracts a large expat community and offers a more laid-back and affordable lifestyle. Rental prices in Siem Reap are generally lower compared to Phnom Penh, with average prices ranging from $300 to $1,000 per month for a similar-sized apartment.
Sihanoukville, a coastal town, is another popular destination for expatriates seeking a beach lifestyle. Rental prices in Sihanoukville can vary significantly depending on proximity to the beach, with average prices ranging from $300 to $1,500 per month.
Other cities such as Battambang, Kampot, and Kep also offer attractive living options with lower rental prices compared to the major cities.
It’s important to note that rental prices can fluctuate depending on factors such as location, property size, amenities, and market conditions. It’s advisable to conduct thorough research, consult with local real estate agents, and visit the areas in person to get a better understanding of the rental market before making a decision.
In which city to retire in Cambodia?
Regarding the location to choose to retire, there are several cities that offer a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle for retirees. Phnom Penh, the capital city, is a popular choice due to its modern amenities, healthcare facilities, and vibrant expatriate community. The city provides a blend of urban convenience and cultural experiences, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and markets to explore.
Siem Reap, famous for its ancient temples of Angkor, is another appealing option for retirees. It offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, surrounded by natural beauty and a range of outdoor activities. The town has a thriving expat community, affordable living costs, and a pleasant climate.
For those seeking a coastal retirement, Sihanoukville and Kampot are worth considering. Sihanoukville offers beautiful beaches, a range of leisure activities, and a growing expat population. Kampot, on the other hand, provides a tranquil riverside setting, colonial charm, and a slower pace of life. Both cities offer a peaceful retreat with affordable housing options and a close-knit community.
Battambang, located in the northwest region, is known for its rich history, French colonial architecture, and friendly locals. It offers a relaxed lifestyle, affordable living costs, and a strong sense of community.
Ultimately, the best city to retire in Cambodia depends on personal preferences, lifestyle choices, and priorities. It’s advisable to visit potential retirement destinations, spend time exploring the local culture and amenities, and engage with the expatriate community to gain insights and make an informed decision.
What about food when retired in Cambodia
Whether you want to cook for yourself or dine in a restaurant, dining in Cambodia is a small expense, but you can also wine and dine in gourmet restaurants and five-star hotels.
Eating out at a cheap restaurant in Phnom Penh can cost you only about $ 4. Elsewhere in the country, the price is even lower.
Just for information, here is a list of some common foods and what are their average prices in Phnom Penh:
- Loaf of white bread – $ 1.75
- A dozen eggs – $ 1.60
- One kilo of chicken – $ 4.47
- A liter of milk – $ 2.27
- Latte or cappuccino in a cafe – $ 2.50
- Bottle of beer – $ 1.00
As you can see, everyday life is absolutely cheap. If you want to find cheap food, items and household items, go to your local wet market. Otherwise, beat local supermarkets, such as Western-style supermarkets, for something more western, or even for a growing number of specialty stores.
Brands such as Circle K, Super Duper and Aeon Express are growing rapidly and expanding into cities, with international markets constantly opening up in the UK.
Retired, but remaining active in Cambodia
Productive entertainment is easy to find in Cambodia. If you are the active type, there are clubs for all kinds of sports such as tennis, golf or jogging.
If you want to ride or repair motorcycles, Cambodia is great. The ride takes place all year round!
Is humanitarian work your style? There are many NGOs that need your help. You can still volunteer and teach local youth, but many reputable NGOs and schools will need to conduct audits.
Travel on retirement. This is a Cambodian way!
If you are retired from the West and have decided to live in Cambodia, you probably have a travel bug. Fortunately, the country is located in the middle of Southeast Asia, one of the most popular tourist areas in the world.
Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and other countries are just a short walk away. Far, yet close are China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea. And of course traveling around Cambodia is an adventure in itself.
Healthcare is not expensive for Cambodian retirees
Cambodian treatment can be a mix bag. There are pros and cons.
The positive points are:
- Cambodian medicine is extremely cheap.
- Almost everything is on the counter.
- Visiting a doctor for common ailments, such as the flu or stomach pain, is usually quick and easy.
- Phnom Penh’s high clinics and hospitals probably have good doctors who speak fluent English.
- If you want to visit a Western doctor, some in the Kingdom practice.
However, there are certain disadvantages. It is still a developing country, although:
Many people (including locals) choose to see doctors in Thailand, Vietnam or Singapore for serious problems. Overall, the level of treatment you receive is better and still relatively inexpensive. Make sure you get medication from a reputable pharmacy. Better safe than sorry.
We recommend it to anyone who lives in Cambodia or is trying to have the necessary travel and health insurance.
Loving the retired lifestyle in Cambodia
At the end of the day, it’s all about being happy. Thousands of people retire every year. If Cambodia is a place that makes you happy, you should be.