Western Women Retirees in Bali, Indonesia: Migration and Aging

By Claudia Bell.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 18, 2015 $US5.00

Drawing from field interviews carried out in 2013-4, this work explores some of the implications for two groups of western women, all in their 60s and 70s. Some of the women went to Bali up to thirty years ago, entranced by its beauty and spirituality, took out citizenship, and are now in a precarious situation of not having access to pensions. Unable to reverse citizenship and return to their more welfare-oriented homelands (usually Australia) these women refer to themselves as the "dirt poor expats." The constant worry is the need for expensive health services, and general care as they age. Some of the women who elected to relocate at retirement to a developing country. Bali appealed because of the lower cost of living than at home. Rental income or sales from their family homes may provide sufficient funds to survive their final years in Bali. In Bali they can enjoy a (usually modest) standard of living that would be beyond reach at home. The goal is to present an analysis of the implications of these decisions. This case study demonstrates issues for one example of a rapidly growing sector "residential retirees" or "elder migrants."

Keywords: Women, Retirees, Bali

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.43-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 18, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 335.096KB)).

Dr. Claudia Bell

Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand