PHNOM PENH, Feb 12, 2019, The Phnom Penh Post. Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019, reported the Phnom Penh Post.
For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.
The report detailed the best places for foreign retirees to live in 2019 and scored the country full marks of 100 out of 100 for the cost of living.
Vietnam ranked second with 99 points with Thailand third on 94 points. Peru and Bolivia were tied for fourth to complete the top five.
The Annual Global Retirement Index ranks the 25 best retirement havens in the world.
Cambodia ranked 12th overall in the list of best retirement destinations, scoring overall points of 81.2. Thailand was placed ninth on 83.5, with Vietnam 19th on 79.4. Panama in Central America topped the list, scoring 100.
These are then sub-divided into 13 categories. The first four are financial – buying and investing and renting, in which Cambodia came fourth out of 25; benefits and discounts; and cost of living, where Cambodia ranked first.
The health categories are healthcare; healthy lifestyle; and climate. Under lifestyle, the magazine scores visa and residence; fitting in, where Cambodia tied with Malaysia in seventh; and entertainment and amenities.
The final three categories take in governance – development; governance; and opportunity.
Ministry of Tourism spokesman Tob Sopheak said on Monday that the number of foreign arrivals in Cambodia increased 10 per cent last year compared to 2017.
“Cambodia should be proud of this. The Kingdom has become a world-class destination [for foreign retirees],” he said.
There are four key factors, he said, that brought retirees to Cambodia – peace and safety; pleasant weather conditions for the elderly; affordable housing and food; and government policy allowing foreigners to buy houses in Cambodia.
“Cambodia has a good climate – not too hot or cold – so it is favourable for older people to stay to maintain good health and enjoy an affordable cost of living. Some retirees regard Cambodia as their second home,” he said.
Chhay Sivlin, the president at Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the Kingdom is a good tourist destination for retirees – or tourists in general, thanks to the many options on offer.
She said the index will help Cambodia attract more visitors.
“This report will help Cambodia receive more and more tourists, especially more foreign retirees who come to stay for longer,” she said.
However, Sivlin said that so far the number of foreign retirees in the Kingdom is not yet as high as in neighbouring countries.