When Jim Archibald found himself retiring on disability in his mid-50s, he had a stark choice. “I could have moved to some remote backwater place and lived in a shack, but that’s not very appealing,” he says. For 25 years the Californian had run his own business making auto parts. Now retired, he knew his budget would be very tight, so the obvious answer to him was “to move to a place with a low cost of living.”
“I’m living the life of a millionaire, even though I’m not earning a lot,” says British expat Johnny of his fantastic new life in the Philippine city of Cebu. “I have the freedom to do everything I want to, because life is so much cheaper here.” And he’s not alone. Johnny is just one of many expats, a growing number of them from the U.S., to ﬁnd an ideal retirement in Cebu. This modern city boasts a First-World lifestyle at Asian prices—expats live comfortably here for $2,500 a month, all told, and often for much, much less. If I were to call any Philippine city home, this would be it.
"You are crazy! You can’t leave Chicago. You have two successful businesses here. What will you do for money? That’s so risky!” That was the “support” my husband Mark and I were offered when we announced that we were moving to Penang, Malaysia. It was true. We did have two successful businesses. Mark owned a commercial real estate company that sold gas stations nationally and I owned a women’s wholesale clothing showroom.
In a place like Penang, food is everything. That’s why this little island off the coast of Malaysia is so often touted as a top foodie destination by big name publications and news outlets. But, unlike many top foodie spots, it’s not because of expensive Michelin-starred restaurants or celebrity chefs.