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“We Feel Like the King and Queen”

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Western Retirees in Bali, Indonesia

image of Asian Journal of Social Science

International retirement migration (IRM) refers to the rapidly growing wave of financially independent individuals from diverse nations seeking affordable, comfortable retirement away from their home nation. The goal is to maximise personal resources to enjoy those last years. Bali Indonesia was ‘not fully tamed by colonialism until the twentieth century.’ In becoming part of Dutch Indonesia it had endured a ‘long and bloody struggle’ (Vickers, 2012; 18). Today, it can be argued, Bali is in effect being colonised again, this time not just by 4 million tourists annually, but by international retiree settlers. Bali’s warm climate, benign culture, and comparative affordability deliver the prospect for foreigners to upwardly mobilise to a quality of living inaccessible at home. Local government authorities and residents respond to this influx by finding ways to maximise benefit from this lucrative retiree market. The requirements of the settlers are prioritised for potential profit.

Affiliations: 1: University of Auckland


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