Expats in Indonesia: Living in a Challenging Country

By: Robert Thomson


One of the Asian countries that many people like to visit, Indonesia features different attractive places to foreigners. For individuals who want to become one of the expats in Indonesia, they need to consider some important factors that can affect their stays in the place like government, climate, and tax system. Other aspects of life in the country that may influence the quality of living of foreigners are real estate, shopping, and medical care. Above all, it is important that expats know the cost of living before deciding to settle in the country for good.

Government and Climate

The temperature in the country usually ranges from 60 degrees to 90 degrees because Indonesia is situated near to equator. Most expats in Indonesia suffer from humidity. For the understanding of foreigners, thus place has two seasons, dry and monsoon. Dry season starts from June until October, while monsoon begins from November to May. Aside from the climate in the place, those who want to settle in Indonesia should also consider its political system or its government. Despite constant demonstrations and riots, the Republic government of Indonesia still manages to maintain stability in its political sector.

Medical Care and Tax System

Expats in Indonesia should have long-term financial plans if they want to settle in this place since it has high unemployment rates. Tax rates in corporate income are fixed at 30 per cent while the rates at personal incomes are fixed at 35 per cent. Aside from these, expats should expect miscellaneous and value added taxes. Another thing that they must consider before living in this Asian country is the state of medical care. Even if there are numerous clinics and medical centers that can assist people who suffer from minor illnesses, in many instances, those who experience major health problems are advised to seek medical help from their homelands or from medical centers in Singapore.

Shopping and Real Estate

Shopping in Indonesia is very easy because a lot of shopping centers and department stores are found on the major cities of the country. On the other hand, expats in Indonesia who live in rural places have nothing to worry because there are also public markets that they can visit to get their basic needs like clothes and foods. Besides shopping, real estate is also a major factor that affects the lives of expats in this nation. When purchasing homes, villas, or apartments, people should compare real estate prices in different areas since there are some cities in Indonesia that have cheaper real estate costs like Jakarta.

Cost of Living

Expats in Indonesia should know that a large portion of their monthly budget goes to their housing expenses. To those who want to save money, they can live in rural areas for at least $100 a month. Meanwhile, for families living in urban areas or cities, the estimated budget that they need in a month to live comfortably is $1,500. However, expats should not be bothered about settling in this country since a lot of private corporations provide well or high compensation for their hardworking, reliable, and efficient employees.

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Peter Garant has written many articles for Expat Indonesia for a recently launched website called Expat South Korea. Visit Expats in Indonesia: Living in a Challenging Country.

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