No Lin Kou is definitely NOT the place you want to live, an industrial cesspit in my opinion populated by heavy gravel trucks.
Great places with access to mtns and fairly accessible by MRT are Muzha, Tienmou, Shipai. Neihu , Bitan, Ankeng, some parts of Muzha (if you have a car its better, than can get a better apartment and fresher air and the freeway system is excellent so you can get around very easily)
I was reading this articlewith amusement, as two Central American locations are mentioned as great retirement places. The truth is back home the population of immigrants -semi permanent residents, floating surfers, self employed business people- from the US is staggering, most young/middle aged. Retirees? Where?
Anyways, they mention the conditions that make Malaysia a great place to retire. What is your knee-jerk reaction? (maybe as mine):
Compare, say, Panama:
I was calculating that I may legally retire from my job like in 2038 -if I'm still around and this island is too. My retirement plan back home want kaput with the financial tsunami -literally, they sent a letter saying your savings are gone, period- and the one here in Taiwan was acquired by a local financial company and sort of "reorganized"... meaning basically I've lost what little faith I had in formal investments and plans and mutuals and whatevers.
So, aside from making sure I buy a home in a building with an elevator -I do not like first floors- and keeping my insurance up to speed -rooms in hospitals here start at 5K after NHI care runs out-, I foresee little can be done to make retirement here on The Island more comfortable. Ironically, costs back home are skyrocketing due to "retirees" from abroad, US, UK mainly, practically the same to buy a home here or there, and I am too old already to find a job home. Hence, stuck here for the duration. Anyone joining me? Old atoga geezers in Taiwan, unite! Aside from a few priests and nuns, I know no one who's retiring here.
I'll be with you here in Taiwan Icon. I wouldn't go to Malaysia as they still have too much of their daily lives dictated by Islam and Sharia Law in many parts. I'm not interested in any religious conflicts or having any religious zealots of any faith prescribing my lifestyle for my own good.
I can't even think of retiring or living in retirement. Scary. But yes, I'd like to live in a small town with people I know. I think living alone in a big bad city (like my folks) is a big punishment. Loneliness is really the curse of old age.
Looks like I also will be making Taipei County my retirement home. My S.S. kicks in this year. It's enough to survive on in Taipei County but would be easier a little further south where housing and food is a bit cheaper. Being highly bored is the drawback of going south so I guess I'll stay around the County. Combined with what's left of my investments and savings it should be a reasonable retirement. My APRC should be complete at about the same time so I can maybe do some privates and start taking it easier.
i don't know specifically about Penang, but Malaysia could be a good bet. I think unless your language skills are up to par Taiwan would be a lonely place. Malaysia has the advantage of, at least partly, speaking English, the TV is in English, the billboards are in English and they do use a Romanized alphabet, so getting around would be easier.
I generally plan to be here for the duration too, although the prospect of actually "retiring" from work is still a long way off for me (in terms of finances, not age). Once I replenish my savings a bit I hope to buy a place on the East Coast that will eventually be a retirement place and will be a getaway place in the meantime.
It would be interesting to see in about 20 years how many of us will still be left here in Taiwan. I hope Forumosa will still be up and running. How would my name look with about 30 stars under it? I read the article about good places to retire too, and Italy was fifth. That could be cool, right? But is it cheap enough?
I am not planning on retiring. I mean what would I do when I retire, watch TV 18 hours a day like my grandparents? I don't think I want to do that. I figure if I choose a career I love and enjoy, and I am good at it, then there is no need to retire unless forced.
I'll only be at retirement age in about 25 years, but it'll most certainly be here. My only family my age left in sunny SA is my elder sister and she lives in Cape town. Fark that. All my family is in Taiwan, really. Language wise I can communicate well enough, my brother-in-law will be interesting for afternoon tea and the odd gaoliang/7-11 beer in our old age. My son is growing up here. For better or worse, my life is here. Would like to own property and do a B&B type deal down Kenting way or somewhere on the east coast, then the rest of you old geezers will have a place to vacation at, have good old style western breakfasts and another old waiguo geezer to talk crap to on getaway weekends. Sounds good to me.
Hell no. Go hiking, biking, swimming, gym, gardening and other projects, to cultural events, read books, spend time with friends and family, cooking, eating, traveling, etc. I can think of all kinds of things I'd love to spend more time doing if I wasn't working 9 to 7 five days a week. I find my work exciting and stimulating, but I'd love to retire if I had the dough.
But, like Omni, I feel an obligation to compile a considerable college fund for my daughter. Then there's the living expenses needed for the remaining 40-50 years of my life, plus the potential need for major medical expenses in old age and possible nursing help in the latter years, and airfare for the family back and forth from Taiwan to US for the next few decades, plus other vacations at a few thousand dollars a pop. Sure, one could retreat to Panama or Malaysia today and scrape by frugally for a few decades, but if one hopes to retire or at least spend time in more developed nations, and plan for the types of contingencies I've outlined above, I figure at least US$500-600K will be required, but closer to $1M would be safer. So, I'll be working for many more years and given that the job situation sucks in the US (among other factors), I'll be here at least another 5 or 10 years.
After that I'd love to retire, but it's too early to say where now. I'd prefer a beautiful place overlooking the ocean in Northern California or in the mountains of Colorado, but will wait to see how things unfold.