Retiring in Taiwan


Retirement plans?
One day I'll find out that I can't surf anymore then I'll walk out into traffic.


This thread reminds me of the Bremen Town Musicians. I wanna be the dog. I'll bark to keep away intruders.


Your link doesn't work :wink:


Thanks for the heads-up. Fixed.


I'm glad to see this thread here. I am very seriously considering retirement in Taiwan. It's my goal to retire in approximately 8-10 years. Malaysia is tempting as well, but I have spent enough time in Taiwan that it is a second-home to me.

I would prefer the Taitung area or perhaps Tainan. The only thing that really worries me are the earthquakes and typhoons. Also, I understand there is still no retirement visa system in Taiwan. I think this is really short-sighted on the part of the Taiwan government. The island has a lot to offer and I think people would flock there.

Does anyone know if the government is considering such a scheme? It could be a lucrative source of income for the island if done properly.


Iv read of such talk . They were thinking of the many wealthy Japanese retirees they could target. I think this will be a source of revenue for Taiwan .


Georgia is an interesting choice (ancient cultures, Black Sea beaches, mountains), as are other places in the region. Turkey is an option. Most people think immediately of the Aegean or Mediterranean, but the Black Sea coast could also be interesting. What are the property rights like in Georgia though? How certain is anyone that the government couldn't/wouldn't just take a big bite out of you in one way or another?

I'd consider that general area around the Black Sea or perhaps part of Latin America (which is to say a pretty broad area). Malaysia would not be high on my list because if anything, it's going to become more strictly Muslim in the future, especially since those Chinese there who aren't trying to get PR in Australia don't seem to be breeding anyway.

Taiwan has its benefits, but I'd hardly say it has its charms. Even on the east coast -- no, especially on the east coast -- I'm yet to see anything but absolutely fugly architecture in towns that seem to have been built specifically to antagonise pedestrians. The rule for town planning in Taiwan seems to be that if a major trucking route could in fact bypass a town, it should be directed right through the main street, just in case anyone could possibly start a little cafe culture there. Wouldn't want that happening now, would we? The thing that strikes me about the east coast of Taiwan is how incredibly beautiful it would be if people didn't live there. There's an awful lot about Taiwan that would have to change (starting with bulldozing most towns and bringing in some foreign town planners, architects and designers) before I'd really consider retiring here. I don't want to stand in my bathroom, look out the window and see more bathroom tiles.


I love GiT's posts they make me seem so well integrated and non-racist, especially when I remark that a beautiful place in Taiwan is one with no Taiwanese people around. :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically outside of Thailand, most countries have done a really shitty job with the retirement tourism thing. Basically it's just too much trouble for even command and control economies. Then you have the times when they try, like the with the Japanese in Pingdong, and manage to screw it up spectacularly. How many well-off retirees really want to come and live in a place where you can't flush your toilet paper down the shitter or where visa rules change regularly or where there is a serious lack of affordable quality merchandise.

As far as Latin America, unless it's Chile, keep less than $5000US available in cash at a bank and plenty of credit cards, because when they take your money, at least you won't lose much.


Today, another ambulance could not make it through the market, so the guys just lowered the stretcher on wheels they use and hauled their equipment through the market. Seems everyday we are losing one or more old timers. If they do not bring this stuff down soon, it'll be empty when the bulldozers come...

What I mean to say is that health care is proactive here -lots of meetings on eating right, lots of knocks on the door for info-, and reactive too -lots of access to hospitals and doctors. I like this gathering of old folks on teh corners and parks and stores. Old people here are not locked up in their own homes, fearful of going out. And when something happens, well, help gets there one way or another, sooner or later.


Not Pingdong, Puli. (Poo Village).


Okami: See what I mean?

Seriously though, what I mean is that Taiwan obviously does have an architectural heritage. The temples are cool. The "Chinese" buildings I've seen abroad are cool. What gives here with the bathroom tiles, tribute to concrete and major trucking routes through small towns? All the usual explanations about the weather, poor cement, etc. don't cut it when there is beautiful architecture in much poorer parts of southeast Asia (not to mention much of Latin America or the Caribbean). The poor road planning doesn't make any sense when you consider that Taipei is far more densely populated than much of the rest of the island. Yet rather than build highways or freeways around small towns, much of rural Taiwan is like a monster truck rally. Where are Taiwan's showoff towns that just bowl you over with their quaintness as you come over the hill outside the town? Even places like Jiu Fen are a complete pigsty. Taiwan obviously has all sorts of benefits for an expat that much of the region doesn't, such as great hospitals, but is seriously lacking aesthetic appeal in the man-made department. It's far easier to be a pedestrian in many (most) parts of southeast Asia compared to Taiwan. Again, outside of Taipei, you basically have to spend a large amount of time walking on the road in the traffic because the few footpaths that exist have been co-opted as an assault course of scooter parking and clothes racks selling 100NT t-shirts with bad English. Whose fault is any of this if not the Taiwanese? It's obviously a cultural thing as these issues rear their ugly heads in differing degrees all over the region with seemingly no correlation with wealth/education levels, population density and ex-colonial status.

Maybe I secretly wanted to study architecture or design, but I do seem to have a particular sensitivity to my environment. I do notice that everywhere I go, I am accutely aware of even how different the vegetation is.


Taiwan has nothing like Malayia's retirement scheme for foreigners. In Malayisa you can get permanent PR, the ability to buy real estate, and coverage under the national medical scheme if you can show you have a retirement income of more than 1500/month. I think it's called the MyMalaysia scheme or something like that.

If you're in government, your defined pension will definitely be more than enough to qualify for this. Hell, if you are from the US, your maximum social security benefit after retiring could also easily cover this or some national program like Canada's national pension program or private RRSP program.

To my knowledge, Taiwan has nothing like this. Then again, I think it would have a hard time competing with Malaysia for the following reasons:

(1) cheapness--Malaysia outside of KL is pretty cheap (cheaper than Taiwan for sure).
(2) food--Malaysia wins hands down.
(3) infrastructure and environment--Malaysia is cleaner with better developed infrastructure etc.
(4) climate variety---even in the hot of summer in the lowlands (hot and humid), Cameron Highlands etc. is way cooler (22 degrees).
(5) medical--Great medical coverage where English is spoken widely.
(6) close to first world Singapore and touristy Thailand.

Of course, the downside is that certain states are more fundamentalist, and that the government panders to the Malay majority sometimes at the expense of the Chinese. :thumbsdown:


Thanks for all the replies. I agree with a lot of what Chewy writes about Malaysia, particularly with regards to food. Their financial requirements are somewhat more than he suggests, but it's still very do-able Don't know if I could convince the wife to go there in any case, so it's a dark horse. I do think their approach to the retirement visa is very savvy. I really wish Taiwan would do something like this.

Language is not an issue for me. I speak Mandarin (my wife is a Mainlander and it's our language at home). Though I guess if we were to live in Taidong or Tainan I would try to learn Taiwanese.

Thailand holds absolutely no appeal to me. It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. To the guy who keeps going on about the bathroom tile architecture in Taiwan: fair enough, but it used to be much more pervasive than it is now.

I hope to get a chance to live in Taiwan again before I retire, to help me make up my mind--the last time was from 2006-2008, and I had not been there since 1993. It blew me away how much more livable it had become. I know it's a requirement on Forumosa to whinge about how awful Taiwan is, but I sure do miss the place! They had to drag me away kicking and screaming in 2008...


Bad news for ya, if you cant surf you probably cant walk either :slight_smile:

You could paddle BEYOND Turtle Island when that time comes tho?


This idea of a retirement visa has been around for several years. As I recall, the main issue was age upon it could be issued and the assets of the retiree. I have ample of both but I am damned if I am going to open my books to anyone who wants to see them. My SS is probably not enough. Thus, if you apply for this visa showing your retirement income, without revealing all, you would probably be denied anyway.
Also, would you be able to freely freelance as with an APRC combined with your you retirement income.
From friends, these are the issues that are holding it up.
Perhaps, if knowledgeable retirees were to post solutions, it would be noticed.
BTW, Japanese are not the only nationals that would settle here. There are many countries with good folks who would like to call Taiwan their home in their elder years. They may not have a fortune in the account but they spend a lot of money every month and that means more jobs and a better economy. Taiwan is missing out on this opportunity. Think about it. Rent, food, entertainment, etc. Us old folks don't sit in isolation. We like to go spend some of the funds and Taiwan benefits.
I ponder.


Absolutely right ! As Taiwanese age as well and as the island becomes more and more a service oriented society rather then a manufacturing one. Lots of oldster money to be made to grease the greying society.

And we can all go and eyeball the chicks on chongshiao e.rd. (they will all be in their 50s while we are in our 80s??) :slight_smile:


Yeah, you're right. The scheme is called Malaysia My Second Home, and the financial requirement is a little more than I mentioned. It's:


I am a LONG, LONG way from even considering this but I have honestly thought about it on many an occasion. I really did enjoy my 2 or so years in Taiwan, and have been left wanting more ever since I left and came back home. :thumbsup:


So we are planning to retire in Taiwan (down south where SO's family live) and I had assumed that being married I would not need to worry about visas etc. but reading this thread I am now starting to think - what if she died before me? I'd be screwed right. I mean she's quite a bit younger but my family all live long and hers don't look so healthy...once I've lived in the 'wan for 7 years on a spousal visa can I apply for the permanent thingy?

Malaysia's not an option by the way - the people suck as a rule - its not a patch on Taiwan for overall friendliness.


Most countries have provisions for permanent resident by spouse to continue should the spouse die, or if the spouse is abusive.