Retiring in Taiwan


Fixed that for you. :slight_smile:

Edgar Allen, you need to be here FIVE years to apply for an APRC and it's recommended that you do just that. If your spouse passes away without you having an APRC, the NIA might, at its discretion, allow you to stay long enough to apply for an APRC. Or maybe it won't and you'll be screwed. Why take the chance?


If you want the visa, and getting it requires you to 'open your books' to prove you meet the qualifications, you open your books. I wouldn't have a problem with that. It's not a question of 'revealing all', but merely proving you have enough resources that you won't become a burden on society.

I think this is easily manageable for Taiwan if it wanted to exploit this source of revenue. The Malaysia example is a good one. Chewy posted the financial requirements. Their disclosure requirements appear very reasonable to me.

I agree with you and others that Taiwan is missing out on a great opportunity. Not just Japanese would choose Taiwan, that's for sure.


I know Canada doesn't like retirees, in fact the older you are the harder it is to get a visa. The problem is, Taiwan like Canada have universal health care, so if someone gets sick the state helps pay for the bill. The problem is, older people are more likely to be a burden on the society when it comes to medical stuff and that puts countries with a universal health care system off. I just think this may be one reason why Taiwan doesn't offer a retirement visa.

Also, if you notice Taiwan is already full of old people, you know especially when you go to a hospital there's nothing but old folks there (I mean except for the doctors, nurses, etc.), so it's likely if more old folks were to come to Taiwan they would most likely be in or out of the hospital, straining the already strained NHI.

I can understand countries like Malaysia if they are just looking to make money and they have no health care of any kind that the average folk can afford. I suppose one thing Taiwan could do is not allow people on retirement visa get NHI unless they can prove that they are in good health.


I don't think this is accurate. Malaysia does have a universal health care system. There are ways Taiwan could offset any supposed burdens on the NHI: they could require additional insurance surcharges for participants in this scheme. They could also factor this into to the minimum financial requirements. People are living longer, healthier lives on average, so my guess is the money these retirees would add into the economy during their healthy remaining years would likely amount to more than their medical costs.


I wish I can help... in Taiwan when it comes to lobbying it's all about guanxi, and I don't have a whole lot of that..


Why would Taiwan charge a surcharge for NHI? If anything, your contribution simply lowers the average, or maintains it. THis idea of "sufficient income" is not necessary. If you can't live here, even in a cheap house and eating at the night market, you still contribute to the economy. If it doesn't work for you, you leave and . well, that's ok too.


Well... most countries I deal with just requires you to prove that you have the means to live there... I guess they're concerned that you would run out of money and ask for government aid or something. I wish it was like "if you can't live here then you can always leave" but it seems they want to make sure you won't get to the point where you lack the means to live... somehow that could give them the right to ask for government assistance.

I mean they can simply make a rule saying that foreigners can't ask the government for money or a statement saying that the government will not help foreigners financially, but I guess there are political repercussions for that.


I'm not really sure what you're getting at here. In any case, I think a lot of foreigners who would consider Taiwan as a retirement destination would likely have their own health insurance. For instance, in my case, I'll be able to keep my health benefits even after retirement. I'll have a deductible and then I can get reimbursed for a percentage of any costs above that. That's what I did from 2006-2008 when I lived in Taipei.

So for this and other reasons I'm not convinced a retirement visa scheme would unduly burden Taiwan's health care system.


I don't see anybody asking for government help anyway. The basic assistance to forestall starvation for Taiwanese, is, as I recall, about 4,000 NT. I just dont see a multitude of foreignoras trying to retire here in hopes of getting the minimal governmental assistance. Americans, and elsewhere, have a social security income. Mine is over 35,000 NT, which is damned adequate for even a couple. It's not like we are raising kids with school costs, etc. The money simply goes into the Taiwan economy. A retirement visa has no downside and is all positive. Will it happen? Probably. Taiwan needs to increase jobs and an influx of $ assists. Expect it.
EDIT: By the way, I hope that Taiwan does the retirement visa but also doesn't waste a natural resourse. Many of us "retired" have a wealth of information and are experts at teaching here. If Taiwan were to allow us to retire here, yet prohibit us from sharing our experience, both cultures would suffer. A retirement visa should also come with a proviso for some private work in your own expertise. Everybody wins. Taiwan has better income and taxes and us immigrants, often with our Taiwnese spouses, pay more taxes and . . . . escape from home more often. In all seriuousness.


Well the one problem I see with that is they don't want retirees taking away job opportunities from their own citizens. I can't remember if Malaysia's scheme permits employment or not...if it does, I believe it's no more than 20 hours a week. But I think you're absolutely right--retirees could certainly teach English--they'd be a lot more reliable than the stereotypical teacher coming over to earn his next wander down the Banana Pancake Trail. Or why not permit long-term expat/retirees to open other businesses---for instance, a business aimed to assist other retirees who would like to come to Taiwan? I agree with you: Taiwan has nothing to lose and everything to gain with a retirement visa scheme. I just hope it happens in time for me.


Malaysia's health care is affordable and really cheap. Case in point---the only time I ever travelled without health insurance was after I left Singapore. Got a nice little severance package but was too much in a hurry to start backpacking to give a shit to any of the details (I was 22). Backpacked through Yunnan, Laos, Thailand, and then decided to spend some days in Langkawi Island in Malaysia. Had been drinking steadily for quite a while and not hydrating myself. My heart suddenly sped up. Went down to the hospital in Langkawi to get an EKG done. I was expecting maybe having to pay 400US or so. The price? 3 RG (about 1CDN). Affordable, clean, and very good system.


Do any of you know any foreigners that have actually retired in Taiwan? I dont mean those with Taiwanese SOs who qualifiy them for an ARC, but people who have to make visa runs. Or maybe they're working bare minimum hours at the buxiban so they can legally stay?


As I said, the only ones who have retired here that I know of are priests and nuns.

The other issue that we also need to figure out is if we are also going to be able to hire someone to push our wheelchair and takes us to the park to chew the rug with other seniors. Right now I do not think we are able to hire foreign helpers and sincerely I've never seen one single full time local helper.


Is this him?


Three cheers for socialized medicine!


Little bit of a simplistic reply. Malaysia's system is a hybrid system. I have never been against socialized systems. I'm against countries (e.g. Canada, Cuba, North Korea) where it is mandated that you can only have a public system.

I've always said, and I am no Europhile, that Europe and Asia have it right in this regard. The Swiss, Hong Kong, Singaporean models etc. are some of the best models in the world because there are strong public systems and private options. Malaysia is the same way, but I really liked that they shared in-country rates to foreigners (at least they did in my instance). Malaysia's private options, like Thailand's, are also very reasonable and world class in price. It's the reason why so many North Americans in Asia go to Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok rather than trust Taiwan, China etc. systems. It's why so many Singaporeans cross over to Malaysia where the prices are slightly cheaper for private options and the quality is pretty much the same. Give people the choice and you won't see the public system deteriorate. I would point to these countries as a prime example of that. So much fearmongering on the left about a two-tier or multi-tiered system.


In the US the fear-mongering is from the right. That's why the proposed public option is no longer an option.


I've never held up the US system as the pinnacle system to follow. I think anyone looking at how much of the GDP is spent on medical costs in the US, would say it is inefficient to say the least.

That being said, from a venture capital standpoint and from a drug development perspective, the American system, is the best system in the world. No other country develops drugs like the US does.


The pharmaceutical industry and health care field, while related, are entirely separate entities. You're comparing apples and oranges. At any rate, we're veering OT. Taiwan's healthcare system is not a big reason why I want to retire there (it does play a small role though), nor is US healthcare the reason I don't want to retire there. I've got something similar to your 'dual or multi-tiered system', and I'm fortunate that I can carry this into retirement.


The Taiwan system is worldclass, both public/ unfairly left it out. The Taiwan system offers national health card coverage through both public and private choices (of your choice) and encourages competition between hospitals to expand services. It's also available on an equal basis to foreigners with an ARC. Waiting lists are very short, surgical teams are skilled and very well educated.
Not only that but visits to GPs/private clinics are also covered at a measly cost and these clinics are open almost everyday all day...excellent.

The reasons some foreigners go through the Thai system is they like luxury looking hospitals to treat their lifestyle diseases where everybody speaks English and they can take a vacation.