Retirement at 50? Maybe in Taiwan

Aiya, I’m reading this and imagining OP’s family hanging out with rural grandpas and grandmas speaking Taiwanese dialect :joy:

On a serious note, I agree with this. Just remember Taipei is quite expensive to live in especially real estate. IMO Taichung is most similar to Taipei and less expensive, although real estate has been rising.

You could also look into townships just outside cities. It could be a 20-30 minute drive one way or however long you like. It might look “far” on the map but remember, Taiwan is much smaller than Canada. Heck, 20 minutes is half my commute to downtown Toronto, Canada, and I live in Toronto proper!

Will your son be getting married in Taiwan? Most families won’t let their daughter marry unless the groom (or groom’s family) owns a home. So that’s 1 room for you + spouse, 1 room for son + spouse, and 1-2 rooms for your grandchildren. Also something to take into consideration.

OP, defined benefit pension plan is so rare nowadays and it’s amazing you have one as well as it being a high paying job. May I ask what you do and where?

(You don’t have to share all the details. Just curious in general.)

I’m curious about this too! I’ll have a small pension but I can’t start until 65. I’m 50 now but counting down 6 more years until I can retire in Taiwan (assuming my investments keep growing close to average).

Amen to that.

@TWLivesMatter I work for the City of Winnipeg government in Emergency Services. My pension is an excellent one that allows early retirement at 50 (with a penalty), and then with no penalty at 55. It pretty much works out to 2% x years of service x average of best 5 years income (minus penalty if before 55). So pretty good, in my opinion.

It is easy to get greedy though (“the golden handcuffs”); I could easily work until 55 (or later) and have a much larger pension, but I really don’t want to live in Winnipeg longer than I have to. And there is nothing saying that I can’t work in whatever capacity (or whatever amount) I choose in Taiwan - my wife and I have a small online business that would be easily transportable to Taiwan ( I would be on the Gold Card Visa, so open work rights). That, and my wife and I love Taiwan (and Asia in general).

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How easy is gold card visa to get?

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One major reason we like Taiwan is the low crime rate. Even when going out late at night we feel safe. Is KL similar in terms of safety?

No. In fact, crime was pretty bad (relatively speaking) in KL a few years ago. I’m assuming/hoping that they’ve gotten a handle on it now, but certainly it’s not in the same league as Taiwan.

My impression in KL that the majority of crime was purse snatching and house break-ins. I tried to find actual data to see what the real crime stats are, but couldn’t. Numbeo doesn’t count - it is crowdsourced garbage.

Direct violent crime (robbery at knife/gunpoint), assault, murder did not seem that much of anything there. But, that is just my general impression on the street, which did not have a dangerous edge IMHO.

Taiwan is a different case altogether. There is very little violent crime in the streets that isn’t related to mental health issues (and generally very rare). There is occasional gang violence (generally at night in gang run bars, etc.), and of course, domestic violence, both of which you will generally not encounter in public.

Yea, that would rule out KL for us as a place to retire. Safety would be the one of the main reasons I’d choose a place to live.

Makes sense. Just to be clear, KL is not BAD, but Taiwan is one of the safest places on earth crime-wise. Also, the other cities in Malaysia with perhaps the exception of Johor Bahru did not experience the uptick in crime. Pretty isolated to just KL and maybe JB as well.

I think you could walk through “the worst” area of Taipei every night for ten years and never encounter any problems. It’s absolutely never an issue here and not even worth thinking about. Taiwan is great for safety.


That’s a great endorsement but I’m not I’m brave enough to tempt fate. :grinning:

I lived in Wanhua for a couple of years and didn’t mind it at all. My wife had no problems either.


How worried should someone be about the China situation in terms of retiring in Taiwan?

It’s definitely something my wife & I talk about a lot. We’re still 8 years at most away from retirement but we both think the situation will be dealt with in the next 2 years. Xi will do something before his term is up. If we were retiring tomorrow, I would have no problem living there but I would keep most of my assets somewhere else and just put in the minimum down payment for a house.

Whoa! I realize the post I’m quoting is from 2018, but if I plop-down 200K, could I get an investment visa nowadays? I’m currently in the US and am willing to do just about anything to get the heck out (except work… haha)! Does anybody know whether investment visas are being granted to overseas applicants in the current Red China virus environment?

For me, this could suffice as a Plan B escape plan in case vaccinations prove to be ineffective or delayed for quite some time.

I’d been dreaming about retiring in Taiwan for a long time… That is, until last year – spending the entire summer in Taipei burst my bubble – the heat and humidity was very unpleasant…

What about retiring in another city in Taiwan?