Retirement at 50? Maybe in Taiwan

Nice! I was looking into Buenos Aires cost of living on numbeo and comparing it to Taipei. Its like 1/3 the cost of Taipei.

so is Kaohsiung. :grinning:


This book includes comparisons of the best retirement havens on the planet.

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I have read it. It is decent, as is the other book that is commonly cited, the International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas. As I recall, Asia is under-represented in both books, and Central/South America is highlighted (which I have little to no interest in). Still, both are good books to check out.

Here is the link to the book I mentioned:

@bluejasn Numbeo is useful, but not a comprehensive picture IMHO. The big expenses (primarily rent) vary greatly by where in Taiwan you choose to live.

Even in Taipei, if you want central Taipei city, you are going to pay through the nose for a nice place, or have to live like a cheap local to even rent an apartment around 30000 NT$ / $1000 US.

However, if you are willing to live in New Taipei City (suburbs surrounding the city) rents drop by a large amount. You can get nice, modern (by my tastes) apartments around $700 US (20000 NT) and lower. Go to other cities/towns, and it is much the same, if not less.

I retired at 55 because of an injury, I can work but I thought bollocks to it I’m not going to any more.
I don’t care about the money I have a small income from UK compared to earning of English teachers here, but hey budget! I’ve done it all my life why stop now!
I live happilly, just had 3 days in Su’ao Township was great and very cheap, train return for 2 under 500nt, hotel with 1000 nt reduction, 3500nt, hire scooter 2 half days 500nt, best seafood and fish soup ever had half price of Taipei.
Depends what your looking for but simple living is cheap as fook in Taiwan and you won’t get robbed or mugged.
I rent New Taipei City.


Here’s another one for your reference…


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?

There are other threads on this topic. If you’re interested, please have a look here:



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.