Retiring in Taiwan


I am considering staying in Taiwan because I have a partner here, but I am a little confused as to differences (from a western perspective)between east and west regards financial responsibilities.

As far as I am aware, I have to consider the following:

1) The lack of a welfare state, so no pension for me.

2) The cost of medical insurance for major illnesses, which are apparently not covered by standard medical insurance.

3) The cost of eduction for mixed race children, including cram schools.

4) That I will have to save a lot of money to cover the above.

I currently work for a big chain, but I earn about NT$65,00. I am researching about how I can do private classes to earn more, and I always get a payrise every six months for about an extra NT$30.My partner is also a teacher in another school. In about 3 yearsI wont have to send money home any more.

Does anyone who reads this forum live here with a Chinese partner, and if so, cultural differences aside (I have already considered this at great length) does anyone have any insight regards the financial aspect? It would be nice to have a western perspective.



What do you mean by 'Chinese partner' , i.e. gay? :s


"Partner" is a catch-all word to describe partnerships of all stripes you twit.


A Chinese girlfriend...


YOo didnt need to humour him with an answer.

You seem stressed Jim... it is good you are thinking about these things however dont let them rule your thoughts. Take out some decent insurance, hunt down that extra work... you will be fine. Doing these things in Taiwan is suprisingly easier in Taiwan (except maybe the insurance)


1) Are you already that long in the tooth? Welfare bites here mate so don't be banking on retiring to Kenting on a big fat dole check.

2) Um, not sure on that one.

3) Try to get an agreement with your boss that your children get free education at the school you work for. If they value your work, I'm sure that can do something. I'd doubt that you'd have to pay full fare anyway. Before I departed the Primary School I worked for, there was a policy in place that gave children of employess a substantial discount.

4) Yes, $65K does seem a tad low. Look around for something better would be my suggestion. That still seems like a starting wage to me. Two avenues here ;

 a) Work a morning job and an afternoon job at a seperate school. Quite easy to push your 65 to anything between 80-100+
 b) Continue getting your little pay rises and get some privates.

Regarding 4, I'd choose option a. Privates cancel a lot and require a lot more preperation IMHO.


Well.. I have managed to keep a family running for not much more than NT$65k...

Insurance, we have a bit cover... The one on illness is not that expensive if you pass the health check.

Local primary schools are not that expensive a few thou per semester, and buxibans aren't really necessary before the kid enters junior high.

A good experienced English teacher is on 100K... Adn if your partner works, then you are looking at NT$130k unless she's a complete idiot. If you don't live in Taipei, then you should have enough - also to save on.


Mr He if that was directed at me then I'd agree that it shouldn't be too hard either but the origional poster did say he wouldn't need to send money home after 3 years. Just putting things back into context.


... I married a local girl and since february I work in Taiwan now. My salary here is one third of my german salary (I work in computer business) which seems to be like normal engineer salary here. I do not speak Chinese and so in TWN company I cannot make much. My wife makes more than me, so together we have a little less than my german salary. She had no job way back in Germany so our financial situation is pretty good.

But only because we have local contacts to find cheap apartment and eat a lot of food in the small dining places where you can eat for 50 NT or something (still delicious). Still without my german bank account who is still refilling with tax-paybacks (I have a good tax accountant in Germany i guess) and used to be filled-up with "good-bye money" from my german company it would have been much harder to pay for furniture and stuff we bought here.

I have standard health insurance here but still for dentist and medicine you can easily pay a few thousand NTD per month, as I am more often sick here (climate, more bacterias, my spice allergy). Dentinst is getting more and more expensive back home also, here maybe even a little more. To repair some crown charged 350 USD or so. I think overall price is cheaper than Germany, but insurance does not cover so much like back home.

I must stay here longer time to see how much we can save per month for old-age and stuff, but I fear we can not really cover that. What scares me is to have children here, as in Germany the state would stuff quite a lot of money in our pockets for kids (tax reduction, extra money from state) but of course not here (or only a tiny amount...)

But okay, social benefits are cut in Germany. Not sure yet but I do not want to stay longer than a few years. Especially the few (or no) vacation days here are killing me :astonished:


Thanks for the information, which is very helpful, but without telling me your combined salaries I cant relate it to my own financial ability. Roughly have much do the two of you make together?


He means a TAIWANESE girlfriend, as this is not China. He meant to say Taiwanese, of course.


What if she is a Chinese girl living in Taiwan?
But on topic, personally the idea of staying here near or beyond retirement age is a little frightening to me. Especially without any welfare system to fall back on.


It would help if you specified the country you are from.

Taiwan is ok for single types, but raising a family can get monstrously expensive if you want your kids to grow up Western style like you may have done. Taiwan is great for a couple, but for kids, might be better to raise them in a Western country, where they have most of their costs (health, education, etc.) covered by the state.

It really depends on how great your Western country was, you may find Taiwan to be more expensive or cheaper depending on services covered back home, and the quality of TW's education (HAHA :laughing: ) to your home country.


okay: I have around 1100 Euro here and my wife around 1200. Pssssst, no not tell the folks back home for what I work here :noway:

1 Euro is 1.20 USD now or something
All before tax, but tax is now only 6% (in the first 6 month 20% for foreigners) and health insurance is very cheap (like 20 Euro?)


65k a month plus some extra work every once in a while for some extras should be ok to live on if your careful. My salary here is less than half what it would be in Canada but all in all it seems to go a bit farther.

Before having a child here things were pretty easy financially, my wife teaches and when working extra hours almost dbled. my salary. We had plenty of money to live comfortably on. Now that the years have come and gone we have to think hard about some kind of long term financial strategy and whether our daughter will go to school here. Personally I think it's much harder to prepare for retirement here, as a foreigner, than in Canada. That's probably pretty obvious. The very thought of retiring here sends chills down my spine.

I think you will do fine over the short term but you should really think hard about the distant future. I can't imagine surviving here 20 years from now.


"What next, after Taiwan?" has been a great topic. I'm wondering about the expats who choose to make Taiwan their permanent (as in retire and end their days here) home.
We occasionally hear of long term missionaries. There must be many others who are unlikely to leave Taiwan. Does anyone know the numbers?


Dunno but I recently met a chap who has retired from work in the USA and now lives here in Taiwan.... he's been here around 3 months.... he's only 72 and has retired here :smiley:



Dude, this is one of the topics you should not bring up with old Taiwan hands; I drink enough as it is without having to think about this!


He he,come on a bunch of you guys married local partners....surely you are staying forever? Are you willing to risk matrimonial harmony by shifting your spouse to a different culture?


not all of us are married to taiwanese women like you describe and certainly not all taiwanese women are that weak.

there seem to be more 'older' expats around than i previously have noticed... if i could retire somewhere near a lovely beach on the east coast, grow and brew my own coffee...i'd be happy staying here...