Sell Me on Retiring in Taiwan for the Next 10 Years

I’m 56, this year. Just resigned from teaching, sold the hoose and will be back on the rock later this year. Have a nice buffer of moolah to ease back into expat life. The missus and I will be traveling about Taiwan for a bit doing some recon, the north, Dansui, East Hualien and maybe down to Taitung, but I doubt we’ll settle there unless someone tells me it’s not melty hot all summer long. We’ll check out the islands. I am partial, very much so, to Matzu, but we’ll go back to Peng Hu to poke around. I do not like big cities or far away mountains (hate the white knuckle driving, and I’m only getting older and grouchier.) I like greenery and growing my own food and view, ocean and sun. You do you. Thanks. :cowboy_hat_face:

So, one and all, if you were in my shoes, sell me of your TW retirement paradise.


After 10 years, are you going back?

I doubt it, but in 10 years, I’ll be fully retired, drawing on my IRAs, and my pension will kick in. Why go beyond that, unless of course there’s a property to die for? :idunno:

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I’d do Lalashan in Taoyuan. Close enough to Taipei for shopping and socializing but love the scenery. There was a hotel there we used to stay at —called the Conjugal Love Farm.

lalashan taiwan - Google Search

My vacation in Taiwan - Travel / Taiwan Travel - Forumosa

I have extended family in Taiwan and may consider doing the same at some point but only after retiring in 10 or 15 years (mid 40s and can do it anytime after 55 with Canadian and Europe civil service pensions and lump sum benefits). However, I will already have two properties by retirement (UK now and one in South of France for wife in next decade after I inherit). It would be number 3.

In Taiwan, I would want cheap and rural.

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It is about a three hours drive from Taoyuan City. The drive up there is rather scary as this place is literally on top of a 5000 foot mountain.

Yeah, me and my bad eye think so too.

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Medical care.

If you are retiring you are going to be needing more and more medical care as you age. In the US it gets expensive and insurance companies have vested interest in denying you medical care or denying coverage based on profit, not to mention how expensive health insurance is.

In Taiwan you get NHI and can buy supplemental insurance to cover what NHI doesn’t cover. That supplemental insurance is not expensive, about the same cost as NHI.

If you’re rich, very rich, then American healthcare being expensive won’t affect you but if you are not, then medical care costs will be vastly cheaper. You also won’t go bankrupt because of healthcare cost related reason which is seemingly very common in the US.

Taiwan is also very safe. Thefts are extremely rare here, and violent crimes are even rarer as long as you don’t go messing with the wrong people. You won’t be gunned down randomly by some nutcase or by the police…

I’d say this is a VERY big reason to retire in Taiwan, though in my opinion many buildings, traffic, etc. is depressing as hell in Taiwan but you don’t seem like the type who can’t afford good housing and a car, so you’d do very well in Taiwan.


One word of caution:

Unless you’re deciding on becoming a citizen (and potentially renouncing your current citizenship in the progress), you might not be eligible for some of the benefits.

If all your income comes from investments, you could potentially live tax free here because there is a very generous exemption of 6.7million NT$ per year on overseas income. Even more if you get a Gold Card.

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i like cities, so for me prob new Taipei or another metro area. Living out in the boonies in Taiwan, while beautiful, is less developed.

Considering the list of things you don’t like, why Taiwan?

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Not asking for reasons. I have reasons. I’m asking for places I might not have considered.

That’s what I’m after. Boonies but a short drive into snivilization:

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I like my wife.


then new Taipei in my opinion answers yhis perfectly.
where will your kids be? distance from children and grandchildren is difficult.

Penghu is great much more connected than Matsu. Maybe even one of the islands of Penghu if you want to be somewhere even more remote.



I would take Lalashan over Penghu in a second. Too windy in the Pescadores. Lala is close enough to the airport and Taipei, but away from the rat race. Lots of mountain villages, great food, and a feeling of being away from it all, but close to come back.
It is where I would love to live 1 month a year in retirement. Ideally 6 months in UK, 5 months France and 1 month in Taiwan. Maybe a few days in Canada. :laughing:


What kids?

Yes. We really want to se the smaller islands. Haven’t been there in 15 years.

This is how we’re thinking for the first six months or so.

Every district of New Taipei City that used to be a Rural Township remains so cheap that if you sold your house in the US that you’d be able to buy something extremely nice a few times over that is quiet, sea-level flat, yet close enough to Taipei that any US American or Canadian wouldn’t find the drive out of place.

Wanli has access to the highway to Taipei and sea.

Sanzhi has access to the sea and Danshui

Jinshan, Shihmen, Ruifang etc…

Both offering Thailand/Philippine level of cheapness with the western-style level of development.


We owned a new place on the Mucha line in Taipei in the early to mid 2000s–about 2 mins from NCCU. Found a real difference in vibe between Taipei City and New Taipei City with a preference for the former. Just over the bridge into Hsin-tien in NTC, you would see mothers allowing their kids to poop on the street. Maybe that’s changed in the last decade.

If you’re retiring JD, I would stay well clear of the rat race, the masses and the sprawl.

In my retirement dream, I would live in a rural setting one month a year in the mountains and come into Taipei for an annual soiree. Sadly, still 9 years before I can do this as 55 is the youngest age to retire comfortably.

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Taiwan it is then. I’ve always enjoyed it down on the south east coast, Taitung and down. Spectacular scenery, sea views and chilled.

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