Where should I live?


Music scene is pretty good in Taipei… just make sure you’re legal to play in public.


If you’re not going to live in east Asia and enjoy a level of modernity do yourself a favor a live somewhere fun and exciting like Thailand. Malaysia is boring and lack any type of culture but they’re too ashamed to admit it. They’re basically some jungle people mixed with Islam so you get the picture.

Don’t be fooled by the initial friendliness and general English speaking people you’ll meet on vacation there. The rest of the country isn’t as nice and are openly racist personally and legally. And their behaviors are like a bunch of Jungal villagers mixed with nasty Islamic views. They don’t even have their own food, it’s basically copies of other people’s food made mediocre. There’s absolutely nothing to be proud about in Malaysia and that’s the harsh truth.

You go to the kingdom of Thailand and the people have spirit and culture. They are Thai and they are proud no one has every conquered them and will enjoy Thai food and watch Muay Thai every night. They also don’t push crazy religions ideas on you and there’s much more fun and less repression.


In this case, Thailand for sure. Lots of opportunities to take your practice further in Thailand.


Agree, it’s a buddhist country and lots of fun. Yes still considered dangerous however.


Thai Buddhism does interest me, but my leanings are more of the Tibetan variety. That doesn’t mean that I couldn’t learn mind you.


Another option you might want to consider…spend 3~4 months/yr. in various countries, variety is the spice of life!! Why limit yourself to just one location…


Mexico is usually pretty good in the music scene, but probably wayyyy more dangerous than any other country on the list.


In order to obtain permanent resident status, retirees often apply for a pensioner visa. They need to show a minimum income of $800 per month to obtain a pensioner 9-I visa or invest $25,000 in local real estate, such as a residence, or in an approved financial instrument. They must also show a police report from their home country and, if married, a copy of the marriage certificate. The visa application documents must be authenticated by your home country and then translated into Spanish after arrival in Ecuador.

Once retirees have their residency visa, they are required to stay in Ecuador for at least nine months a year for the first two years. After that period, they can leave the country for a longer length of time.

Permanent residency status means that…

  1. Retirees do not pay any taxes on foreign income.
  2. Retirees could import their household goods duty-free within six months after obtaining residency.


We have considered Ecuador - it is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer. It lacks in one very important area for myself and my wife - food.

I haven’t mentioned it previously, but food ranks very high on our list. Both local night market treats, differing local business, a variety of restaurants of different ethnic types, etc…

I know some disagree, but I consider Taipei to fulfill this requirement very well over all. It is too bad that Taipei is so expensive, but we could probably make it work with living somewhere in Taipei County ( or.whatever it is called these days) like Lotus Hill where we lived for a time previously.


Did you actually take a trip to Ecuador? I would be very interested in hearing your opinion from a boots on the ground perspective. Feel free to pm me.


To give full disclosure - this really is a " convince me to not live/ “retire” in Taiwan" thread.

It will be myself, my wife, and my ( at that time), 12 year old son. There is a possibility of my mother, who would be in her 70s also coming for a period in the year ( this is a different issue)

My wife and I both love Taiwan, but she is hesitant to go back after we lived there previously for so long - she would like to try a new country/culture. Personally, I love Taiwan, and it feels more like home than Canada does, even after 10 years back here - I would move back without hesitation.

The biggest issue with Taiwan would be school and the language for our son. The language is something that we could tackle over time, but the school is a bigger issue, and something we are discussing (possibly homeschooling with many planned social activities).

The Visa is not an issue. I would teach for 20+/- hours a week for the 5 years to get my APRC. Then we could all do whatever we want.

Still, the other countries are currently still on the table - but I fully understand that visiting somewhere and living somewhere are two very different things. Our plan over the next few years us to visit each place for several weeks and see what we think.

This year is Penang, Malaysia, and then Taiwan ( at the beginning of March). I am looking forward to it very much.


Guys politically speaking Ecuador is troublesome, but unstable. I’d rather go to Uruguay.

In general, rule of law in Latin America is spotty at best. Your bubble might be busted anytime, say at a red light.

Taiwan is the best at that…temporarily. It won’t last like that under a PRC regime and that is 10 years away give or take. There will go your land ownership rights and other investments, too. Anyways, they do not have a retiree visa here. Getting the family together will require some maneuvers.

Other places in Asia that do offer retirement/resident options do so in a bubble, where for safety reasons you must stay in at any cost. Vietnam is Ok until they start any political upheaval. Thailand if it remains under military boot. Filipinas and Malaysia are just waiting for the right fuse to explode like the proverbial dynamite. As an expat you must be aware of your surroundings and be ready to flee at a moment’s notice if you choose any of these cheap places. They are cheap for a reason.

I understand the adventure and all but with a kid, why not stay in Canada? Civilization is not overrated.


As I said above, I don’t need a retirement visa - I would be willing to work for 5 years and then get my APRC.

As for the Mainland taking over, I beg to differ. This was said when I lived there as well (15 years ago), and it still has not happened. If it does happen, then I guess we would all have to figure something out.

As an aside, I would never purchase land in any of these countries, Taiwan included. We would rent, and then keep our assets in Canada. My pension would come in monthly, so it is minimal risk.

However, I do agree with you that living overseas comes with risks. But as long as you are aware of the risks and take them into account in your decision making process, you should be fine.


Have you sent your situational report to CIA, NSA, or others yet? This is huge news.

Aside from Taiwan, I’ve always thought Chiang Mai would be cool. Then again, haven’t been back there in nearly two decades. I’m sure they have paved streets by now. lol


Guys, it is bad. You guys trust US to come at a time when the US is closing in on itself.

Currently the problem is more inside Taiwan than outside. As you have said, this has been in the cards for decades and time is running out. The cashing of the chips is coming fast.

I honestly do not understand why the move from a first world country to …well, anywhere less. Maybe I see it as a local without the extra cash for protection but seriously, I do not get it. From the ground up, nope.


To answer the final part of your question,

I understand the adventure and all but with a kid, why not stay in Canada? Civilization is not overrated.

It is too damned cold and ridiculously expensive. That, and the places that we could live in Canada after “retiring” at 50, are shit-holes for the most part ( except the East Coast, which we have considered).

Also, the sjw narrative on a daily basis is brutal, as well as the meth crisis, which is completely out of control. None of these things were a concern to us living in Taiwan, but perhaps we were in a self imposed bubble of sorts …


Don’t fool yourself. There is no " protection" in Canada. A guy who does dozens of break-ins gets time served of a few months due to his addictions problems. A person who stabs someone in a meth induced mania only gets a couple of years. Police response so overwhelmed that they take days to respond to non-critical incidents (ie property crime); and when they do respond, there is little to no punishment if they are even able to catch the person responsible at all.

The health care is only good if you can get it. My father died in the year long waiting-list for bypass surgery.

I get it- the grass is always greener on the other side. But sometimes it is. Remember, that we did actually live in Taiwan for a decade on and off - so we have a bit of an idea what we are getting into with it.


Your arguments sound reasonable. Indeed, widespread drug abuse is yet not the case in Taiwan. Safety is still relatively speaking a value. Most foreigners do not need to live in a bubble to survive.

The drug problem is bad. I was really sad to see how bad when I visited Canada. However, I thought it was only a big city thing. It seems not.

That said, you mention sjw, wait until you crash against the nonsense here. Just a heads up, you need lots of patience, a sense of humor and the cover of a buck’s back.

And retirement at 50 is no longer attainable anywhere, I think.


A bit tough on a 12 year old son in any of your choices.


Uruguay is pretty sleepy (and boring like Canada) and does not have amazon, highlands and coast within hours. I am right wing but was surprised how expat friendly Correa made Ecuador (having been an expat in Belgium perhaps made him so). His successor is even more liberalising I think. So I don`t really buy into it being unstable for expats. You can buy the land, naturalisation is easy and tax is not taxed on worldwide income. If these leftists are making it this welcoming, I think the oligarchs, when they return to power (and they will) will only continue this trend.

Noel: I spent a month there in 2012 and am considering retiring there in 20 years or so (where my government pensions and private savings would mean a very comfortable rural lifestyle). Loved the artisanal/leather towns near Otavalo, as well as the South (Riobamba, Cuenca, Loja, etc.) And food – I am a major foodie and really liked Ecuador offerings. Some great low and high end restaurants in Quito I could recommend. Great food, especially seafood and potato based soups! And Peru, which has some of the best rated restaurants in the world, is relatively close by. These soups are from restaurants in Quito I went to.