Where should I live?


Ultimately, the path of least resistance would be to stay at my current job until 55/57, when my pension will be another $10K or so (US dollars) per year. Only if I could I land a less strenuous position mind you, and if my wife was on board … Many factors to consider.


That is one of the benefits of Ecuador. In a place such as Cuenca, which is by and far the most popular destination for expats and full of Anglo speakers, you can get a really decent 3 bedroom apartment for around 250-300 CDN a month. You won`t find anything as decent in Taipei for 8K (NTD). If you can show the authorities, you make more than 800 per month in pension payments, you have your PR residency. Access to private health care (very good) runs 60CDN per month. On around 1400CDN, you have a really decent lifestyle. For people with pulmonary or breathing problems, Cuenca is not as high as Quito in elevation.

On a budget of 2 to 3 K CDN per month, you could live really, really, really well!


Chewy you bad dog you. Now you have me watching Cuenca videos on YouTube … I just need to convince the wife to make a trip there to check it out …


I`m a mountain dude, so I love some of the small towns that sit atop Cuenca. I currently work in France and thought about retiring here. However, with a civil service pension of about 70K CDN in 20 years or so, Ecuador would be really comfortable, exotic and close enough to US/Canada and other interesting LA countries. Getting a relatively easy route to citizenship would give u access to every MERCOSUR country w/o a visa.


Interesting. In that we need our investments to grow for a full 15 years after I retire at 50, I need a country that does not have a capital gains tax on equities. Funny enough, Taiwan qualifies. Ecuador and Mexico tax stocks the same as income, which is very bad. Malaysia is a zero tax on capital gains, which is important in our plan.

Basically, we are letting our $200k or so sit for 15 years to grow, and then using it at 65 for retirement. So it might get cashed out at 65, or at least changed to lower risk funds. That being the case, a no tax situation is very important- we hope on doubling our money in 15 years, and even 15% tax on $200k is $30000 - too much.

Sadly, Ecuador and Mexico capital gains are taxed as income, and at $200K US, that would be $70000 in tax- no way!

There is the option of keeping it in our TFSA (the Canadian Roth IRA) until 65, but then we would have to move back to Canada and re-establish residence before withdrawing anything to avoid taxes. That would re-open other countries as options.

Luckily we have 5 years to figure this out … But time flies like an arrow ( and fruit flies like a banana) .


hope the $200k is not sitting in a bank at low interest rate. will lose on the inflation side.


It is not at 200K just yet, but should be around that point when I retire in 5 years.

I have our money in primarily index fund ETFs. And that is where it will sit for the 15 years to grow as well.


Has anybody checked Belice? Uncle Bob is looking into it, which means it must be a tax haven.


Interesting, nice to read about Ecuador, did not know it.

1 Vietnam - probably my first choice in Asia. Food is great, they have coffee culture, you can teach English and make more in purchasing power comparing to Taiwan. Plus Vietnam opened real estate, apartment market to foreigners. Yes, you can buy apartment there, own it legally. Is like buying apartment in 90s in Taiwan before crazy boom. Think about it.

Hungary, Budapest. Am divorced, will move to Budapest with my son, after 5 years, when he can go to elementary school. They are many good mix German - Hungarian school, with really cheap tuition . Even local Hungarian schools have good, strong German language courses. On another side English schools are expensive like in Taiwan, but you can find plenty of nice Hungarian people, coming back after living in Britain, Ireland for many years. They have great command of English and can be nanny to your son.

Budapest has a bit of raw east European style - which i like it. People are nice, not fake, they tell to your face how they feel it, but without being socially awkward like Germans. Just few Muslims in city, and believe me, we make sure they keep low profile, very low profile. I really do like Hungarians, great service and attitude in restaurants, even having peanuts (max 400 euros /monthly ) for salaries. Great local food for cheap money available in restaurants and in their traditional markets. And many good Asians restaurants popping up in the center. To my surprise with more authentic Asians taste, comparing to other EU capitals. As well European discount supermarkets like lidl, aldi, tesco are all around. Can buy cheap organic food from farmers too.

Not only food is great in Budapest, there are monetary reasons to move there too. First one, will be good for your son, he will learn german and hungarian in school, and later on, i believe after 5 years he can ask for Hungarian passport. All of you can get Hungarian passports, but he will qualify first. Is a passport primarily from poor country, but however opens 600 millions market of EU, either work or study. Your son can study for peanuts in small German town at good university. No students dept for you, either your family.

And real estate market is on the rise. I already earned like 25 % and my bet is at least double up for next 10 - 15 years. Nice location, comfortable high class apartment with view on Danube river for like 150k usd

For the last, lets not forget about city and lovely Danube river and outside spa in middle of streets. Public transportation is smooth, cheap, reliable. And here is Hungarian low budget airline Wizz air. Look maps of locations. Can flight next to nothing, for less than 50 euros to Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Greece islands. I know is not exotic as Asia, but probably best cheap EU country to retire. And is super safe, and will stay like this.




What are the Visa situations in Hungary and Vietnam? I assume you have to work? Or do either of them have retirement visas?

Hungary is a very interesting option … I like the sneaking into the EU though the back door.


Well yea for Vietnam i believe you could get yourself a visa for work - for teaching visa. And this kind of residency i believe is one of condition to buy apartment.

For Hungary you should open a company, and sponsor yourself. Give yourself a salary, i mean should not be that expensive, considering really low salaries. But you will have some cost. Probably at least 150 euros to 300 euros per month. Health care and other socials insurances are paid with it. Cause locals have low salaries, afternoon activities for a teenager must be cheap, like really cheap or even free. Owning a car is cheap, i bought 3 years old BMW - second hand diesel car in Germany for like 15k euros (3 years warranty), imported it to Hungary, paid like 700 euros for papers, for importing. And yearly i pay around 500 euros for registration, insurance, taxes. Well diesel is more expensive comparing to Taiwan or USA, around 1 euro/liter. Funny thing is, am allowed to do this, even not working in Hungary, but just having one of my residency there. Will sold card for similar price after driving 100km. Def can get 14k for him in Hungary.

I would personally rather put my son with Europeans than Asians. And your son is 100% Caucasian, and Hungarians have character closer to your culture. I mean Vietnam is total third world and Taiwan (well not far from it)… being more and more isolated and threatened by China. With current political situation and real estate reality you will be forced to rent a place. I do not know where you plan to live. In north of Taiwan can forget to find anything decently bellow 25k - 40k. And hey this is not cheap by international world wide standards. Here is trick, taiwan just appeared to be cheap low cost country. Once you want to have s standard, quality, living expenditure can sometimes suppress west too. Big plus is tone of easy relative well paid teaching jobs. Will be hard, but not impossible to find good school in Taiwan for your son. Maybe some mountains school will do, otherwise school system will suck out life soul & energy from your son. How good is Chinese ability of your son? Does he enjoy talking mandarin?

Getting EU passport is huge advantage long term, but learning two hard language can be tough. Hungarian is difficult language for one to master, is not worth much (in economical sense ofc), although growth potential is in Hungary.

Like someone else said, maybe rotate around. Can buy apartment in Budapest, live there for like 8 years, arrange passport for son, let him study on his own and pick up another country after 8 years. I know Budapest has some good faculties, as well Poland has to (and other cheap EU countries), and cost of living there are peanuts comparing to Taiwan or West. I know an american dude with double passports, who finished medical university in Poland. I think his tuition was like 2k euros per year or whatever and his parents bought 50 square meter apartment for 50k which latter they sold for profit too. Studying in east Europe is cheap. Is all about picking up good majors and faculties.

Not sure about your son options in Taiwan long term. Even locals having harder n harder.