When a person is considering retirement, a lot of things pass through the mind., and affordability of a good life is a big one. Some people choose places like Florida, Costa Rica, or others with mild climates close by. I think that a lot of people should come to Vietnam for a visit and then seriously consider the benefits of retiring here. A large expat community already exists here. Many of them are here because the pensions the receive at home will only give them a meager existence, whereas the same pension paid here can have a person living like an upper class businessman. In NhaTrang there is quite a variety of foreigners who have decided to call this place home. There are many Canadians, Americans, Europeans, Brits, and French. I am sure there are others, but I have not met them yet. They are all men. I have not as of yet met a single woman that has retired here from another country (unless they are Vietnamese). That is not to say that they are here for the girls, or they dislike the home country….. It is that many of them have had some kind of
past experience in this country, and this IS a country that a person cannot forget. After a bad divorce or being widowed, or even just experiencing the culture can draw a person back here. It did me! Sooooo… what are the benefits of retiring in a Country like Vietnam? Let us discuss that.
First of all, your dollar goes a long way. A person can have a basic life with comfort for 500.00US a month. For 700.00 you can have a good middle class existence. Anything over that is a bonus and you begin to live high on the hog. (sorry to my Vietnamese readers for the Idiom… It means Very good.) So you now have enough to pay for a nice house, eat good food, and enjoy any entertainment you might desire. On top of the ability of having a
nice home, comes the ability to afford to hire full time helpers. A cleaning person to come in 3 daily might cost 15 dollars a month, and a full time cook perhaps the same. You will never eat so good and so healthy. When you want to go out, you can call your personal driver that also is available at a low cost. If you wish, there are also many easy ways to be mobile here. You truly do not need a vehicle.
Next is the climate. In the Center where I live the mean temperature only varies by about 3 of 4 degrees all year round. Since coming here, all of the aches and pains in the joints have disappeared. There is no need to bundle up
in layers of clothing, A Tee shirt and shorts will do just fine all year around. The air is not as humid as one might think and even the hotter temperatures are easy to deal with. Both in Saigon it can be more humid and sticky hot, but is that not what air conditioning is all about?
Most of the modern conveniences available at home are also available here. Power Water, Cable TV, high speed internet, and now even reading material. Shopping for personal use items never gets boring as I am constantly surprised at how much less it costs here. Some things are the same though.
Computers, cameras, and Televisions are a few examples.
And what about drugs and medical care? I wondered about that very same question. First of all, I have as of yet not found any drug that we needed unavailable. Almost anything can be purchased from countless pharmacies located in abundance throughout the cities. Most and possibly all drugs can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, but the approval of the pharmacist themselves. Unless a person goes to a foreign owned doctor or hospital, medical service is not very expensive. IF there are serious issues, a person can go to a foreign held hospital for what is still an affordable price, or jump a short flight to Thailand where the medical care there is among the best in the world, for a very low cost. There is one problem I can see here that could put a damper on things. Roadside Emergency assistance seems almost non existent here. If you are prone to seizures of any kind, this would not be the place for you unless you can recover unassisted.
Lastly…. You will not be alone!! Besides a large community of expats, there are a lot of people who know that befriending a westerner can benefit their lives. Whether financially, or their desire to improve English, or even just to hear about the rest of the world, you will not be alone. If you are a single male of any age, there will be women……. Some very nice women… that will want to look after you and keep you in good health in order to have a more secure and stable future.
The only big drawback to retiring here is leaving your family behind, but then… What a great reason for them to have an exotic Asian holiday 🙂
Some random pics