Travel + Leisure magazine has hailed Vietnam as one of the eight countries and the only one in Southeast Asia for expats to live and even retire comfortably. The other seven include Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Portugal, Panama, Montenegro, and Colombia.
Retiring in another country is not for everyone, especially if you’re concerned with mobility, homesickness, or ongoing health issues. However, if you’re one of the courageous souls in search of a retirement plan that will keep you active, healthy, and more engaged as you age, moving abroad ticks all the boxes.
If you choose this route, you have to prepare yourself to find answers to questions you never thought you’d ask — What type of visa do I need? How will I get health care?
According to the list released by Travel + Leisure magazine last week, Vietnam is an ideal country to retire cheaply while offering an opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle among other countries in Latin America, Asia, and Europe.
“On the other side of the world, Vietnam is a very affordable place to retire, especially for adventurous retirees who appreciate the country's beaches, scenery, food, history, and culture,” reads the article.
The overall cost of living is about 49% lower than in the United States, and rents are about 75% lower, depending on the location. In Ho Chi Minh City, home to the largest expat community according to International Living, the cost of living is 62% lower than in New York, and housing is about 83% lower.
However, since the government owns all the land and foreigners are restricted from purchasing property, most expats and retirees rent, an economical way to go. One particular issue many working expats in Vietnam face is visa issuance. “Obtaining a visa is not as straightforward in Vietnam as in many other countries, but it’s possible to apply for long-term stays or business visas,” the article continues.
Whether you’re living an active lifestyle or not, getting access to high-quality healthcare is a must. And in Vietnam, it happens to be very affordable, with both public and private systems.
Although most expats carry international health insurance and take advantage of private hospitals. “The most prestigious hospital group in Vietnam is Hoan My Medical Corporation, with hospitals and clinics across the country,” according to International Living.
“City International Hospital in HCMC is the biggest international hospital, where a quarter of the patients are foreigners and most of the medical staff speaks English.”