How to Retire in Vietnam: Benefits, Pros and Cons of Living in this Exotic Country

Halong Bay vietnam

Are you looking to retire abroad? Vietnam is a great option for retirees who want to experience an exciting and vibrant country with amazing culture, cuisine, and people.

With its modern cities, beautiful landscape, and affordable cost of living, Vietnam has become a popular destination for retirees from around the world.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, pros, and cons of living in Vietnam, so you can decide if it’s the right place for you to retire.

Why Retire in Vietnam?
My Son- best things to do in vietnam

Vietnam offers a number of advantages for retirees. First, there is an abundance of activities to enjoy: from lush jungle walks and mountain treks to city tours and beach holidays.

If you’re into culture, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore ancient temples, pagodas, and other historical sites across the country. You can also visit local markets, fascinating museums, and vibrant nightlife spots.

The cost of living is quite low compared with many other countries around the world; this makes retirement in Vietnam very attractive.

If you’re looking to make your retirement savings stretch further, Vietnam is a great choice.

You’ll also find that the local cuisine is delicious and inexpensive; you can enjoy a variety of fresh seafood, succulent meats, and exotic fruits for very little money.

Finally, the people in Vietnam are incredibly friendly and welcoming; if you need help with any aspect of settling into retirement life in Vietnam, you’re sure to find someone who’s willing to lend a hand.

The Cost of Living in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City - best things to do in vietnam

The cost of living in Vietnam is much lower than in many western countries.

Rent, food, transportation, and other basic necessities are generally quite affordable. It’s also possible to find reasonably priced healthcare services as well as private schools for children.

In addition to saving money on the everyday costs of living, there are a few financial benefits that come with retiring in Vietnam. The government offers tax incentives such as no taxes on income earned outside of the country and reduced withholding rates on pension payments from abroad.

How to Get a Visa to Live in Vietnam

So you may be wondering, what’s the first step on how to retire in Vietnam?

If you’re planning to retire in Vietnam, you’ll need to apply for a long-term visa. The best way to do this is to work with a reputable visa service that can help you navigate the process and ensure that your application is successful.

You’ll need to provide a number of documents, including proof of income, a medical certificate, and a police clearance certificate. The visa application process can be complex, so it’s important to have all of your paperwork in order before you begin.

Once you have your visa, you’ll be able to stay in Vietnam for an extended period of time; typically, this is three years. After that, you can renew your visa for an additional three years.

Leisure Activities
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park - best things to do in vietnam

No matter what your interests are, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy in Vietnam.

The country has a rich culture and history, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore the local heritage while traveling in Vietnam. You can also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and water sports.

If you enjoy shopping, there are plenty of markets and stores to explore in the cities. You can also visit the local farmer’s markets for fresh, locally-grown produce and other goods.

Vietnam is also known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and clubs where you can socialize with locals and other ex-pats.

You can also stroll in the streets in Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

There are so many expats living in Vietnam, you’ll be able to link up with them and share your stories and experiences with one another.

Healthcare in Vietnam

One of the biggest concerns for retirees is healthcare. Fortunately, Vietnam offers high-quality, affordable healthcare services. When travelling in Vietnam, you’ll need good healthcare coverage just in case you go all out on an extreme adventure.

There are a number of modern hospitals and clinics throughout the country that offer excellent medical care. You can also find pharmacies on almost every street corner, so it’s easy to get the medications you need.

In addition, many hospitals in Vietnam now accept foreign health insurance plans. This means that you can continue to use your existing health insurance coverage even after you retire to Vietnam.

Pensions and Social Security in Vietnam

If you’re receiving a pension or social security payments from abroad, you’ll be happy to know that Vietnam has very favorable tax laws for retirees.

These payments are not subject to any taxes in Vietnam, and you can also have them transferred directly into your bank account without incurring any additional charges.


Getting around in Vietnam is easy and affordable.

Public transportation options like buses and trains are widely available, but if you prefer more independence, renting a scooter or car is also an option. Taxi services are abundant and inexpensive as well.

Also, train travel in Vietnam is super affordable and convenient, you can hop on a train from Ho Chi Minh City all the way to Lao Cai. Plus you’ll get a lot more leg room and space.

In addition, there are flights to many major cities across the country, so you have the flexibility to travel around Vietnam quickly and easily.

Local Customs and Culture in Vietnam

Vietnam is an incredibly diverse and welcoming place. You’ll find many different cultures, religions, and languages in Vietnam, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local customs and culture before you arrive.

It’s also important to respect the traditions of Vietnam, such as avoiding public displays of affection in certain areas or taking off your shoes when entering someone’s home. Learning a few key phrases in Vietnamese can go a long way toward showing your respect for the local culture.

Language Barriers

English is not widely spoken in Vietnam, so it’s important to learn some basic Vietnamese before you retire. Fortunately, there are plenty of language schools and online courses to help you get started.

It’s also well worth the effort to learn some basic cultural tips such as how to dress, greet people, and order food. These skills will come in handy when navigating everyday life in Vietnam.

The Food

One of the best aspects of living in Vietnam is its delicious cuisine. From famous street food like Pho to intricate dishes like Bun Cha, you’ll never tire of the delicious food available in Vietnam.

The Climate

The climate in Vietnam ranges from tropical in the south to temperate in the north. The temperature typically stays between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, so you can expect warm weather no matter where you go.

The best time to travel in Vietnam is around March, and you can expect decent weather for the rest of December.

Rainy season tends to last from May through October, while the dry season is generally from November through April. The humidity is usually high throughout the year, so it’s important to stay hydrated and wear lightweight clothing.


  • The biggest pro of retiring in Vietnam is the cost of living; it’s much lower than in other countries worldwide. This means retirees can easily live on their pension or other retirement savings and still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Additionally, the healthcare system in Vietnam is very good and affordable; you can be sure that your medical needs will be taken care of.
  • The climate in Vietnam is also ideal for retirees; it’s generally hot and humid with highs around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) year-round. This makes it perfect for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities in an enjoyable climate all year.
  • If you solo travel in Vietnam, you’ll save so much money while still visiting unique and exotic locations.
  • Finally, there are lots of leisure activities available; from swimming and diving to fishing, golfing, and hiking, you’ll find plenty of ways to stay active during your retirement years.


  • While there are certainly many benefits to retiring in Vietnam, it’s important to consider the drawbacks as well. The language barrier can be challenging for those who don’t speak Vietnamese; however, there are many English-speaking ex-pats living in Vietnam so you should be able to find assistance if needed.
  • Additionally, the infrastructure in some parts of Vietnam isn’t very developed and roads can be unreliable. This can make traveling within the country difficult at times. Finally, it can take a while to get used to the local customs and culture; while most people are warm and hospitable, it takes time to really feel a part of your adopted community.

Thoughts and Conclusion

Retiring in Vietnam is becoming increasingly popular with retirees from around the world. With its beautiful scenery, delicious food, friendly people, and low cost of living, it’s easy to see why.

While there are some challenges to retiring in Vietnam, such as the language barrier and lack of infrastructure in some areas, the pros far outweigh the cons for many retirees.

If you’re considering retirement abroad, Vietnam should definitely be on your list!

You can also check out Best Places to Go in Vietnam and 10 Things to See in Ho Chi Minh City.

One of the best aspects of living in Vietnam is its delicious cuisine.  From famous street food like Pho to intricate dishes like Bun Cha, you'll never tire of the delicious food available in Vietnam.
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One of the best aspects of living in Vietnam is its delicious cuisine. From famous street food like Pho to intricate dishes like Bun Cha, you'll never tire of the delicious food available in Vietnam.
Retiring in Vietnam has become an increasingly popular option for retirees who want to experience the culture, cuisine, & beauty this country
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