Retirement in Vietnam: An Affordable and Popular Choice in Asia

Expats are discovering Vietnam as an up-and-coming retirement hotspot.


Vietnam presents a favorable environment for expats looking to retire, offering a lower cost of living compared to their home countries and a friendly atmosphere that makes the elderly feel comfortable.

According to VOV, citing GOBankingRates, a personal finance publication by Nasdaq, Da Nang ranks among the top five affordable and attractive places for expat retirees in Asia.

Situated along the central coast of Vietnam, Da Nang offers a relaxed lifestyle, excellent quality of life, and affordable living options, states the website.

Vietnam among Cheapest and Most Popular Places in Asia for Retirees
Da Nang is an ideal vacation destination for every summer vacation. Photo: VNA

“In my opinion, Da Nang is a rising star among retirement destinations in Asia,” says Motati. “Da Nang offers pristine beaches, scenic mountains, a warm climate, and modern amenities. With its affordable housing options, excellent healthcare facilities, and growing expat community, Da Nang is a no-brainer.”

Along with its clean beaches, vibrant food scene, and favorable climate, the central city of Da Nang provides a welcoming environment for retirees seeking affordable living options. The city’s thriving expat community allows retirees to establish a strong support network while participating in events and activities tailored to their needs.

The city also offers a vibrant cultural scene, with art exhibitions, music festivals, and local performances, giving retirees the opportunity to engage with the local community and embrace Vietnamese culture, as reported by GOBankingRates.

Da Nang ranks second with a monthly average cost of living for expats at USD 867.

Chiang Mai in Thailand tops the list with a monthly average cost of living for expats at USD 661.

The third, fourth, and fifth positions are held by Cebu in the Philippines, Taipei in Taiwan (China), and Kyoto in Japan, with monthly average costs of living for expats at USD 840, USD 1,268, and USD 1,565, respectively.

Vietnam among Cheapest and Most Popular Places in Asia for Retirees
Vietnam listed among top 10 best destinations for expats in 2022. Photo:

Vietnam has been listed by international reports and websites as one of the retiree-friendly countries due to its affordability.

The 2022 Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living ranks Vietnam 18th among the top 20 best places to retire worldwide, with a score of 68.3.

According to the organization, Vietnam offers friendly locals, beautiful scenery, a unique culture, and a high-quality lifestyle at a remarkably low cost.

Entertainment services in Vietnam are considered a “bargain” for foreigners, and Vietnamese cuisine is rated as the freshest and healthiest in the world, further enhancing its appeal to retirees.

In 2021, Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam was voted among the top 15 best islands in the world for retirement by International Living.

Despite being an emerging retirement destination, Vietnam currently imposes strict visa policies, making it challenging for elderly individuals to live here permanently without a job or investment visa, as reported by Vietnamnet.

Those interested in retiring in Vietnam face difficulties due to the obstacles involved in obtaining a visa.

Richard Thompson, a British expat residing in Da Nang, emphasizes the potential benefits of Vietnam welcoming more expat retirees. Simplifying bureaucratic procedures and offering tailored options would foster a healthier and more vibrant retirement community.

The recent extension of the tourist e-visa duration from 30 to 90 days and the possibility of temporary residence for 45 days with extensions for citizens of certain countries unilaterally exempt from visas by Vietnam are steps towards improving visa policies.

Although Vietnam has one of the strictest visa policies in Asia, it issues e-visas to citizens of 80 countries. Experts suggest that improving visa policies would significantly benefit tourism promotion and generate revenue.

By making it easier for expats to retire in Vietnam, the country can tap into the significant potential of this growing demographic.

Hannah Nguyen