Vietnam shines in MoneyWise’s list best places to retire on US$200,000

With health care and other costs skyrocketing in the US, many soon-to-be retirees are considering what once might have been unthinkable: taking their retirement savings and moving overseas for their senior years.

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Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh province.

Vietnam has been named among 15 nations around the globe where retirees might easily get by on savings of US$200,000 or less, according to MoneyWise, a digital personal finance publication with a mission to create valuable content that helps people make good decisions and get ahead.

With its rich culture and history, gorgeous natural landscapes and affordable cost of living, Vietnam is a truly special retirement destination, MoneyWise said.

Two people can live on about US$1,500 a month in major cities — and if you head to the beach towns of Nha Trang or Da Nang, you could live happily on less than US$1,000 per month.

Nha Trang is home to plenty of expats and Western restaurants, while Da Nang is a modern city with a beach and a temperate climate. A one-bedroom in either city is rented for under US$400 a month.

At those prices, you’ll have plenty of funds left over to explore Vietnam’s sunny coasts, Buddhist pagodas and French colonial relics and enjoy the tasty street food and unique cuisine, blending French, Cambodian and Chinese flavors.

If you’re not married to a citizen or don’t have family in Vietnam, you’ll need to apply for a visa to stay in the country long term.

Vietnam doesn’t have a specialized retirement program. Instead, you can apply for a one-year multiple-entry visa, which requires you to leave the country once every 90 days. While Vietnam offers perfectly adequate health care, you might have to fly to Thailand or Singapore for a serious medical situation.

Panama tops the list, followed by Costa Rica, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, Chile, Thailand, Ecuador, etc.