Any retired expats in Taiwan?


I am a young retiree who has recently relocated to Hualien city in Taiwan. I am Chinese Canadian who has traded in his snow shoes for golf shoes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my thirty seven years in the great white north, but it is time to be closer to my roots where the climate is much milder all year round. Although I do speak Mandarin, not very well of course, I still feel like an outsider sometimes, well, most of the time. Guess it will take time to adjust, but as most of you know, old habits are hard to break, and having lived in one of the best countries of the world, we do take many things for granted; well, not anymore.
Obviously many expats here are either teaching or just working on a temporary basis. I do enjoy reading and learning from your experiences. But I am also interested in hearing from those who are committed to call this home for the foreseeable future, and if there are others who are financially secured and have the leisure to knock some little white balls around to kill time......FORE!!!!

JC in Hualien

I spent a couple of days in Haulien and Taichung back in 2003 but have not managed a return.  Haulien looks like a perfect place for retirement.  I liked Taichung because of the offshore islands, fishing and diving.  I've been visiting Taipei each year for a couple of months.  Twice in 2008, once this year.  Returning in January 2010.

My blogs are:

Maybe we can catch up in Haulien during February?


Hi John,

Drop me a note before arriving: bullsalive[at]
I don't dive but I'll treat you to some fresh local catch...


This post is a bit old.  I hope you are still monitoring this forum.

I too wish to retire to Taiwan.  I am a retired American.  I go to Taiwan often and love every place I have visited there.  I have been litterally to all points South, East, West Middle and North on the island.  Because I have friends in Banciao, I prefer to live in that area.

I see a major hurdle however, obtaining an ARC (Taiwan's equivelent to Amrica's Green Card).  I have an adequate retirement income so supporting myself in Taiwan is not an issue.  After researching the immigration laws of Taiwan, I don't really see how I can live there on a permanent basis.

Do you have any suggestions?  How did you do it?

I too have retired & live in Hsinchu, Taiwan..I got a multiple entry visa in NYC..Good for 60 days then I go & get an extension for another 60 days..They give you 3 extensions then you have to leave. So I zip over to Hong Kong or Macau for & few days, return & start all over again. My wife ( Chinese ) says next time we visit the US to get a good conduct letter ( criminal report ) present it to the authorities here with all the other documentain & then it's good for a year..You'd think with all the money I spend here boosting their economy they'd let me stay forever!
regards Ron

I would think Taiwan would welcome we retirees who indeed could help increase cash flow in Taiwan.  I have a comfortable retirement income and would not be a financial burdon to the government of Taiwan.

I noticed that during the Chen Shui Bian presidency, they changed the immigration laws making it more difficult to immigrate.  It used to be that if you had at an annual income of at least two times the national average, you could immigrate and obtain an ARC.  Unfortunately, I no longer see that provision in their immigration rules.

Hi Arnie,

Like Huntersville, I'm married to a Taiwanese girl and that helps. I was able to get a one year multiple entries, and then a three year. After five years, I will be able to get a permanent resident status. What is more important, is that after four months of arrival, I could apply for the National health care which costs about $20us a month, but includes prescriptions, dental, and Traditional Chinese medicine.
Taiwanese immigration officers are quite friendly, talk to them and ask what your options are. Contact your nearest Taiwan trade office in the US, and good luck.


Thank you for replying to my post.

Are you saying that I could obtain a 1-year, multiple entry visa and then when it expires have it upgraded to a 3-year visa?    And then if I stay for one more year (making a total of 5 years) I would be eligible for permanent resident status?

Unfortunately I am not married to a Taiwanese woman.  I am a 63-year old widower and don't plan on remarrying.

I am in Rochester, NY between Buffalo and Syracuse.  The closest Taiwan pseudo embassy in in NY City, 600 miles away.  There is one in Toronto Canada which is only a 3-hour drive.  Not sure if I could use that one.

I really don't understand why they make it so difficult if I have sufficient financial resources so as not to be a burden on the government.  I definitely don't plan on taking anyone's job away either.  I just want to while away my retirement years in beautiful Taiwan.

Hi Arnie,

Taiwan is a country and like all countries, they all have policies on immigration. I think it is a lot more difficult getting a green card in the US than obtaining residency in Taiwan. Again, consult Taiwanese officials near you. Call them from where you are or email them.
Good luck.


Hey JC,

I am looking forward to join you in the near future! I so envy you!!! I have a few more moons to go and truly looking forward to live in Motherland. Like you, I’m ready to trade in my snow boots for golf shoe. I speak fluently Taiwanese (rustic Mandarin) and a pretty hard core right-wing green monster that were not born and raised in Taiwan but visits families every year throughout my life. Home is here in the U.S. but my root is there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to take arms to defend fatherland here but the sweet smell of motherland is a whole different thing.

Hualien! Nice!!!

give me some notice if you come to Hualien, we can have a few beers together....


Sure will! I may have a few things to learn from you.


Did you end up retiring in Taiwan? I'm 56 and planning on moving to Taichung for a few years and teaching to see how I like it. I would love to have some advice from you.

Hi Deb,

Yes, I've been in Hualien for over five years now, and other than a few nuances, I'm very happy here.
Taiwan overall is very friendly towards foreigners, and sometimes we even receive preferential treatments from locals.
Personally I prefer the east coast for the cleaner air and open space, and the slower pace.
I've kept a blog since I came here in 2009, which has a lot of info with pictures and videos:
Native English speaking teachers are very much in demand here, and compensation is quite attractive especially if you do private one on one tutoring. Obviously there is a disparity between wages here and in the US, but cost of living is considerably lower here, especially in the smaller cities.
Here is the link to a FB ad of a local private school: … nref=story

Email me if you wish to keep in touch, or if you need anything at all.


Hi Jack
Thanks so much for the response and all the helpful information. The more research I do the more committed I am to coming. I I'm thinking about Taichang but I'm open to other possibilities. I'm thinking about not taking a contract and just coming since I have ample money to set up a life and look for a jjob. This way I won't get stuck in something I don't want to do. I definitely will take a look at your blog. Thanks Debra

Hi JC,

We're basically in the same boat except I don't golf. And I believe you're on a better pension due to having had enough residency in Canada. I'm one of those Cdns who left too early and now don't qualify for OAS.
C'est la vie.
Hwalien is serene but a bit scary for the frequency of quakes. Feel free to tell me more about your years in the Great White North.

I'm used to the quakes now, no big deal. I'm an avid tennis player and there is a very active tennis community here. I've been here seven years now and love it. I visit Canada every summer and to be honest, summer months are the only time that is comfortable. The cold and damp really sucks.

Agreed. July and Aug. are the only time to be in western Canada.
I actually came in second in a weekend tourney among friends in my younger days...yeah...I love the sport but spent too much time on it in retrospect.
Take care.

Hi again.
I doubt that you'd be motivated to come to Taipei but if you happen to get the chance, let's meet for coffee.
My Line ID: hauthomme.
I have been writing articles for a news website called Eye on Taiwan and am always looking for ideas and inspiration.
By the way not sure if you've ever tried the Loop or Moon Ball which I actually sharpened effectively while at my peak decades ago. The top spun-high projectory would confuse opponents who believe it is an out, when it'd land near the baseline and then bounce sometimes over a wall that is maybe 15 ft. away. One major downside is such technique is very tiring, as Bjorn Borg showed many times.

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