Retiring in Hong Kong

Hello everyone,

Why did you choose to retire in Hong Kong? What are the advantages compared with your home country?

What were your main considerations when deciding to move? For example, taxes, ease of transferring your pension, etc..

Are there any specific formalities you had to go through as a retiree moving to Hong Kong (for example, is there a particular retirement visa)?

What is Hong Kong's healthcare like? Have you had any good or bad experiences dealing with healthcare professionals?

Do you have any tips for other retirees in Hong Kong?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


I am retired in HK but my case is a little bit different so I have to explain a little bit more in detail.
In 2001 the company I was working for was a huge Swiss pesticide company which asked me to move to HK to work in their regional office. At that time I was 57. In the course of 2002/03, the SARS epidemic occured and the company opended a new regional office in Singapore I had to move with them. In 2005 I got retirment and I moved back to HK since I met a HK lady working in our regional office whereby her daughter got SARS and nobody took care on her problem and had to stay out of the office for 3 weeks. So I tried to console her alittle bit and step by step a kind of relationship developed. Since I am living separately from my family since more than 20 years I decided to move back to HK and asked for a permant residence which was of course not approved since I did not work for more than 7 years in HK and I did not invest several million HKD.Consequently I was living on a tourist visa and had to go out all 3 months and to enter again the next day. This procedure I made for several years. After several years I asked again the Immigration Department for getting a residence permission but again without any success. Only after I wrote a letter to the office of Donald Tsang who forwarded my letter to the Immigration Department they have granted a 6-month visa without to leave HK.
But from this time the problems started seriously. Each time I came back from travelling, the airport immigration checking my passport for about 5 to up to 15 minutes, asking me question over questions I feel treated like a criminal. People behind me waiting in the queue are getting nervous and look at me angrily. If I ask the immigration officer a question whether I can give some explanations, they do not answer, calling other colleagues, discussing my passport,  with other words, the entering into HK is now a pain I never expected. As long as I had a work permission the officers were really polite and nice and in 1 - 2 minutes the passport control was over, but since I do not work anymore the situation is just the other way around. Last week I had to apply for a new 6-month visa and I asked the officer whether there would be the possibility to get access to the e-channel but the answer was short "No, I am not eligible"
In summary I am sure that in HK one cannot get a so called retirement visa. If you did not work for 7 years without interruption or if you are not investing several Million HKD in Hong Kong you have no chance to get a permanent residence. Only money counts nothing else and one can find hardly a certain kind of social behaviour. I have a good pension, I have no criminal record I cost the HK government not one penny, I support a local person which is really not rich, but this is without any interest for the Government. Money is everything.
Although in case I would have a permanent residence I would move out from HK at a certain age  since there are not much retirement estates you can live a quiet and a relative comfortable life as it is the case in e.g. Thailand. There is an estate for retired poeple in Wanchai but you have to invest 3 Million HKD and only local people have the right to apply for a flat.
Since I was working long time in Switzerland I had to take a health insurance in Switzerland which is quite expensive but if you are over 70, the health insurance companies offering their products here, are similar expensive and cost over USD 1000.-

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