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Retiring in Nepal

Hello everyone,

Why did you choose to retire in Nepal? 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 Nepal (for example, is there a particular retirement visa)?

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

Do you have any tips for other retirees in Nepal?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Nepal sort of chose me, but I love it here and cannot see myself living anywhere else.That may change in the future, but Nepal has all I need in a retirement home. Shortly after I got to Nepal, one night I got finished with dinner late and on a tiny little street in the big city of Kathmandu on my way back from dinner I saw 4 young, Asian men with masks covering their faces walking right up to me. My heart stopped. "Namaste," each one greeted me as they walked by. That's the moment I knew Nepal was home. The people are so friendly, that's the number 1 reason to love Nepal.

I got one sinus infection after the other while living in Kathmandu that first year. When an earthquake rocked Kathmandu in 2011 I left the city and the sinus infections stopped. I got excellent care each time I had to see a doctor, but you need to know where to go. I've written several blog posts about health care in Nepal.

The advantages of being here instead of the US are way too numerable to go into detail, but here is the biggest reason. I felt like a tiny fish in a huge ocean in the US; in Nepal I feel like a bigger fish in a small pond. My dollar or energy helps a lot more people even if I didn't do social work. One example is that the people next door to me never had enough money to hook up to the electric grid. I run a wire outside my window and the increase in my electric expense isn't even noticeable and the family has electricity.

This is probably the last place on the planet where a person can live well for under $1,000 a month. It's a peaceful, tolerant society with pretty decent weather throughout the year. It seldom gets above 29 deg. or below the temperature where frost is on the ground, but it does get a bit nippy from about Dec. to the middle of Feb. in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara. Monsoon is quite nice with an all-night rain or raining throughout the day, but seldom both. It's not nearly as bad as S. Florida in the summertime.

If anyone would like more details about moving to Nepal, please IM me. I'm happy to help anyone.

I'd love to be able to choose Nepal as a place to leisurely retire in, if I knew for sure the authorities would grant me a type of long-term visa, enabling me to lead a simple, non-business, retired lifestyle, and this for the rest of my life. Long before I appeared on the scene, this other Expat contributor, Erinerin, was expressing the same wish on your pages back in 2012 when he wrote on this residential visa open topic "I don't want to spend thousands of dollars investing in a company if it isn't necessary" ..."I just want to spend my own money" ...and "not work"....and be in Nepal "strictly as a consumer".
Who wants to invest?
For his part on this question of visa, Stanjee added he did not want to marry a nepalese woman if that was the only way to stay on in the country.
So what is the solution or options because being able to stay in Nepal over the long term seems quite complicated according to everything I have read here, on Expat. And who knows, maybe even more so, for the foreign fully retired older couples as they would be in the age bracket of, say, 65-85, who too might want "to come to Nepal for life"?
In terms of numbers, for information, Investopedia reveals that already half a million american retirees are living outside of their country.
But as I see it, the question is not so much what retirees want, but rather what countries will offer them visas to enable them to enjoy a place they can call "home" and to live in the comfort of that home if not for a consecutive period of 12 months at a time, at least for a minimum period of 6-9 months, year in and year out, as I think most retirees would expect. But what is the reality of things visa-wise in Nepal?
VISA OPTIONS
1. TOURIST VISA
Without any doubt, easy to obtain visa type for short term stays of trekkers, climbers, and other visitors whole short-term visits are by definition necessarily limited to 150 days (max.) in Nepal, in any one 12 months' period.
But how will the older retirees of, say 65+, regard this 5 months rule if they happen to choose "Nepal for life" to quote the authorities?
Let's turn to the next option.
2. BUSINESS VISA
Again, if older couples choose to retire in Nepal - in the majority of cases surely - it is to find and enjoy a leisurely slower pace of well earned retirement life and lifestyle and NOT to start a second career with having to create a new business here as is required by current legislation/criteria, regulating this type of visa. After consulting www.investnepal.gov.np it is hard to imagine that too many people of 65+ who are already retired would be ready to fork up $100,000.00 to set up a new business and in a country which they may not even know, and at their age, is that not so?
NOT a viable solution for most of us, or among the people I know anyway, so let us examine the only possible remaining 3rd alternative, hopefully better adapted to the older generation of retirees?
3. RESIDENTIAL VISA
Independent of what other contributors have already said here on these pages in the past and to 2014, all pointing to how very difficult it may be to successfully obtain this RV,  expats/retirees will most definitely wish to consult and read for themselves the very helpful official guidelines and other quite detailed information on this type of visa, which now conveniently appears on the net, put out by gov.np authorities. This way expats will be provided with reliable and solid information and thus better able to decide and map out their long-term retirement strategy if they elect to stay in this country, as the case may be?
After reading and assimilating that official information,  if expats/retirees should be interested to either consult or even complete an APPLICATION FOR RESIDENTIAL VISA, they will be able to read the full text of the letter/document they will now be expected to file and submit ONLINE addressed to Immigration:   online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/residential-visa
starting with the paragraph where the applicant will be writing:  "I am interested on spending the rest of my life in Nepal. So, I would like to request you for Residential Visa".  etc.
Scroll down to four (4)  REASONS FOR VISA
where applicants applicants who have already invested....."At least one million USD in Nepal" can so indicate,  by simply checking the appropriate box #3.
Only documents required are Recommendation letter from the concerned Diplomatic Mission in Nepal, bank statement/showing balance of 20,000.00 USD and passport
After press/submit, no indication is provided as to how long the process might take? Through my nepalese lawyer, all I know is that the process can take some time. I have heard about one film-maker who'd spent like 15 years in Nepal, who did file an application for this type of residential visa but that was at least 18 months ago and my understanding is that tired of waiting for the reply that never came, this person gave up. The retiree in question is now in the process of building a retirement home in the Algarve region of Portugal, a country where formalities are reported to be very simple and non-residents can easily purchase property in their name.
Through a consular official in Ktm, I have heard that there were only 18 RV granted in total and in circulation, so assuming that number to be correct and up to date, it explains a lot of things.
Personally, I do not consider myself to be among the "rich and wealthy", so not being in that league, unfortunately, I don't think I would qualify and for that reason, I will not file a RV application.
Being here for short visits is fine with me now, and we'll see if who knows, regulations change by the time I am ready for retirement?  I would very much like to .....but that is a different kettle of fish!

Such good information! Just today, i began researching nepal as a place to retire. I may be texting you later if I become serious about pokhara. I have stayed in banepa before but have not been to pokhara.  Thank you! Linda

I chose to retire in Nepal for one reason only; The Himalayas. No matter "which" country from which I came has this, so the choice was simple.

For other retirees, I would "strongly" caution you that wherever you are from, be prepared to suffer, often frequent, power outages (Nepal has 7 huge hydroelectric dams) Wifi outages (which is a surprise because the Internet has been around commercially for about 25 years, and a variety of foods which you may like. A "lot" of foods. I personally make do, but I've found what I need, even butchers who provide me with beef. With beef, one can accomplish a lot in the kitchen.

Also, mail and "real" addresses with which everyone is familiar, are non-existent. In fact, "very" few even know their own address, let alone businesses. The best bet is to sever your ties and if you want real mail, have someone save it for you on a monthly basis and send it via FedEx to a FedEx office in Kathmandu so they call a contact number for you to pick it up. UPS and DHL (which everyone likes) are at your own peril. Again UPS/DHL at your own peril.

Pokhara is the secondary place to retire in Nepal. It is, in my opinion, a tourist mecca where every other store front is a jewelry store. It is much warmer and more humid than Kathmandu (my city). Very humid. There really isn't that much in the way of climbing or trekking, but that's my perspective but Sarangkot isn't too bad if you want to just relax and not do a lot. There is a crazy zip line there that will definitely make you a believer in whichever god you choose. Paragliding is also an option as well. On clear days one can see Fishtail, a twenty-thousand plus peak on the western side of the Himalaya range.

And...it's a corrupt little government. They still sit on the $4B + that was "given" to the country two years ago and use it obviously, for the sake of "hot money" (banking considerations) all the while, the roads are the worst roads I've ever been on in my life and trust me, I've been on some pretty teeth rattling roads in my time in countries that aren't even on the map now. For example, a trip from Kathmandu to Nagarkot should be a 45-minute trip on "normal" roads, but currently, 2 - 2.5 hour trip on a good day.

I'm sure it wouldn't be to much of a stretch to say that none of the money goes to infrastructure or outlying villages, or those in the mountains as aid from the earthquake. Just corruption...no surprise here.  Otherwise, like I say, the Himalayas are a 25-minute flight away.

Dennis Tedder

How do you find the pollution in KTM ?

I am looking at both KTM and Pokhara to live. Pokhara is a short drive to the start of the hike to the Annauprna Sanctuary and even then onto the Circuit. You can do Helambu then Langtang from KTM so both cities have hiking options close by.

That very same question, of how bad the pollution in Kathmandu really is, is dealt with in an article you will find in the Kathmandu Post (April 3, 2017) where they write that "...The situation is very bad. Our pollution Index is 5 times higher than the World Health Organization's Guidelines 2017, which are based on the impact of a city's pollution on human health"
To consult statistical data comparing the pollution index of Kathmandu with some other 269 cities around the world, click on:  https://www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings.jsp   
You will see that Kathmandu is currently the 5th most polluted city on the planet, in their Pollution Index, Mid-year 2017
Out of interest, I looked up Australia to compare. At the bottom of the list, in excellent positions, are Perth no. 239, Adelaide 252 and Brisbane 254.  (out of total of 269 as previously stated)
Congrats to Australia! My God, what a joy, clean air!

I live in the Kathmandu Valley, outside the city. I'm in Changunarayan and it's excellent air. You can choose from many villages that surround the Kathmandu Valley and it's really nice with a cool breeze and lovely views.  I think Kathmandu is better than it was even last year. They've taken the 20+ year cars off the road. I got a small, portable oxygen tank for the ride in and out of Kathmandu, but only need it for just a short time. It only costs 300 rupee/$3 to have it refilled and it really helps me to have more energy. It's so nice living in Nepal that I don't mind the pollution for a day. Well, yes, I mind, but I love living here and I have good, clean air and good, organic vegetables.

The pollution is atrocious and I am being "very" kind.

IBeadwindow, I live in Changunarayan and it's really nice. Clean air, nice views,  a genuine Newari community. I have no health issues, but I bought a small, portable oxygen tank for when I go into Kathmandu. I take a mini van in at 10 am so I miss the worst of it and try to leave by 3:30 pm. Huffing oxygen gives a person a lot more energy and with everything else being so affordable I decided to splurge at 12,000 NRs. but the refills are only 300 NRs.

Look for a nice, culturally rich community in the surrounding hills like Pharphing, Shivapuri, Changunarayan, etc. There is some building going on in this village and they are building some nice multi family homes. If you check them out now you can get them to do the finish out like you want. Make a day trip to Changunarayan and drop by the Star View Guest House for a cup of organic coffee on our rooftop terrace,  no charge.

Kathmandu is like any other capital city, but it sits at the base of a valley. It's great for day trips, but not to live in.

Big (New York City) city guy so I'm settled in for now. Very frustrating to see the "entire people" allow themselves to live under the conditions that are here. I get away to the nice places often, Nagarkot and IPhadking for long weekends. I will visit your location soon!

Hi Dennis, I have been to Nepal a few times and fell in love with the country, its people and of course the Himalayas. You mentioned that you retired in Kathmandu. Could you message me, please?  I have some questions in regards to obtaining and keeping a long-term visa. I would like to retire there myself. Thank you!

I am very interested in moving to Nepal. I knew after my first visit that Nepal was my calling, for many different reasons. My second visit just intensified this feeling. Now I am seriously thinking of living there long-term. However, the posts about obtaining long-term visas are a bit discouraging. If I live there on a tourist visa I have to leave after 5 months. At that rate, I will not be able to travel back and forth and live in two different places. Any suggestions?

Hello, Heidi\
I would be pleased to give you the full DT dump on my experience and answer any question you have. Check me here: ***

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