Retire To Taiwan: The Costs Of Living

City Buildings At Night

Have you ever thought of retiring in Taiwan but are unsure how much it will cost?  In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about planning your retirement to Taiwan.

Here is the cost of living and retiring to Taiwan:

Rent for a 3 Bedroom Apartment (without security deposit)$760 USD / TWD$21,000
Rent for a 1 Bedroom Flat (without security deposit)$290 USD / TWD$8,000
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)$86 USD / TWD$2,375
Internet$28 USD / TWD$773
Maid Service$108 USD / TWD$3,000
Groceries$138 USD / TWD$3,812
Dining Out (2 people) For 4 times$38 USD / TWD$1,050
Healthcare$220 USD / TWD$6,077
Fitness or Social club membership$44 USD / TWD$1,215
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES (3 bed)$1,422 USD / TWD$39,302

NOTE: These are the average costs only which can be cheaper if you only needed a smaller property. This price is based on Taipei’s prices and it can be cheaper depending on where you live in Taiwan. Your lifestyle will also determine your expenses.

Now that you have seen the overall costs let’s take a closer look and see how you can adjust these to your lifestyle

What Is Taiwan Like?

Taiwan is a semi-tropical island located in East Asia near south east China. Nowadays, Taiwan is considered as one of the most developed countries in the world especially in economics, transportation and technology.  It has a population of about 24 million people. Taiwan has been known as having the world’s best healthcare system. This is great news if you are planning to retire there. 

How Is Healthcare In Taiwan?

Taiwan is one of the best countries in the world when it comes to the healthcare system as we mentioned above.  It has a great public healthcare service as well including cutting edge medical equipment and plenty of staff. If you are planning on staying in Taiwan for 4 months or longer then you are required to apply for the National Health Insurance (NHI) that’s being sponsored by the government of Taiwan. The downside of this insurance is that it doesn’t cover all of your medical needs and that’s why you are advised to have private health insurance. The cost of government health insurance is around $20USD or TWD$500 per month. Private international insurance starts at $200 USD per month with a deductible of $1000 USD.

Here are a few international healthcare provider that you can check for pricing:

Can A Foreign Citizen Own A Property In Taiwan?

As long as you are not a citizen of or representing a national company of mainland China you are permitted to own your own property. Taiwan has realized how important it is to participate globally and encourages people from all nations to move and settle in Taiwan. However, buying a property in Taiwan might be a little too expensive for a few people so renting a property might be the perfect solution. The cost of a 3 bedroom property starts at about $200k USD or NT$5,500,000. 

If you are tight on money you can look on facebook marketplace for shared accommodation.  They do have properties to buy there as well but be sure you get proper legal advice and check the person actually owns the property before continuing.  To use marketplace change the filter location to Taiwan and choose the “Property Rentals” option on the left.. You can also hire a real estate agent to help you decide on a place to live and they will let you know all the local laws and procedures.

Here are a few recommended real estate agency in Taiwan:

How Expensive Are Groceries In Taiwan?

While eating out is inexpensive in Taiwan, you may prefer to prepare a meal at home. This means you have to have a trip to the supermarket or grocery shop. When searching on google maps look for the following phrases: 超級市場, 市场, 杂货店. 

Here are the prices of basic groceries in Taiwan:

Milk1 Liter / 1 quart$3.5 USD
Bread1 Loaf$2 USD
EggsDozen$4 USD
Beef Mince1 kg / 2.2 pounds$20,5 USD
Chicken Breast1 kg / 2.2 pounds$9 USD
Beer12$4 USD

Here is a common supermarket you can look at for current prices:

LINK: Carrefour Online Supermarket Taiwan

What Retirement Visas Are Available For Foreign Citizens In Taiwan?

Taiwan does not have a permanent resident visa or a non-lucrative visa. On a tourist or business visa. If you are from the USA you can get a 90 day tourist visa and  180 days for people from the United Kingdom and Canadian Remember these are only tourist visas so you would have to do a visa run and leave the country for a few days to come back again and reset your visa time. This is an E-Visa, which means you may apply for it online. A Visa on Arrival is available, however it is only for high-net-worth individuals and citizens of Turkey. 

You can get your e-Visa on the link below:

LINK: Taiwan Visa Portal

A single entry visa in Taiwan will cost you TWD$1,600 or $50 USD and a multi-entry visa will cost you TWD$3,200 or $100 USD. Regardless of which visa type you select, you should consult with a Taiwanese immigration lawyer to verify that your application is completed correctly. They will also be able to assist you in navigating the complexities of the language and local customs.

If you want to immigrate to Taiwan here is the government immigrations website:

LINK: National Immigration Agency

TIP: It is always a good idea to talk to an immigration lawyer for your personal circumstances to see what the best way forward is for you.

How Expensive Is The Cost Of Living In Major Cities In Taiwan?

Your monthly expenses might differ depending on where you live in Taiwan. In this article we will compare the monthly expenses in 4 of Taiwan’s Major Cities: New Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, and Taipei.

The Cost of Living in New Taipei

New Taipei is the biggest city in Taiwan with a total population of 4 millions residents. This city is a great example of a fast paced city while still keeping the culture and tradition alive. There are a lot of things that you can do in this city from attending a pottery and ceramics class to visiting some authentic tea shops in the city or seeing one of the many museums this city has to offer.

Rent for a 3 bedroom apartment$987 USD / TWD$27,000
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment$525 USD / TWD$14,500
A meal for 2 people at an inexpensive restaurant$7.60 USD / TWD$230
Public transportation monthly pass$46.20 USD / TWD$1,400

The Cost of Living in Taichung

Taichung is known for its great night market and the home to one of the tallest buildings in the world has a population of 2.8 million people. Taichung is very rich in arts and history with very friendly people that will always help you along the way. This city is known for its sites like the National Taiwan Museum of Arts, the National Taichung Theater, and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. 

Rent for a 3 bedroom apartment$621 USD / TWD$17,200
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment$388 USD / TWD$10,200
A meal for 2 people at an inexpensive restaurant$7.20 USD / TWD$200
Public transportation monthly pass$22.60 USD / TWD$625

The Cost of Living in Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung, which is the biggest port city of Taiwan mainly known for its unique temples and historical sites, is populated by almost 2.8 million people. Even though this city is known as an international harbour city of Taiwan it also has plenty of beautiful landscape worth visiting like the Love River, Xiziwan Bay, Lotus Pond and the old city of Zuoying just to list a few. 

Rent for a 3 bedroom apartment$651 USD / TWD$18,000
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment$300 USD / TWD$9,100
A meal for 2 people at an inexpensive restaurant$11 USD / TWD$300
Public transportation monthly pass$40 USD / TWD$1,100

The Cost of Living in Taipei

Taipei is home to several breathtaking buildings and plenty of relaxing hot springs with a population of 2.6 million people. If you want to retire somewhere refreshing and rich with natural destinations then you are going to love Taipei. Some of the most popular natural destinations in Taipei are Shifen Waterfall, Beitou Hot Springs and Meihua Lake where you can just sit back and enjoy the view. 

Rent for a 3 bedroom apartment$760 USD / TWD$21,000
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment$290 USD / TWD$8,000
A meal for 2 people at an inexpensive restaurant$9.40 USD / TWD$260
Public transportation monthly pass$47 USD / TWD$1,280

If you love the idea of moving to Taiwan but just don’t know where to start looking how about checking out of post on the best places to retire there below:

ARTICLE: Retire To Taiwan: The 5 Best Places To Retire In Taiwan

Other Cheap Places To Retire In Asia

Alternately, if you would like to know more about other asian countries check out these articles below.

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