Retiring in Vietnam: a complete guide

1 min readLast updated April 30, 2024by Rachel Carey

Learn all about retiring in Vietnam – the pros and cons, cost of living, tax implications, healthcare, visa requirements, and the best cities and towns for retirees.


  • People retire to Vietnam because of the low cost of living, tropical climate, friendly locals, and rich culture and history. 

  • Visa and legal issues, the language barrier, and poor infrastructure and healthcare can be a challenge for expats in Vietnam. 

  • Hoi An, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Nha Trang are some of the best places to retire in Vietnam. 

  • Unbiased can match you with a financial advisor to help you plan for your retirement.  

Is Vietnam a good place to retire? 

Retiring in Vietnam is a great option for US citizens who are open to a new cultural experience and willing to adapt to a different lifestyle. The low cost of living, incredible natural beauty, and rich heritage all make this country a favorite of many retirees. 

However, emigrating to Vietnam comes with some challenges, so it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of retiring in Vietnam before you make your decision.  

What are the pros and cons of retiring in Vietnam? 

Here are some of the key points to consider before retiring in Vietnam: 


  • Cost of living: Vietnam has a relatively low cost of living compared to the US. 

  • Climate: Vietnam’s tropical climate, with year-round warm temperatures and picturesque landscape, makes it ideal for an outdoor lifestyle. 

  • Culture: Many retirees enjoy Vietnam’s rich and diverse culture, history, language, and cuisine. There are plenty of activities and attractions to keep retirees busy

  • Healthcare affordability: While still developing, an increasing number of modern hospitals and medical facilities, particularly in major cities, are available at a fraction of the cost of US healthcare. 

  • Local hospitality: The Vietnamese people are known for their hospitality and friendliness, making it easy for retirees to feel at home there. 


  • Cultural adjustment and the language barrier: Vietnamese can be difficult for expats to pick up; not everyone speaks English, and the culture differs considerably from that in the US, making acculturation challenging. 

  • Limited infrastructure and healthcare quality: Some areas of Vietnam may have less developed infrastructure, including roads, public transportation, and healthcare. 

  • Legal and visa issues: Navigating the visa process and understanding local laws and regulations can be complex and time-consuming. As the government owns all land in the country, foreigners can only lease land for 50 years (maximum) or purchase condos in certain larger cities. 

What are the best places to retire in Vietnam? 

Several places in Vietnam boast their unique offerings and retirement benefits.  

These are some of the best places to retire in Vietnam: 

  • Nha Trang: This is a popular destination for retirees seeking tranquility by the sea. The city offers a mix of modern amenities and natural beauty. 

  • Da Nang: This modern coastal city is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant expat community, and excellent healthcare facilities. 

  • Ho Chi Minh City: The largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City offers an exciting urban lifestyle, combining cultural attractions, shopping centers, and dining options, plus affordable living and quality healthcare. 

  • Hanoi: In Vietnam’s capital, retirees can immerse themselves in the city's traditional architecture, vibrant street markets, and diverse culinary scene. 

  • Hoi An: This picturesque town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its near-unspoiled ancient architecture, tranquil ambiance, and lantern-lit streets.  

What is the retirement age in Vietnam? 

The general retirement age in Vietnam is 62 for men and 60 for women, at which point eligible citizens may qualify for the social insurance pension. This is similar to the full retirement age in the US

There are no specific restrictions for US retirees to access government programs. However, you will only be eligible for a social insurance pension if you contributed to the system while working in Vietnam.  

Fortunately, most US expats can get Social Security benefits while living in Vietnam as long as they meet certain requirements. 

What is the average cost of retirement in Vietnam? 

The average cost of retirement in Vietnam varies depending on the lifestyle and location chosen.  

For a single person, the cost of living in Vietnam is 70.9% less than in the United States.  

On average, a retiree can expect to spend around $800 to $1,200 per month to live comfortably in Vietnam

This is because the cost of housing and food in Vietnam is notably lower than in the US, and basic services, such as healthcare and transportation, are also inexpensive. 

Do you pay taxes after retirement in Vietnam? 

Expats earning an income in Vietnam must pay personal income tax (PIT) in Vietnam based on their tax residency:  

  • Foreign residents: There is generally no more than a 5% tax on any income earned, regardless of whether it was earned in Vietnam or abroad.  

  • Non-residents: There is a flat 20% tax rate on income earned inside Vietnam and 0% on income earned elsewhere.  

As a US citizen living abroad, you may still have to pay US taxes

What programs are there for emigrating to Vietnam? 

There is no specific retirement visa program in Vietnam.  

However, if you retire in Vietnam, you can obtain one of a number of alternative visas to live in the country for more than six months without having to leave every three months (per the tourist visa). 

What visas do I need to retire in Vietnam? 

It is essential to note that there is no official retirement visa for foreigners in Vietnam and tourist visas are only valid for one to three months.  

However, those who wish to stay in Vietnam for a more extended period can apply for long-term visas, such as a permanent residency permit or retirement visa through investment.  

The retirement visa by investment requires a minimum investment and allows retirees to be granted residence cards.  

Alternatively, if you are sponsored by a family member who is a Vietnamese citizen, you can apply for a five-year visa exemption. 

What are my healthcare options in Vietnam? 

Vietnam’s healthcare system combines aspects of Eastern and Western medicines.  

There are two types of health coverage managed by the Vietnamese government: compulsory social security coverage and voluntary health insurance.  

Expats must contribute to the compulsory health insurance. 

Although healthcare in Vietnam is fairly cheap, public healthcare is typically of lesser quality than that in the US. 

As such, those retiring in Vietnam should consider getting international health insurance to ensure adequate coverage and access to private healthcare services.  

Get expert retirement advice 

With its beautiful natural setting, moderate climate, affordable living, and rich culture, retiring in Vietnam is an appealing option for US retirees. However, prospective retirees should consider challenges like limited infrastructure, poor public healthcare, visa complications, and the language barrier before settling there. 

If you are looking to retire in Vietnam, you should seek expert retirement advice from a financial advisor so you can enjoy the best possible quality of life in your golden years.  

Let Unbiased match you with the right advisor for your needs. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.