Vietnam has been listed as one of the top-25 retirement destinations in 2015 by International Living, an Irish magazine.
“Vietnam is included this year for the first time, in recognition of the opportunities we’ve uncovered there for North American expats within the last year,” the magazine announced on its website last week.
The magazine’s annual Global Retirement Index was compiled using input from its team of correspondents around the world who considered climate, healthcare, cost of living, and other factors to draw up a comprehensive list of the so-called “best bang-for-your buck” retirement destinations on the planet.
The magazine ranked Vietnam 25th -- the bottom of its list -- with a score of 67 out of 100 possible points.
Four other Asian nations were also listed in the index. Malaysia came in fourth, followed by Thailand (10th), Philippines (23rd), and Cambodia (24th).
The magazine describes how Jo Thomson, 62, and her husband Marc Brand, 63, have retired in the central resort town of Nha Trang while spending about four months each year visiting friends and family in the United States.
“Being by the ocean during the great-weather months has been the major appeal,” Brand tells International Living. “We go on long walks in the morning. In the afternoon, we relax, go on adventures in town, read at the beach, or go to a beach club, where we can swim in the pool and rent a chaise lounge for about US$2.
A mother and her child at the Hon Tam Island beach in Nha Trang Photo: Khue Viet Truong
“After our late-afternoon walk, we relax at home and then go out to one of our favorite restaurants — Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, you name it. Some nights, we go to local American- or Canadian-run bars for live music — rock, blues, or jazz — played by both expats and locals,” he said.
Vietnam's beautiful beach town of Nha Trang offers great value for money.
“We rented a modern studio apartment — a five-minute walk from the ocean — that was fully furnished and included cable, Wifi, a small kitchen, maid service, laundry six days a week, a security guard, a weight room, and utilities for $300 a month,” Brand told the magazine.
“My life generally is healthier in Nha Trang than in the States, due to diet, walking often, easy living, and less stress,” Thomson said. “A wonderful acupuncture center that is very affordable — $2 a session — keeps me quite healthy. The most stressful thing on a daily basis is where to eat at night.”