Vietnam remains a great country for old men

Vietnam continues to be a top 10 country for retiring abroad, holding on to its spot in the latest Retirement Index.

The nation received a final score of 75.5 in this year’s edition, which was released last week by International Living, an Irish publishing company that focuses on overseas retirement. The score was 0.5 points down from last year, but Vietnam remained in 10th place.

The company asked its correspondents and experts living in 25 countries to rate these countries based on several factors including housing, benefits and discounts, visa and residence, fitting in and entertainment, development, climate, healthcare, governance, opportunity and cost of living.

Vietnam scored the highest marks among listed countries in the cost of living category with 99 points.

“Elegant restaurants serving fresh lobster and Wagyu steak sit alongside humble street food stalls selling spring rolls and chicken soup… Vietnam may be growing in leaps and bounds, but for retirees looking for a delightfully comfortable lifestyle, it remains one of the least expensive countries on earth,” the report said.

According to a different report conducted by InterNations late last year, Ho Chi Minh City topped the list of 10 most affordable cities for American expats with average monthly costs of $462.62 per person. A strong majority (77 percent) of surveyed expats living in HCMC expressed satisfaction with their living standards and financial conditions.

Vietnam also did relatively well in other categories this year, like fitting in and entertainment (85 points), healthcare (84), opportunity (83) and governance (82). Its scores were decent in housing (72) and development (70).

But the country performed poorly in terms of benefits, visas and residence, and climate, scoring just 60 in each category.

Vietnam has among the strictest visa policies in Asia, offering visa waivers to visitors from only 24 countries and territories including ASEAN co-members.

The report also mentions that the nation lacks benefit and discount programs for retirees like other nations, such as Panama’s Pensionado Program which ensures retired Panamanians can live with dignity as active members of society or France’s healthcare system which allows expats to register for universal healthcare coverage after living there for three months.

Costa Rica topped this year index with 85.2 points, followed by Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Portugal, Ecuador, Malaysia, France and Malta to complete the Top 10 list.