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How does it cost to retire in Hong Kong ?

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  1. #1

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    How does it cost to retire in Hong Kong ?

    A friend of mine from is about to get his early retirement package (layoff) from IBM (San Jose). He was surprised that I am in Hong Kong, at least part time. He is half Chinese and his wife's parents were from Hong Kong originally. They are interested in moving to Hong Kong to retire. They wondered how much do they really need to retire in Hong Kong. I talked to a few friends here in Hong Kong. I got a few different quotes, from $20K to $50K a month. They are in their 50s. I doubt it very much that they can get any kind of jobs here in Hong Kong in doing the kind of research that they have been doing in IBM. Without a PhD, can they find teaching jobs in some junior or community colleges ?

    I pay only $7000 per month for a 2 bedroom unit in DB. It is a very nice unit with view. My food cost is very low because I don't eat much and I seldom drink. Sometimes, I can't even use more than $100 HKD a day. My travel expenses (mostly to the Mainland, Taiwan, Korea and Japan) are paid by my employers. But, I am only here less than 6 months on part time basis so far. I don't think I am qualified to help them.

    Would someone please shed some light ?


  2. #2

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    The problem with retiring is .. rent. That is a very high outgoing cost, when you don't have an income.

    Say you've saved US $200K ... would you want to spend $1-2K a month on outgoings when you don't have a steady income?

    IF you can buy a property .. with no mortgage payments due, then your fixed outgoings are low... which actually makes Hong Kong a great place to retire, considering the low medical costs, low taxes and cheap food and transport (compared to California..).

    RossanaMWood8 likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Cool

    I am in the states right now but I spent 3 months in HK last year visiting my parents.
    The problem is indeed rent.if you dont own your own home,you will be forking out high rent which most retirees do not like to do.
    But property prices in HK are coming down,how low can it go,depends on the economy and local cashing in.
    For example.a young man whose parents willed him a nice 3 bedroom condo in Happy Valley is anxious to cash in,but no taker.,he has lowered his price to 8 million HK dollars.
    From what I saw,most properties sold were sold after slashing prices several times and those are mostly medium to low priced properties.
    If you friend lives in San Jose and worked for IBM,I doubt he is willing to have a modest flat in a crowded part of the city where locals dwell.
    It all depends on how much money he has and how much he is willing to fork out for a home,I dont find HK standard of living to be cheap,besides rent,food is not that cheap if you want good western food like those served at shangri la buffet?
    everything else from shopping at Welcome supermarket to Starbuck coffee,it is like shopping in USA.
    As for medical cost,HK Sanatorium is private hospital,the other public ones do not measure up,in fact my brother in law had stent implant in one of the public hospitals back last october and ended up with sepsis,so now it is mid february and he is still under medical care.
    cheap is not everything,if you are with IBM ,can you eat in street food stall,be treated in public hospital and having no place to go as it is so damn crowded everywhere you go.
    I read an article on urging HK retirees to look into Malaysia, nice beaches,cheap food and cheaper homes.
    and you can always hop back to HK for a visit.


  4. #4

    If he worked for IBM and lives in San Jose, he can probably sell his house and buy a condo in HK. But the question is, does he have a ROA in HK?


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Retirement cost in HK

    I also was lately being given a package to leave the company. I was quite panic at the very beginning but luckily I have my own paid off flat which means no need for any rental expenses and I do some investment (fortunately not those 'I kill you later' mininbond). I can survive my life easily for an amount of 20k (which also include a long weekend in nearby countries).
    I agree with JL that it all depends on how you wud want your life style to be - similar to those house in either US and UK and Western life style then it can be very costly.
    One thing is a lot of visitors only knew about nicer area around mid-level or Happy valley but there's actually a lot other places i.e. TaiPo,
    YuenLong which can give you low rent and rural feel area.
    It is very true that HK is not cheap in living cost as before. I have
    been working in London for the last 5 years and have been back there
    lately, because the down fall of exchange rate, living cost in London
    cut down at least 20% which makes me feel it is cheaper than HK. I
    was there the whole entire month in Jan/Feb + one trip to Budapest and a 3 days studying course, I only spend £1000.00 (I don't need to
    pay any rent as stay at my friend's) - that's really cheap!! So here you are, it is very much depends on how you expect to live your life.
    Good luck to your friend.


  6. #6

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    If hs owns his own place in San JoSE AND IBM offers an attractive early retirement package,why not stay out?
    The big problem is healthcare but if he and his wife are both healthy,staying put gives him or them a chance to find a second career,and like the local HK folks said-local snakes know best.he knows his way around san jose and knows where the bargains are and where to find a job.San Jose may just be a better place over HK?
    If you know your way around,entertainment can be free or cheap,just BS with your friend in a local coffee shop or Chinatown or visiting each other is cheaper than dining out in new land.


  7. #7

    I think is really depends the life you want. The living standard is high in city and especially the traveling. Most foreigners like to live in the islands such as Mui Wo, Lantau Island ...etc. The cost of renting about 7k to 10k and buying a house is possible.


  8. #8

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    Personally, if one is going to retire, they wouldn't want to rent, especially in Hong Kong, where rents can rise/fall at the drop of a hat, which makes budgeting on a fixed income very difficult.

    I would suggest buying a property, Sai Kung is looking very attractive at the moment, and it provides an excellent lifestyle, set among an eclectic, laid back local/Sai Yan ( foreigner ) community.
    Explore Sai Kung

    700ft² 2 or 3 bedroom village homes are going between $1.4 million and $2.3 million at the moment.

    The retiree could buy a live in property, plus a rental, and earn a bit of residual income at the same time.
    Also factor in any potential capital gains, when the property market picks up in say 3 - 5 years.

    Last edited by Skyhook; 10-03-2009 at 01:07 PM.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    1. the more money you have, the longer you can live in Hong Kong.
    2. live like a local (all star level, 7-10 years), know the ins and outs of Hong Kong.

    continue later


  10. #10

    Join Date
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    I think if you want quality and you want it cheap,stay where you are where knowledge is power and you can save money by knowing where to shop and how to avoid incurring high expenses and even pick up a part time job here and there.
    Going to a foreign country will sure cost you money,unexpected expenses,it is called tuition you have to pay to learn the ropes


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