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What You Need To Know Before Retiring In China


New Zealand has a growing ageing population, and it is projected that by 2036, there will be over 1.2 million people aged 65 and above living in the country. While many people from all over the world consider New Zealand to be a dream retirement destination, some Kiwis choose to retire elsewhere for a change of pace, and China is one of those countries which is conducive to a happy retirement. With its stunning and diverse scenery, amazing culture and affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder that many people are choosing to settle down in this country. But before making the big move and retiring in China, consider the following factors.

You’ll need a visa and some savings

If you’re planning to retire in China, know that you’ll need a visa to stay there on a permanent basis. Since you’re not registered in the Chinese Household Registration Book, you’ll have to apply for a visa before leaving New Zealand. As you won’t be getting a state pension, and because there’s no free medical coverage provided in the country, it’s important to have enough savings so you can ensure your well-being while living there. The good news is that in China, it’s easy to live on a budget as a retiree, as the cost of living is quite affordable.

Renting a simple, one-bedroom apartment near the cities costs about 2000 RMB every month, which is about 440 NZD. But if you choose to live right in the heart of the city (Beijing, for instance), expect to pay more for rent, as it ranges from 4000 to 6000 RMB to live there. As for food, you’ll be pleased to know that dining out is relatively cheap, and you can pay as little as 2 RMB for street food (grilled meat on a stick is a local favourite) or about 100 RMB for food and drinks at a Western restaurant.

You’ll need to learn the language

People who are staying for a few days or weeks in China often find that they can get by even without knowing how to converse in the local language. However, if you’re planning to retire in the country, then you’ll need to know basic Mandarin, at the very least. You can take basic, entry-level language classes in schools that offer the program, such as the Keats School in Kunming or the Hanbridge Mandarin School in Shenzhen, or look for tutors who offer small group Chinese classes near your area. 

Living a relaxing and satisfying lifestyle

Retiring in China means that you’ll have access to a relaxing and satisfying lifestyle. You can take tai-chi classes in open parks, and most of them are free. You can also have regular massages and spa days at different spas in the country for just a few yuan. Moreover, if you’re not feeling well or if you’d like to take a break from housekeeping, you can hire a housekeeper to do the chores for about 50 RMB for a few hours’ work. 

Spending your golden years in China is one of the best ways to live an affordable and serene lifestyle. Do your research before making the plunge, learn the language, and make sure to have your finances in order for a hassle-free and happy retirement.