Retiring in SE Asia?

New wrab
Apr 25 21 Comments

Hi

My goal is to escape this awful rat race within the next 5 years or so. I’m currently 32, TC 400k and net worth ~1.5M. I’m also sitting on a vast amount of stocks from a startup that’s doing quite well, so hopefully I’ll be able to cash some of that (best case scenario: mid 7 figures, but I’m not counting on it).

I’m not particularly tied to the US being an immigrant: I have a green card and currently applying for citizenship, and am also a European citizenship.

My girlfriend is American (born here) but she also has a south east Asia citizenship (think Vietnam/Thailand) due to her parents being originally from there and immigrating here in the 80s.

The cost of living in those countries seems very manageable. Once I accumulate, say, around 3-4M$, I would love to move there, at least for a few years, doing nothing first and then maybe find some very low stress remote swe work even lowly paid. Do you see any problem with that?

Both me and my girlfriend are very firm on not having kids, we might adopt later in life if we feel lonely but parenthood is not something we want to experience right now.

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TOP 21 Comments
  • Google GodOfAllah
    To begin with, do not get married.
    Apr 25 2
    • New wrab
      OP
      No plan of doing that, unless it ever becomes an obstacle for immigration issues in some country. And in that case, I’m going to completely protect my existing assets. But again, not getting married.
      Apr 25
    • Google lllls
      Just sign a prenup
      Apr 25
  • Amazon CixA35
    1.3m is a lot, money makes money if you invest it right. May be buy a couple of condos for 1.5M in US/Europe and go retire.
    2.Asian countries interest rates are high as well so 7% adding to ur 3M every year and spending just that 7% u will be happy.

    At 32, 400 is extremely good and u have been successful. Go give a shot for few years and come back if u change your mind.
    In this 5 years figure out your passion also. See what businesses people are doing at small scale and what excites you. Agriculture/teaching/photography where your inner consciousness stay unleashed and also you get little money (swe is not the only option for life)
    Apr 25 1
    • New / Eng EwcT73
      Just a note, I do not assume that the 7% interest is over us dollars. It is over their local currency and it keeps losing value wrt USD more than 7%
      Apr 26
  • Boeing ySWB75
    4% rule is good for 30 to 35 years. At age 32, I would be very conservative and use 3%. With a net worth of say 3 millions, he will be able to spend 90k a year. That’s more than enough to retire in SEA.

    I’m in similar situation although older and with less cash (1.5 mil at the moment).
    Apr 25 6
    • Boeing ySWB75
      Why wait for 3M? You have enough with 1.5. That’s 45k/yr. Plenty to live very well in SEA.
      Apr 25
    • New wrab
      OP
      Yeah but I’m leaving myself a healthy buffer. Once I leave the workforce it’s possible that I won’t be able to get in again at all (with all this competition a 5 year employment gap would certainly be a red flag), so I need to have enough to live off that basically until I die.
      Apr 25
    • Gladly OOqx28
      The point is that 3% already gives you a very healthy buffer. Have you traveled to SE Asia before? You can live an upper class life there on 2% of what you currently have saved. I honestly don't know how one I personally could spend $90k/year in Thailand. Everywhere I've been in SE Asia is comfortable on <$100/day and that's marked up for short term stays.
      Apr 25
    • New wrab
      OP
      It’s more like: say I get bored after 5 years and then I’m stuck there because cost of living in the US is too high and I can’t find a job anymore due to me having dropped out of the rat race and lost momentum on my skillset (and I don’t want to be forced to live in middle of nowhere rural America).
      Apr 25
    • Boeing ySWB75
      Perfectly understandable and smart choice. Always keep the option of returning home open. Too many people don’t look far enough and forget that.
      Apr 25
  • Gladly OOqx28
    You could easily retire comfortably in SE Asia off of what you've already saved. Using the 4% rule, that's $60k/year which is more than enough for a very comfortable life in that part of the world.
    Apr 25 0
  • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
    I know a couple of guys who moved there comfortably on way less net worth playing poker 30 hours a week. Would your girl not have any income after the move as well?
    Apr 25 3
    • New wrab
      OP
      Correct, we would be both exiting the rat race. She has much less savings than me so I might have to cover more expenses.

      But it’s also possible that in 5 years we won’t be together anymore (hopefully won’t happen!), in which case I’ll go anyway by myself.
      Apr 25
    • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
      Idk man $3m-$4m seems excessive. Most families in Vietnam probably haven’t made that much in their entire traceable history.
      Apr 25
    • New wrab
      OP
      Yeah but I’m leaving myself a healthy buffer. Once I leave the workforce it’s possible that I won’t be able to get in again at all (with all this competition a 5 year employment gap would certainly be a red flag), so I need to have enough to live off that basically until I die.
      Apr 25
  • Gladly OOqx28
    Also you might want to rethink that American citizenship if you're not planning on staying there long term. As an American abroad, I can tell you that the tax obligations are really annoying to deal with.
    Apr 25 1
    • New wrab
      OP
      Yeah, I thought about it, but since I’ve had a green card for a long time and my net worth is going to be high enough, I’ll be subject to the huge exit tax anyway, so at that point I might as well become a citizen and just pay normal taxes every year so that I can easily come back when/if needed.

      I understand well the draconian nature of the foreign taxation (I’m from Europe and my original country is just as bad!), but it’s still the best outcome for me.
      Apr 25
  • Salesforce zqwy71
    What’s the 4% rule
    Apr 25 0
  • You will get bored. But by all means get out there and spend 4-5 years there. Travel have fun. Then maybe work remotely a few days a week?
    Apr 25 0

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