Rapid growth in Vietnam and its Southeast Asian neighbors has created a situation that would have been unthinkable in the past: Aging American boomers are living a lifestyle reminiscent of Florida, Nevada and Arizona, but in Vietnam. Monthly expenses here rarely exceed $2,000. Los Angeles Times reports:
Vietnam has relaxed visa rules to lure American retirees like Rockhold, along with their savings. Geopolitics are a factor; Vietnam has seen spillover benefits from the economic boom in China but also has an ambivalent relationship with its far larger and more powerful neighbor, with which it fought a brief war in 1979. Expatriates tend to consider Vietnam more hospitable than China; Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, retains a cosmopolitan character.
The government won’t say precisely how many American retirees live in Vietnam. Interviews with about a dozen such retirees suggest that some are here on one-year tourist visas; others are here just for a season or two; and still others have qualified for long residence by marrying Vietnamese citizens, as Rockhold did.