According to recent figures, record numbers of wealthy Chinese retirees plus the parents of Chinese high net worth individuals are choosing to leave their native China and instead spend their Golden Years in an exciting new country, like the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and Malaysia.

Are you a wealthy Chinese retiree? Did you know that China has surpassed Japan and South Korea as the Asian nation with the highest number of retirees who choose to enjoy their retirement in a new country?

Are you a high net-worth individual with elderly parents? Have you experienced life abroad, in Australia, the US or Europe, and know how beneficial living there would be in terms of lifestyle and healthcare for your parents? Interest in traveling abroad has never been higher amongst China’s pensioners, and outbound tourism by elderly Chinese shot up by 217% in 2015, sparking the desire among many to permanently retire in a new country.


The Right To Retire To Warmer Climes

For many decades, wealthy and comfortably-off European couples from those countries with the bitterest winters, like the UK, Ireland, Germany plus Scandinavia who had enjoyed years of holidaying in Mediterranean countries like France, Italy, Spain, Greece or Cyprus, chose to move there permanently in the retirement. There are an estimated 1 million Brits residing on the Iberian peninsula, and a high percentage of those UK expats living in Spain and Portugal are pensioners who purchased property after selling their homes in England.

Spain is also home to an estimated quarter of a million Germans, and large numbers of Swedes, Fins, Danes and Norwegians. In recent years wealthy Russians have bought fabulous properties in the Andalusian paradise of Marbella, and even more recently, some 200,000 Chinese have arrived in Spain with special tax dispensation and proceeded to open many businesses and establish their own communities across the country.


Chinese Retirees Following The Western Model

It would now seem that the amount of Chinese retirees looking to live in a new country will soon surpass those of any other nation. Traditionally elderly Chinese who have lived their lives in their home country have stayed put once they retire, even those who have ran successful businesses and made a lot of money. However, now a large number of those wealthy retirees are choosing to reap the benefits of a new life abroad.

According to a report published by the United Nations, by 2030 a quarter of China’s population – some 360 million people – will be over the age of 60. While the vast majority will remain in China, the wealthy few that will leave and choose retirement elsewhere could still run into the tens of millions. The reasons for this are multiple;

  • The Yuan – China’s currency – is steadily losing value against the US dollar with no sign of improvement, while the price of property in China continues to climb
  • By comparison luxury property in Australia, areas of the US like California and Florida, and European countries like Spain and France is relatively cheap, plus there is the added bonus of a warm, sunny climate for the majority of the year
  • The Smog Factor: Wealthy Chinese who have been forced to breath the polluted air of China’s big cities can add years to their lives by moving to a more eco-friendly country
  • There are few high-end facilities for the elderly in China in comparison to country’s like Australia, the US and Canada, as well as those of Western Europe
  • Healthcare is vital to the elderly, but in general, medical facilities in China are lagging behind private hospitals in the US and Australia, or the National Health systems of Canada, the UK and European countries like Spain, Italy and France
  • Many wealthy Chinese have already sent their children to be educated and then to begin working abroad, and they are anxious to sell up and join them
  • On the flip side, wealthy young Chinese with one eye on a future in the West are purchasing luxury properties abroad and using them as retirement homes for their parents
  • Freedom: remaining in China means accepting the continuing and inescapable Big Brother factor of an all-powerful government that can encroach on an individual’s liberty and human rights at any time

Historically there have always been large Chinese communities in towns and cities in almost any country you care to mention, and there are literally hundreds of “Chinatowns” and “Chinese Quarters” scattered about the globe, like the one in London pictured above.

Thailand has almost ten million ethnic Chinese citizens. Malaysia has 6.7 million, and the USA five million. There are almost 900,000 Chinese in Australia, while Canada’s Chinese population is almost 1.5 million. Europe is home to several million Chinese, and there are also large numbers throughout Latin America. In short, the Chinese race has always traveled well, integrated well, and unlike some ethnic groups, has always been a positive addition to the communities they have choose to live in.

The bottom line is this: for any Chinese retirees who would love to move to a new country but are concerned about fitting in and having fellow countrymen to interact with, don’t worry! Whichever destination you choose, there will already be a thriving Chinese community waiting for you.


Best Options Abroad

The options available for wealthy Chinese retirees are virtually endless. Depending on the needs of the individual, they could range from a new life in a bustling city like London, Paris or Madrid, the clean, cool climes of Canada or the sundrenched beaches of the Mediterranean, the Gold Coast or California. Here are just some of them:

  • Malaysia’s “My Second Home” Program – this program offers a 10-year renewable visa to anyone aged 50+ who can make a financial deposit of $33,700 with which to live on, or has a monthly pension of $2,250
  • Thailand’s One-Year Renewable Visa – available to retirees aged 50+ who make a deposit of $22,300 with which to live on
  • Securing An EB-5 US Visa for Immigrant Investors – this visa extends to family members, and wealthy Chinese looking to invest in a business in the US can include their parents, their children or both in their visa
  • Citizenship by Investment with an EU Country – from the hustle and bustle of London to the “tranquillo” lifestyle of the Costa del Sol and everything in between, there are many benefits to living in an EU country – preferably as a passport holder – including freedom of movement, a high living standard and excellent health care
  • Citizenship by Investment with a Caribbean Country – China has been investing billions in the Caribbean and there are thriving, prosperous Chinese communities in St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada among others


Citizenship By Investment

The best option for anyone looking to leave China and relocate to another country is to partake in a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program. Countries with such programs will grant their citizenship and passport to an applicant in return for a specific financial investment to that country, usually in the form of a real estate or business purchase. These programs often cover family members. The Caribbean and the European Union are the two primary locations for CBI programs.

Caribbean countries with CBI programs include St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia and Grenada. EU countries with CBI programs include Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Portugal.

Ownership of citizenship and a passport to an EU or Caribbean country will grant you the exact same rights and benefits as those born to that country, plus a level of freedom of movement and visa-free travel that you won’t have experienced with you old Chinese passport.

If you are a Chinese retiree or simply have elderly parents you wish to look after and you would like to know more about the options mentioned in this article, are here to answer all of your questions and help you make the right choice.

Second citizenship specialists were established in Switzerland in 2004, and have since opened offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, the US and the UK. specialize primarily in Citizenship by Investment (CBI), but are also authorities on the other visas and programs featured in this article.

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