Grandma’s Goin’ to Vietnam!

For many baby boomers in the United States, often at retirement and post-retirement age, this period of life tends be something of a dilemma, with some pretty major questions about where the road leads, especially those who have been acclimated to having a 40-year work career and then having that suddenly pulled out from under them.

This can often feel traumatic and heart wrenching as it forces an existential quandary on a life suddenly cut short by fewer responsibilities and reliant others. The media can be even crueler as it taunts you with all of those heartless young people, pristine smiling teeth, and the look of innocence that you only vaguely recollect. You’ve been in the trenches for so long, you forgot what it feels like to have youthful inexperience and naivete. To actually believe the words of your spouse who said they would always be there for you… before the alimony. And the twenty-something replacement spouse.

A life without productivity is just completely unimaginable for many baby boomers.

Seniors already know this too well by now, they’ve been trying to get it together since they retired almost a decade ago! Well here’s your chance!

Let’s face it: The United States is a very age-centric country, often emphasizing youth in media and culture, leaving grandma to the Old Age Home, or worse, her kid’s attic. Some movies joke and leave grandma on an iceberg drifting toward the horizon as it slowly melts away before the inevitable plunge into murky arctic waters below. Dang you James Cameron!

We often laugh at these portrayals, but sometimes there really is a sting of truth – like a Life Alert commercial, or a Melissa McCarthy movie.

Honestly, is that any way to treat grandma?  

With the way our society cycles people through the workforce and out, this still leaves grandma in the lurch, with no one willing to visit.

Many baby boomers and seniors in the United States are often left wondering what to do, where to go, who to turn to. They certainly know they can’t rely on their kids unless it involves them shelving out more allowance or housing them again, those ungrateful little snots. Cut those losers off!

And what’s even more cruel about this whole thing… said baby boomers and seniors may technically… legally be retired, but they don’t even feel ready. How’s that for one of nature’s cruel jokes? Too cruel don’t you think?

Let’s face it: Baby boomers and seniors still have a lot of living to do, and in some cases, more living than younger people! Does anybody even remember Marilyn Manson and the whole Goth scene? I sure do! It was Halloween 365 days a year! Scary times we were living in!

Actually, many baby boomers and seniors may even feel 10-15 years younger than they really are! So what to do, what to do? Move to Vietnam.

In my travels as an English teacher, I’ve met many baby boomers who’ve relocated and taken their social security and pensions with them. They’ve achieved happier, more rewarding lives and feel far more active than they’ve ever been in cold, dark cavernous Manhattan, or dreary Seattle.

No offense! And I’ve met many baby boomers and seniors in English teaching programs as well, all throughout the world. I can tell you there’s no frown on their faces unless the topic of conversation goes to their kids. So we learn to just ignore them! In Asia, ignoring your kids is a very easy thing to do! Plus they can’t reach you to ask for more money, so it’s win-win.

It’s actually quite common for many baby boomers and seniors to take leave of the country where they were born and to move to places like Mexico and other tropical locales in South America, or even Vietnam where I am currently living. The only danger with moving to these places is you start to regret not having done it sooner! Time is ticking, so don’t delay!

In fact, Asia tends to be one of the more popular destinations because of its historical reverence for the elderly, just ask Tom Cruise. He’ll tell you!

According to Dan Kennedy in his timely book, No BS Guide to Leading Edge Boomers and Seniors, about 1.2 billion baby boomers are in Asia right now. That’s “billion” with a capital B. Like Bill Gates has.

And furthermore, according to this book, the number of baby boomers over the age of 60 will increase by 2050. So there’s obviously something over the rainbow that no one is talking about, a secret some elderly are quietly keeping to themselves. I’m guessing it’s something in the water.

I’ve had the good fortune of being able to travel all over the world, but especially in Asia. I’ve been to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. And I can honestly tell you that there is such high respect for senior citizens out here as well as for baby boomers. Dare I call this the Promised Land?

Many people come here for very different reasons, here in Asia. Some are still working!

Apparently, the only place where the word “retirement” has any resonance is in the United States, because in Asia, elderly are put to work like crazy! So get back into the workforce, in Asia!

I should know, I hire all of them to manage my Shopify account. And that thing is making me dolla dolla bills!

All kidding aside, some are actually starting new businesses. And others are actually starting second lives with maybe a new wife or maybe they have a new business or a new business partner. Maybe they’re getting into cryptocurrency or maybe they’re interested in opening up another bank account and supplying some of their money into this bank account so that Uncle Sam won’t come after them. Get more gold for your golden years.  

So there are many reasons why senior citizens and baby boomers have decided to migrate to Asia. Not to mention the tropical weather, palm trees, and generally sunny dispositions of the Asian people raised on a healthy dose of karma and Buddhism and Apa-dharma–none of this warring Christian stuff, which just stresses you out and takes ten percent.

There are a lot of great qualities about Asia that many people want to know about and it’s actually really kind of an expansive topic to get into. I can’t really cover all of the details about it here, but I can tell you that moving to Asia and being around many of the creative business types that are in this region of the world tends to give baby boomers and seniors that kind of sense of continuance in their life that is just not offered in supposedly more developed regions of the world (United States).

In Asia, it’s not ever the end, it’s always a continuation, kind of, like Buddhism where you’re going through cycles of life. Asians tend to get everybody involved in the economy, whatever your age, and it actually tends to be a very active region of the world. And needless to say, rife with opportunity. You can visit many historic sites, like Buddhist temples, monasteries, and ancient caves with drawings on the wall that sort of resemble a lot of what passes for modern art in New York subways and Starbucks bathrooms.

You can apply for a work permit or become an English teacher like me. Or you can make a new business that works entirely from the computer and just completely bypass the physical world. Honestly, the opportunities are endless, it’s just a matter of deciding which ones are providing the most rewarding experience and impact for you.

So there are actually many options that one may consider as an “elder” when determining whether Asia is the proper location to relocate to. Some people have expressed worry about Asia that it’s not entirely mobile friendly for the senior citizens that aren’t as mobile anymore or have difficulty moving around. There is some conjecture and worry about the possible challenges of having to take stairs or a songthaew, possibly having to be hoisted up onto big buses. But this is an unfounded worry, actually, because Asians are aware that their countries serve many tourists and thus create businesses that accommodate them. This also means having mobile and disability-friendly options. Even just the word “Developed,” doesn’t really have the same meaning it once did. These days, a “developing country,” means that the country is going to at least have a wheelchair ramp! So you can just imagine what else is out here! Including elevators and even respect for the elderly.

Although there aren’t as many luxurious glass elevators here than in the US, nevertheless Asia can be a very accommodating region of the world. And honestly, I don’t even think about the glass elevators anymore. Trust me, you won’t miss them that much!Consumer Resource Guide

Bottom line: There are many locales, communities, and spheres of cities all around Asia that are very accommodating to people who might need to get escorted to a car or might need to take an elevator or perhaps need to sit down every once in a while after taking a couple of steps. It’s totally possible for you to do here! And a side benefit is that you don’t need to worry about guns or ammunition like you do in the more developed regions of the world (United States). With very few exceptions, guns are banned in most countries in Asia, so there’s no worry that grandma is going to get beaten with a ball bat on the way to the Rite Aid Pharmacy to pick up her prescription medication (there’s no Rite Aid out here, but there are definite equivalents, which are much more affordable and accessible).

But in all seriousness, this has never really been a problem for the baby boomers and seniors that I’ve seen in Asia because most of them tend to keep pretty active, and as baby boomers and seniors in general are well aware, it’s the only way to be! Retirement Schmirement! Find me the next real estate investment I can quickly flip! I’m telling you, that’s what they do out here! They put the gold in golden years.

Hell, I’ll go out on a limb and say that baby boomers and seniors, on the whole, tend to be more spry and energetic than even some of the younger folks! Which is why they are the Greatest Generation!

Obviously you’ll have to do some research before you get here, possibly find a consultant or read a book or two, but this shouldn’t at all deter you or even stop you from moving when the time is right. If you’re a baby boomer or senior, you definitely are aware that money moves! So move with it! Follow the writing on the wall and start planning today! Move to Asia and get paid! Grandma’s goin’ to Vietnam, are you?

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