4 reasons to quit my postdoctoral job in the US and bring my toddler back to Taiwan in winter

  1. To be closer to my family
  2. Financially favorable (geographic arbitrage)
  3. Boston is cold in winter while Taiwan is warm like Hawaii
  4. Children’s Indoor play centers are much better in Taiwan and they are free.

1. To be closer to my family

After being in the US for 10+ years, spending all my time working on biomedical research, and traveling around the US alone, I realized what I miss most is spending time with my parents. Since I pursue financial independence 4 years ago, I have the freedom to use my time to do whatever I find valuable to me.

2. Financially favorable (geographic arbitrage)

What is geographic arbitrage? Simply speaking, one dollar in the US is not equal to one dollar in Taiwan. In other words, the average monthly expense for a family in the US is ~$4000, while the average monthly expense for a family in my home town Kaohsiung, Taiwan is ~ $1500-2000. With the same amount of money, you can live longer in a lower-cost living area.

Below is an interesting comparison of food

12 dollar meal comparison in the united states and in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
more diverse food and veggie are available in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Check out “the Earth Awaits“. It tracks the cost of living in over 600 cities in the world. Based on the info from “the Earth Awaits”, the cost of living in Kaohsiung is $1503.62 monthly, which equals $18,036 yearly. Based on the US retirement 4% rule, you only need $450,900 saving for the retirement in Kaohsiung vs $1,000,000 in the US.

the cost of living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
cost of living in Kaohsiung

3. Boston is cold in winter while Taiwan is warm like Hawaii

This is self-explainable. For the people who live on the east coast and experience the winter, I hate to walk after the snow. I would rather have a snow-free street to walk.

Boston and Kaohsiung weather comparison in winter

4. Children’s Indoor play centers are much better in Taiwan

I have a 15-month-old toddler. When we were in Boston during the winter, we cannot always go to the playground. When the weather is raining/snowing/windy, the places we can go to are museums and malls. However, in Taiwan, there are plenty of children’s indoor play centers that are free and close to my apartment, within 10 mins walk. How convenient it is!

children indoor play center in Kaohsiung

A spot of children’s indoor play center designed for 0-7-year-old children. A wide-open space for toddlers to run and some jumping horses for them to play and ride on the red track.

children indoor play center in Kaohsiung

There are toys available for toddlers to play.

children indoor play center in Kaohsiung

A spacious slide for 0-2 year old baby.