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October 2014 -


ContentS 11

04 Founder’s Corner

We Have A Better Way To Live

Residential tourism 06 New Way of Retirement Not Your Parents’ Retirement

Compass Parkview: The new Vietnam

14 Welcome to Vietnam

08 Vietnam - Timeless Charm Today’s Vietnam

11 Compass Parkview

The New Vietnam

14 Chef Lee Returns to His “Roots” Celebrity Chef Takes Up Residence

At Newest Addition to HCMC’s


16 Award-winning Acacia Veranda Dining Elegant, Affordable American-style Cuisine



18 The City of Contrasts A Personal Journey

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS 22 Mitigating Health Insurance Cost Increases

“factoids” On

retirement IN u.S.


The Case for Overseas Medical Care

23 A Pound of Cure

How Wellness Will Cure America’s Health Care Problem

24 Factoids


2 • Compass Living Magazine •

On Retirement

26 A Week in the Life

Travel Log

FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to the premiere edition of Compass Living Magazine, an online magazine for those who have ever contemplated living, working, vacationing or retiring overseas. Ride along with us as we explore the NEW way to live, vacation and retire, called Residential Tourism. A system of interconnected global properties that you book like a hotel, with more inclusive services than a hotel. When was the last time you had personal laundry included in your stay at no additional charge? We’ll take you to places in your own backyard in the U.S. and Mexico, travel to historic cities in Europe as well as exotic locales in SE Asia such as Thailand. Our first issue kicks off by exploring our new Residential Tourism destination, Vietnam, the home of Compass Parkview. We then delve into the creative genius that is Celebrity Chef Jack Lee, the driving force behind Parkview’s award-winning fine-dining restaurant, Acacia Veranda Dining. Next, we contrast the adventures of a first-time international traveler staying within Compass Living’s system with that of a couple of professional expats that stayed a few months within the Compass Living system. Billy & Akaisha Kaderli write a retirement travel blog and have appeared in numerous well-known publications. We finish up by providing a quick peek at Vietnam, as well as retirement and finally close with an expert analysis of the driving forces behind global medical care, introducing another first by Compass Living called Medical Hospitality. We hope you enjoy this inaugural issue of Compass Living Magazine and anticipate you’ll want to come back for more. Of course, feel free to email us with questions, suggestions and comments- we want your feedback.

Editor In Chief Dan Heffley

Associate Editor V. Palmer

Contributing Writer D. Michaels

Contributing Writer Joseph Caldera

Contributing Writer Tim DeRosa

Graphic Designer Quynh Le

Bon Voyage! ~Dan

Compass Living Magazine • • 3


ur world is getting smaller by the day, enabled by an ever-expanding network of airline routes and technology seemingly at our fingertips. We think and daydream about traveling to exotic locales, researching places on the internet, and yet postpone, (or worse never), travel to these beautiful parts of the world. Many of us have in mind the places we’d like to visit or live in for a period of time, yet few have actually taken the steps necessary to make it a reality. To really enjoy a locale, immersing yourself into the rich, vibrant cultures, longer-term stays are a must...but for most it’s simply unaffordable.

We have a better


to live! 4 • Compass Living Magazine •

At Compass Living, we’ve taken the worry out of planning (and experiencing) an extended vacation, home-away-from-home, or retiring globally... affordably. We provide practically everything for one single payment monthly. Don’t worry about groceries, laundry, cooking, cleaning, driving or even taking out the trash! We can take care of it all affordably for you. Come explore with us.

Compass Living is the brain child of Robert Yuan, a trained electrical engineer who worked in finance and technology for most of his past professional life. Through the last few years he and co-founder Thomas Khien have decided to share what they know and love about living internationally with others through creating a streamlined and affordable concierge lifestyle by building the company that is Compass Living. Enabling a better worldwide lifestyle for people who love to travel, enjoy learning about local culture, and not have to deal with the tasks of daily living.

Compass Living Magazine • • 5

RESIDENTIAL TOURISM The new way to retire or just vacation


he other day, while enjoying my breakfast, I overheard the following conversation between two smartly dressed 50-ish women. “I haven’t seen Bill & Mary for a while…they doing alright?”. The response had me listening closer. “Oh, you didn’t know ? They sold their house and moved down to Costa Rica and they just love it”. The rest of the conversation was on how to connect with them on Facebook. It’s an idea whose time has come. Long an underground movement, retiring overseas is finally hitting the mainstream. With articles in Time Magazine, Forbes, and Kiplinger, the possibility of saving 50% or more on the necessities of daily living is turning into an opportunity too good to ignore. Even AARP Magazine has gotten into the mix, with it’s “Best Places to Retire Abroad” feature. It’s not all rosy however. There are some very real challenges, not the least of which is researching everything on your own, then plopping down some serious money to purchase a home, which in effect locks you in to that location. As Andrew Bender, a travel and food writer suggests in a recent Time Magazine article (Time, Business & Money, July 25, 2012), “Going to a

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country for a week as a tourist is very different from living there,” says Bender. “I’d think about: What’s your day-to-day life going to be like? Do you speak the language? How will you get around? What happens if the refrigerator goes out? How’s the shopping?”… The same Time article goes on to state, “Indeed, the wonderfully romantic notion of moving to a foreign country sometimes conflicts with the harsh practicalities of expat life, including currency and tax issues, political instability and personal safety in the new destination”.

attended to… Westerners will certainly appreciate the American-style power outlets and toilets, things that most people take for granted here in the states but are unpleasantly surprised when they arrive overseas and find that it’s vastly different from what they are used to. Compass Living is currently taking reservations for their newest property in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with Thailand and the U.S. slated for opening first quarter 2015. For more information, contact Compass Living at: info@compassliving. com

Enjoy A Better Life In A Better Way

Enter Compass Living and their new take on the hospitality industry they call “Residential Tourism”. Compass Living attends to all those needs and unanswered questions, providing a safe environment. Best of all, they don’t require that you purchase real estate…which gives you the freedom to move around, staying as long (or as little) as you like. Each location is carefully thought out with English-speaking staff and Western-style meals standard. Transportation plans and concierge service to take you shopping and translate in your host country are available as affordable upgrades. Every detail has been carefully

Going to a country for a week as a tourist is very different from living there.”

Compass Living Magazine • • 7

Vietnam timeless charm Experience a World Like No Other


alk to anyone born after 1975 about Vietnam and you inevitably hear, “Yeah that’s where they had that war, right?” While once a front-page story, the country of Vietnam has all but faded from those that didn’t experience those tumultuous years firsthand. Today’s Vietnam is a far cry from the war-torn images coming out of the tv set, narrated by Walter Cronkite. Since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization

in 2001, it has made peace with it’s history and become one of Southeast Asia’s bestkept secrets as a tourism oasis. Kathleen Peddicord of International Living has called Vietnam one of the best places to retire. Today’s Vietnam boasts great cost of living (currently around 21,000 Vietnamese dong to the American dollar), warm weather and a friendly populace that has transformed this once poor country into a must-

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see destination. Comfortably verdant, Vietnam’s temperatures hover between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit yearround in the Southern part of the country. Considered subtropical, it also has its share of beautiful beaches, hugging the shoreline of the Indian Ocean. There are a number of major metropolitan areas; the ones that immediately come to mind like Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi (the capital), are all modernized

as are the lesser-known places like Da Nang, commonly called “China Beach” popularized by the late 80’s television show of the same name. Old war memorials are now tourist attractions. But it’s the food that’s the real draw. Entrepreneurship abounds with street side eateries everywhere. For those who desire a vibrant

nightlife, the nightclubs compete with anything on the west coast of the United States. Throw in open-air markets, wholesale shops and city parks similar to New York City’s Central Park and Vietnam becomes one area of the world set for a huge resurgence; that is when the world finally finds out about it.

Lush, green and beautiful; urban modernization, open air markets... Experience that which is the New Vietnam.”

Compass Living Magazine • • 9

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Compass parkview A Better way to retire


iven today’s economy, retirees are having a harder time planning for a secure retirement future, a fact not unnoticed by today’s financial planning establishment. The demise of defined-benefit plans, along with under-funded pensions have planners looking for new strategies to facilitate their clients’ dreams of a secure retirement. One such strategy gaining ground is retiring overseas in a locale where retirement funds may be stretched further.

affordable adventureSOME familiar comforts of home

Many planners have at least one or two clients who have inquired about the possibility of living overseas, inevitably citing the well-known benefits: Lower cost-of-living, lower healthcare costs, and warm weather chief among them. Stories of having a maid and/or cook, all on a modest pension, inevitably pique the interest of today’s adventurous retirees. While some retirees are looking for adventure and a way to stretch their dollars, others are looking for a way out… sometimes circumstances dictate that action be taken. Take the story of Michael and Amanda Cyphers. In 2011, faced with living in a trailer because of the housing collapse, or taking a 60%-reduction in Michael’s pension and retiring in Belize, the choice of moving out of the country seemed the most attractive option. With four trips to Belize under their belt, and several years’ worth of research, they thought they were well prepared for the change. Yet, barely a week after making the move, their new home was broken into…they now have bars on the windows. Nor were they prepared for just how different the lifestyle was, Amanda has contracted E. Coli twice since the move. For now, they seem to continue to enjoy the lifestyle…seeing as they bought their home Compass Living Magazine • • 11

there, they may not have a choice. It is uncertainties like these that have financial planners and their clients alike being reticent about actually retiring overseas, despite the obvious benefits. Add to that the sheer complexity of the task and it’s no wonder that only the most committed and adventurous, or in the case of Michael and Amanda Cyphers, those with less attractive viable options, make the leap to retiring overseas. Enter Compass Living Billed as “A New Way To Live, Vacation or Retire”, Compass Living is the brainchild of a former engineer and financier, who has extensive global travel experience. In fact, 80% of Compass Living’s management team has traveled extensively, with many living the overseas expat lifestyle. With minimum stays of just one month, Compass Living seeks to provide a viable retirement/snowbirding platform by leveraging overbuilt real estate in select locations worldwide, coupled with highlytrained, English-speaking staff and all-inclusive services. Compass Living doesn’t sell real estate, so customers (called “residents”) aren’t “locked in” at one location, but instead can rotate through any of Compass Living’s global properties as they come online. Compass Living provides all the comforts of home, with housekeeping and meals included, all for little more than the average social security check. Financial planners are starting to take notice. So too are their clients. “I’d do that in a heartbeat”, says Laurie Osborne, age 50, when told of Compass’ weekly spa service which includes manicure, pedicure and full-body massages. Osborne, a registered nurse, also admits, “Washing, drying and folding clothes are my least-favorite chores”… with laundry service included in select packages, Compass Living just might figure into her family’s future. To learn how you can provide Compass Living programs to your client base, contact them at:

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Compass Living Magazine • • 13

Chef Jack Lee enjoying a moment at market

Chef Lee Returns to His “Roots” Celebrity Chef Takes Up Residence at Newest Addition to HCMC’s Skyline


nless you’re a Hollywood A-lister or political cognoscenti, you may not know the name Chef Jack Lee, but chances are you’ve seen him. He’s appeared on “The Taste”, “Cutthroat Kitchen” and the Food Network. A celebrity chef for over 15 years, Chef Lee has been described as “versatile” and “ever-creative”, preparing his signature dishes for everyone from Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie to Nancy Reagan. Born in Vietnam to Chinese parents, Chef Lee is proud of his Vietnamese origins. At an early

age, he moved to America, where he graduated from The California School of Culinary Arts and the Le Cordon Bleu program. He is known for his excellent creative plating skills and creative signature Asian/French fusionstyle of cooking, chef Lee brings his talents to one of Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) newest premiere dining establishments, Acacia, located on the 8th floor of the new Compass Parkview building in the heart of HCMC. Chef Lee is inspired by his Vietnamese roots and the culinary diversity of Vietnamese ingredients, including the fresh seafood brought in daily and

14 • Compass Living Magazine •

the flavorful indigenous herbs and spices. But what gets Jack really excited are the exotic fruits available, such as durian, jackfruit (no relation, he chuckles) and star fruit, but to name a few. His love of this culture coupled with his talent for fusing various tastes into his own signature style is what won him the second place prize in the first round of the prestigious Golden Spoon Awards competition this past October. His theme for the competition was “The Exotic Fruits of Vietnam”. Jack recalls, “I utilized

Chef Jack Lee buying some fruit from a local seller

the various fruits found here locally to create a four-course menu of dishes that had never been seen before”. But, he almost didn’t get in. “I went to where they were having the competition for another reason. I saw the cooking equipment everywhere and asked what was going on, they told me it was for (The Golden Spoon Awards competition) the next day”. The deadline

had passed a month earlier to sign up and the Director of the competition doubted Jack would be ready to go in time. “I had five hours to come up with a theme, write the menu, read the rules, put together my team and equipment, and then go shopping for the ingredients we would need”, Jack relates, then adds with a smile, “piece of cake”.

Follow Jack Lee at: You can see Jack in person and sample his culinary excellence at Acacia Veranda Dining restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. Reservations preferred.

Compass Living Magazine • • 15

Award-w park view


warm, friendly delicious professional chef

16 • Compass Living Magazine •

Elegant Affordable American-style Cuisine”


a Veranda Dining


ocated on the 8th floor of Compass Parkview, Acacia delivers a finedining experience with a stunning 270 degree view of the HCMC skyline. The indoor/ outdoor venue lends itself to an intimate dinner experience or a large social gathering where one can both appreciate the background music AND

hear well enough to carry on a conversation. The menu features American signature dishes that are the creation of Celebrity Chef Jack Lee. By concentrating on authentic American dishes, including beef short ribs and its signature dish, slow-roasted prime rib, Acacia caters to the expat crowd certainly, but also

Saigon’s elite. Already Asian and American film and television personalities are raving about Acacia’s affordable menu. Ideal for company events or special occassions, Acacia is at once intimate yet accommodating.For reservations or to inquire about holding your event at Acacia please contact:

Compass Living Magazine • • 17

A city of contrasts


am new to Saigon. Like so many Americans, I found the concept of retiring overseas intriguing, but never really took it seriously. I’d always assumed that I needed to purchase property in another country and I knew absolutely nothing about it. Sure, I subscribed to the usual “retire overseas” electronic newsletters with their enticing glossy pictures and tips…always with the pitch at the end trying to sell me a high-priced travel club or seminar that would ‘teach’ me how to do it. The first thing I notice on the 10-minute drive from Saigon’s International Airport to where I’ll be staying are the scooters zipping in and out. It is chaotic, but orderly at the same time. A stark contrast in terms, to be sure, but accurate nonetheless. I will come to find that Saigon is a city filled with contrasts during my

nearly one month-long stay. Previously, the furthest I had been from my hometown was on a Caribbean cruise, safely ensconced in a “floating city”, my every need taken care of; security, food, housekeeping, minor medical care if needed. Retiring (or working or living) overseas was a different matter entirely. I would have to “learn” something new and do it on my own, no safety net included. The two extremes would be discouraging, to say the least, if I hadn’t come across Compass Living. I’m trying out a new concept in travel called ‘Residential Tourism’, which allows fully-serviced and inclusive extended residential stays in both domestic and exotic locations, for much less than a similar stay in a hotel. I’m staying in the heart of Saigon’s preferential District 1, at the new Compass Living Parkview property.

While researching o v e r s e a s retirement, I did learn a new term though. “Expats”, (short for Expatriots) are those people who have actually lived, worked or retired overseas. Two ladies on a motocycle go around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Some, like 18 • Compass Living Magazine •

government workers, are stationed in a foreign locale, while others are simply people who, for whatever reason, took the plunge into that uncharted territory of living overseas. I would have the pleasure of corresponding with one such couple, Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, who have made a life out of traveling from country to country on their own and getting paid to write about it. With two books and a myriad of prestigious publications (WSJ, Kiplinger’s to name just a few) to their credit, I was interested in their take on this new hospitality sector. Compass Parkview overlooks Tao Dan Park, a large park very similar to New York City’s Central Park. Outside the park there is a flurry of activity, inside it is one of tranquility, with residents quietly practicing Tai Chi and Xi Gong, a slow, meditative martial art. Exercise stations dot the landscape, along with artistic statues following a winding path. Traveling to exotic places has always been on my bucket list. In fact it’s probably on a majority of people’s “bucket lists”; however even those who would normally consider themselves adventurous can be intimidated by the prospect of traveling somewhere where English may not be the primary language. Billy and Akaisha have had to learn everything on their own…and were very impressed with the Parkview property. But even “pros” need a

“Time to experience something new for your life” “Don’t be afraid. Just go.”

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli at Compass Parkview property

little help sometimes. Besides the spacious accommo-dations, pricing, meals, and all inclusive lifestyle, it was the ‘safety net’ (Compass’ staff) that came to mind as “invaluable” …one example of the stellar service was when Acacia needed emergency dental care and another was when Billy’s mother passed away unexpectedly back home. Akaisha relates- “The staff at Parkview was wonderful”, helping them through two very difficult situations. Compass Living offers what can only be described as “landcruising”, combining safe, welllit and staffed extended stay accommodations (from one

month to almost forever) and the usual ”house-keeping” found in hotels, but also including meals, entertainment, travel shuttle, available medical coverage… and…wait for it… laundry…!!

08 38 23 5220 or email at To follow Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, visit their website at

So there you have it. A “green” future expat on his first foray into global exploration and a couple of pros who can do it in their sleep, both offering praise for Compass Living’s Residential Tourism con-cept property. Like Saigon, sometimes contrasts are simply two sides of the same coin. For reservations or more information about Compass Parkview, please contact: Compass Living Magazine • • 19

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT Trends and commentary from heavyweights in their industries touching upon issues important to you:


Compass Living Magazine • • 21

Mitigating Health Insurance Cost Increases

The Case for Overseas Medical Care The Problem: Cost drivers in the healthcare sector continue to increase. The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) has simply exacerbated the problem. In order to survive in this new landscape, innovative ideas are needed. One such alternative currently being explored is Medical/Dental Tourism, whereby patients have non-critical services performed at high-quality, lower cost locations worldwide. A recent article in the NY Times serves to illustrate the appeal of Medical/Dental Tourism. The article showcases the plight of Michael Shopenn. From the article: “Mr. Shopenn, 67, an architectural photographer and avid snowboarder, had been in such pain from arthritis that he could not stand long enough to make coffee, let alone work”. Faced with a cost of over $78,000 stateside for his surgery, he opted to have it done outside the United States for less than a quarter of the cost. And he’s not alone. According to “Patients Beyond Borders”, the market for medical tourism is growing by 15%-25% a year. They estimate that in 2014 alone, 1.2 million people will travel

outside of their home country for medical procedures… and that’s just in America! The total number worldwide is fargreater. It’s become rather easy to evaluate medical and dental facilities overseas, as there are a number of hospital and provider accreditations and certifications worldwide. A host of intermediaries, termed “Medical Hospitality Facilitators”, assist people looking to Medical Tourism options. But it’s not all rosy. Having surgery or any type of medical care overseas can be intimidating, if not outright frightening. While the actual procedures may have quality controls, being in another country, with possible foreign language issues, transportation, meal planning, and a host of other recovery is-sues are another matter entirely. It was precisely these concerns that spawned another industry called “Medical Hospitality” (see A pound of cure, page21). Medical Hospitality aims to bring a comfort and quality control factor to those facing medical procedures overseas, starting with a residential

22 • Compass Living Magazine •

Akaisha at local dentist

apartment or single-family home instead of a clinical and busy hotel environment. Meals, transportation and even therapeutic massage is typically available at a surprisingly affordable price. Compass Living is the leader in Medical Hospitality and Residential Tourism with spacious accommodations without the impersonal feel of a hotel or hospital setting. For more information, contact Compass Living at:

a pound of cure

How wellness will cure America’s Health care problem


he saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has always been true, but only recently has it been taken seriously by corporate America. In other parts of the world, the notion of ”taking care of one-self” has been a mainstay of their healthcare systems: resting during the workday, stress-relaxing activities like group Tai Chi and other meditative disciplines are common. Exercise and healthy diet promotion have been assimilated within those cultures. Employers increasingly have made the connection that keeping an employee healthy is less expensive than treating a sick employee. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), up to 90% of America’s healthcare costs are attributable to preventable diseases. Even so, the wellness movement in the United States has struggled to gain traction. With the passage of the U.S. law, The Affordable Care Act, (more commonly referred to as “Obamacare”) that may change. While much of the law reformed the health insurance industry, one small part of the law recognized

the role wellness and disease prevention play in driving down medical costs. To promote wellness within the workplace, the law incentivizes employers to offer programs designed to encourage healthier lifestyles to their employees. Taking this one step further, Compass Living has launched an ambitious program to help accelerate the savings to employers while increasing employee satisfaction. “Medical Hospitality”, as Compass Living terms it, is the process of providing incentivized vacations to employees. Many HR departments in large companies already provide this service to their employees. What Compass Living does, is promote mini “executive-type” physicals for guests while on property. Agreements with various medical diagnostic providers globally leverage the labor arbitrage and currency value in the host country to provide diagnostic scans at a fraction of the price in the U.S. If a diagnostic scan reveals a potential health issue, the employee is then counseled on various options available to them, both back in the United States and also in the host

country location. Compass Living ac-tively works with Medical Tourism facilitators (see Medical Tourism, page 23) to identify the best facilities for a particular procedure. Because Compass Living takes care of most of the necessities for daily living (meals, housekeeping, laundry), the employee can concentrate on recovery, alongside family members, in a comfortable, serviced, homelike environment rather than the “hotel” environment (and expense) associated with traditional medical tourism programs. Travel shuttles for follow up appointments coupled with a meal points plan al-low for better monitoring and recovery compliance postprocedure, encouraging better outcomes. The employee returns to work well-rested and happy. Medical Hospitality is a win-win for all concerned. For more information on whether your company or employer can benefit from implementing Compass Living’s Medical Hospitality program, please contact Compass Living at:

Compass Living Magazine • • 23


on retirement IN the u.S.



50+ million




Americans nearing retirement in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their savings accounts

24 • Compass Living Magazine •


future destinations TO RETIRE vietnam



Restaurant prices are over 65% less than in the U.S.


Primary mode of transport: motorscooters/taxis


Taxi fares within city limits usually less than 5 USD


Safety and Crime Index is virtually identical to the U.S. (

upcoming locations

Compass Living Magazine • • 25

A WEEK IN THE LIFE… Dear Diary, After spending a month at Compass Living in __________________,

(SE Asia, U.S.A., Central America, Mexico, Europe, Africa)

we confirmed our reservation for the summer at Compass Living’s ______________________ property. We have really enjoyed the (Thailand, Las Vegas, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Vietnam, U.K.)

_______________________ here, but the travel bug has bitten us again.

(Culture, ocean, nightlife, museums, restaurants, mountains, rainforest)

So happy we can circulate within the Compass Living’ system! We are really enjoying this _____________________lifestyle. (relaxing, adventuresome, exciting, productive)

____________________ has never been better! Monday we spoke with

(retirement, vacationing, life, business)

________________ via the high-speed wifi standard at all of Compass’ (the kids, mom and dad, our colleagues, the boss, our friends)

properties. Tuesday we had Compass’ concierge map out the best places to ________________ and we scheduled it with Compass’ shuttle (shop, take in a movie, take a tour, exercise)

service for the next day. It really has been a dream. Tomorrow we’ll pack our carryon bag…I am so loving not having to do laundry! Feeling _______________________! Until next time…

(happy, liberated, carefree, excited, awesome)

For more information

Compass Living Magazine 2015  
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