When most world leaders retire, they can bank on lucrative book deals, speaking tours and prestigious job offers. When President Jiang Zemin leaves office in March, he will enjoy his share of luxuries too - but will have to make do with his official salary of about 3,000 yuan (HK$2,820) a month. Observers say Communist Party tradition and protocol require senior leaders to keep a low profile when they leave office, so it is unlikely that the third generation will become celebrities on the world stage the way someone like former US president Bill Clinton has done. Such is the life of a retired politician in China - even for Mr Jiang, who has wielded imperial-like power for more than a decade as president and head of the Communist Party. Life is not likely to be any more public for the nation's two other most powerful men once they step down in March at the National People's Congress: Premier Zhu Rongji and NPC Chairman Li Peng. Though Mr Jiang, 74, Mr Zhu, 73, and Mr Li, 74, will continue to earn their modest monthly salaries of only 3,000 yuan, sources say they will get to keep their government-appointed housing in Beijing for the rest of their lives. In Mr Jiang's case, he will spend his post-presidential days either in a luxury courtyard compound in Zhongnanhai or an elaborate villa being built in Shanghai's exclusive Xiantiandi district. If, as expected, he retains his role as chairman of the Central Military Commission, he will remain in Beijing until he fully retires. For Mr Zhu and Mr Li, life will revolve around their respective luxury two-storey townhouse compounds not too far from Zhongnanhai. In a touch of communist egalitarian values, the retired leaders won't own their residences, which will remain as assets of the State Council Asset Office, and their activities will be co-ordinated by Zhongnanhai's Protocol Office for Retired Cadres. In exchange for living in what amounts to gilded cages, however, the party will provide the three leaders with a variety of services they've become accustomed to: a personal secretary, a chef, an assistant chef, a fully stocked kitchen with all their favourite delicacies, a coterie of housekeepers, more than a dozen security guards and a car and a driver for years to come. The three also will be accorded life-time free access to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse for personal entertainment, as well as free access to official guesthouses in every one of China's provinces, not to mention life-time free travel within China. 'Basically, they will enjoy the jibie perks - or benefits accorded to their last rank - until they die,' said Laurence Brahm, a Beijing-based political economist and author of Zhu Rongji: The Transformation of Modern China. 'But what they won't have is what American leaders do - the ability to go out and collect huge fees from spontaneous speaking engagements.' As many perks as the party might provide, the retired leaders will lead relatively simple lives, free of much of the trappings of personal wealth that foreign leaders may have. 'Their children may not lead such simple lives, but China's retired leaders are expected to,' said Brahm. All three men are likely to retain their own offices including more than one secretary. They will continue to receive government documents or directives, and in the case of Mr Jiang's office, considerable political power will still be exercised. It is expected that only Mr Jiang will continue to be given the most sensitive state documents due to his continued role with the Central Military Commission. Mr Jiang will also play a role of elder statesman much as Deng Xiaoping did, meeting foreign dignitaries when they visit China. Of the three, China watchers expect Mr Zhu to have the lowest profile. 'Zhu is not very popular within the bureaucracy and being a technocrat he never built his own empire,' said veteran China watcher Sin-ming Shaw, a visiting fellow at St Anthony's College at Oxford University. 'Jiang Zemin and Li Peng will be active. Though Li has to protect his skin and his children, who are known for their scandals, he actually is liked by the bureaucracy. Jiang has a huge ego. He is healthy and wants to be among the immortals with his [Theory of the] Three Representatives.' One of Mr Li's sons, Li Xiaoyong, was involved in a futures brokerage scandal and is understood to be ensconced in Singapore. Sources say Mr Jiang is likely to expand upon his daily routine of swimming 600 metres in his personal pool in Zhongnanhai or in his new villa in Shanghai. Mr Jiang may decide to round off his day writing poetry or playing ping-pong with his wife, Wang Yeping, and their grandchildren. Sources expect Mr Zhu, an avid reader of books, walking enthusiast and a Chinese opera fanatic, will enjoy life quietly with his wife, Lao An, both of whom are expected to remain in Beijing. Brahm, who knows Mr Zhu personally and socialises with one of his sons, said Mr Zhu would do his best not to interfere in premier-designate Wen Jiabao's affairs. Not much is known about the hobbies of Mr Li and wife Zhu Lin or their personal lives, but many expect them to remain in Beijing and to be working hard behind the scenes to prevent a reversal of the verdict on the June 4 crackdown, which Mr Li played a leading role in. 'All in all, the three will lead quiet lives upon retirement,' said Brahm. 'You're not supposed to go out and make public statements and influence policy.'