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Author Topic: is retiring to Thailand an option?  (Read 3328 times)

MickT

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is retiring to Thailand an option?
« on: September 18, 2015, 12:21:30 PM »
I have got to the point in life where I'm thinking there's more to life than work, and I'd like to retire in about five years from now, max. I have been to Thailand twice for holidays, when I was much younger - had a great time of course, but how is it for long term living? Affordable? Easy, visa wise?

Admin

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Re: is retiring to Thailand an option?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 01:05:02 AM »

Sat 19 Sep 2015, 7:45 am


Hi Mick,


Welcome! Glad to have you with us.


I hope some others will reply so that you get a variety of opinions and because I hate to see my face as the only face posting. 


Thailand is very different than it was when you were "younger."  It is much more developed, not nearly as "Wild West" as you may remember, and that may be a plus or a minus depending upon what you are looking for.  LOS is still affordable, but it's not cheap like it was in the old days.  Still if the oppressive cost of living in your home country is a factor in your decision to emigrate, then Thailand remains an option.  It is relatively easy to extend your visa for retirement purposes if you can show 800K THB in a Thai bank and/or 65K THB per month in retirement or offshore income.  For a marriage extension--for some totally unfathomable reason--you only need 400K THB in the bank, but the marriage extension is more complicated is is scrutinized more closely by Imm.  There are no truly long-term solutions, and your permission to stay is conditional, subject to review annually.  If you have a retirement extension, you may not work.  Even with a different type of visa, work options are limited to falang.  It is a little complicated and there are some workarounds, but the down-and-dirty is that you may own a condo outright, but may not own houses and property.


No one can answer your question "how is it for long-term living."  it depends on your lifestyle and your requirements, if you prefer to "go native," or maintain something like your environment and lifestyle form you home country.  There are no shortage of things to spend money on, a LOT of money, and I guess many guys go broke due to a sort of "cognitive dissonance,"  they have this distorted notion in their minds that Thailand is cheap, cheap, cheap, and meanwhile don't realize how much money they are spending. 


Talk to a lot of people first.  Then take another vacation here; travel all over the country scope out Chiang Mai, Bangers, Pattaya, Phuket, Isaan and get a feel for which of the possibilities seems the best match in terms of your preferences, lifestyle and finances. For example, literally tens-of-thousands of falang and other foreigners live in Bangkok, but I would find that totally unacceptable.


Anyway, welcome Mick.  I hope some of the other guys will share their ideas, opinions and experience.  It is different for everybody. Also, check out ThaiVisa.com , an annoying website that is none-the-less a VAST resource for the type of info you seek.


 


Jozie

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Re: is retiring to Thailand an option?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 06:50:13 AM »
I don't have any experience of retiring in Thailand to offer but if you are British it may be worth checking if your UK state pension can be still paid to you. That would be a definite income of some sort at least.

Mr. Admin has shared lots of very useful information, I was surprised to read that you cannot work when on a retirement visa. That seems a bit harsh, and it must make life difficult for some people. How would the authorities view online work?


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Re: is retiring to Thailand an option?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 10:48:55 AM »
What people do "off the books," and what they do behind closed doors is what they do "off the books" and what they do behind closed doors, the same as in any other country.  However, the law is very strict in how it defines "work," including even unpaid and volunteer work.  One glaring illustration of this was during the aftermath of the terrible tsunami in 2004, the PM (was it the PM or another gov official?) publicly warned people from outside the country that they would need a work permit in order to be able to help with disaster relief.   Quite a statement considering the magnitude of the disaster and the dire need for immediate assistance.  Last year or earlier this year several people were arrested up in Chiang Mai for teaching Engarishe online.  What the "intersection" of reality  is between laws on the books and enforcement on the ground, I wouldn't know.   If Trump-like immigration policies are introduced in the U.S. in 2017, it will serve as a green light to other countries who prefer a tighter imm policy.

MickT

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Re: is retiring to Thailand an option?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 02:53:58 PM »
Thanks to admin for the detailed reply, and Jozie for the other info.

I don't have any money worries, and live a fairly low key lifestyle so the visa and day to day living side of it wouldn't be a problem. (Yes,I am British Jozie, the UK pension can be paid to me in Thailand but it would be frozen, so no increase for inflation.)

Looks like it's time to start planning a visit to get a feel for different regions and see how that pans out.

Thanks again for the leads and tips.