Retirement is one of those milestones in life, it can come well planned and anticipated, for some it comes as a bit of a shock with redundancy of incapacitation and for others they suddenly wake up one morning and realise that they are not working any more! Most Baby Boomers will have been advised to prepare for retirement, some listened and others did not, resulting in the necessity for careful budgeting.
Many Americans make the pilgrimage South to warmer climates and their European counterparts have long sought out the Southern countries of Europe for their Silver Age. Thailand may come as quite a shock for some with the idea of living in such a different culture, so far away from home. However with the kids well cared for, many take the plunge and opt to retire in Thailand. There are many reasons:
Thailand’s Climate is a major factor with basically 2 seasons, the rainy season and the non-rainy season! Thailand enjoys a temperate climate 365 days of the year. There are many regional variations but basically the temperature range between 25C and 32C every day!
The Thai Culture is welcoming and hospitable. It is not called the ‘Land of Smiles’ without grounding and the Thais are amenable and smiling folk, but there is a major cultural difference and never forget that you will be a visitor in their country!
Where to Live in Thailand will fill a complete book! Bangkok is a great and vibrant city with a great cultural and business sectors, however the noise of a big city often drives people further out. Most major cities in Thailand have become centres for ex-pat retirees with lively communities found everywhere. Chiang Mai in the North is highly favoured due to the moderate climate, size and mountainous surroundings. Most of the cities in the North-East (Issan) also have large expat communities who have either settled rurally or in the comfort of the cities. Naturally the coastal cities of Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket are great alternatives with the ocean nearby. The islands are also well favoured for their laid back, island way of life!
Quality of Life and Cost of Living are also two important factors for retirement. With a warm climate and lovely people Thailand is also quite affordable. The exchange rates are not as high as they used to be but the essentials of life (accommodation, food, transportation and entertainment) are all most reasonable in comparison to home countries. Food is plentiful, fresh and low priced. Thanks to the large expat population, most of the comforts of home can also be bought here, though some at a premium.
Healthcare is exceptional in Thailand with modern, highly equipped hospitals located in most regional centres. The quality of expertise is high with mostly foreign trained Doctors and attentive nurses. Local medical insurance can assure peace of mind if your own insurance will not cover the costs.
Relaxation is everywhere in Thailand ranging from world quality golf courses, crystal clear waters, mountain walks, cycling trails and yoga centres. Additionally, served by a myriad of Spas and Massage Salons, Thailand is really an amazing place to spend those Silver Years!
Visas! To stay longer in Thailand and to enjoy legal status a Retirement Visa is readily available. There are some requirements for proof of funds and changes are coming regarding declaration of retirement income. However, with some creative solutions, the Thais will readily welcome you to their paradise.