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5 Honest Facts about Retiring to Thailand | Retirement for Seniors
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5 Honest Facts about Retiring to Thailand

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The thought of retiring to a country so far away may seem a little intimidating to many people—especially when we are talking about the continent of Asia. After all, this is the continent that is synonymous with Third World countries and many of us see life as being very cheap in this part of the world. Although far from perfect, Thailand is something of an exception to these beliefs and is so much more feasible as a possible retirement option. Let’s take some time to discuss the top 5 reasons for why Thailand may prove to be ideal for you.

1. 40% to 60% Cheaper Living Costs!

To be honest with you, having carried out copious amounts of research for this article and based on my own personal experience of living costs in Thailand, I would say that an average of 40% to 60% of living costs in Thailand compared with Europe, North America and Australia is a rather high statistic. If you are really frugal, it is definitely possible to get this figure down even further. Most articles on the internet will compare living costs with the type of person who has never been careful with money in their lives and will be at the highest end of the spectrum. I understand that you want your retirement income to stretch as far as possible and retiring to Thailand ABSOLUTELY allows you to do exactly this!

Thai Temple (Wat Phra Kaew)


I have lived here for nearly 30 yrs and while I lived on less than $5000 20 yrs ago it is still possible to live here for less than $15,000. it all depends though on your comfort level. A friend lives in town and his rent is around $200 a month and of course food here, if you eat local food, can be as little as $5 a day also depending on what is comfortable for you. I now live south of town and have upgraded my lifestyle quite a lot and have a very large house and 2 cars. Living expenses however are still less than $20k per year.

Thai cuisine

Thai cuisine


2. A Very Good Standard of Living

Further to the actual cost of living in Thailand, we do need to discuss the average standard of living in this country. The good news here is that Thailand is so much more advanced than the average Westerner would tend to presume. Yes, there are still problems with poverty in this country—the simple fact of the matter is that Thailand is still a long way from being a First World nation. However, it is possible to lead a life in Thailand where you are surrounded by everything you would associate with a Western country. Generally speaking, though, there is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about the country of Thailand: I have been to slightly richer countries and found myself more disturbed by the poverty there; Thais are warm and welcoming people and you would find that you overlook many things when enjoying the hospitality in their immensely beautiful country.

3. A Place to Find Love and Your Life Partner

Hmm! I need to be careful with this section, as I am desperately trying to convey all of the facts about retiring to Thailand in the most truthful manner. Internet research will reveal a plethora of articles all claiming that Thailand ranks as one of the top countries in the world in which to find love. In some ways this might be perfectly true, however, having written many e-books and articles on this in the past, I can state that this will often come at a cost—especially if you are looking to find a life partner with a local. It would probably be best to try to find a life partner through another expatriate, because often locals will see you as a meal ticket, not only for themselves, but for their whole family, too. I do not want to tar everyone with the same brush here as of course you will find very honest Thai people to fall in love with—please, please just be careful in this regard!

You have to remember most Thais are not wealthy or even middle class. Most are poor farmers. Most often they are very nice people but there are instances where the girls leave the farm and move to the city and become prostitutes. They become hardened and learn the ropes and then along comes a foreigner, falls in love, and finds out the hard way why he got so lucky.

Thai culture  ( The history of Loy Krathong)

Thai culture
(The history of Loy Krathong)

4. Learning the Language

Now this is a topic where online research material tends to be more truthful. Thailand definitely scores very highly in many surveys based on the country being an ideal place to retire to, however, when it comes to physically learning the language, you can forget it! The Thai language is said to be notoriously difficult for Westerners to learn, but never let this put you off as most Thais speak English to a very good standard—certainly the people you are most likely to encounter in the service industries.

5. Day-to-day Considerations

When it comes to dealing with day-to-day administration and health care in Thailand, this country is so much better than many others in the world. The health care is generally very good, but be careful with some of the articles on the web trying to claim that Thai hospitals are equivalent to five star hotel resorts. On average, the Thai healthcare system is not bad at all, but let’s not get too carried away. Also, you would need to bear in mind that the standard of hospitals varies across the country: for example the very best facilities would tend to be based in the capital, Bangkok, and other more affluent areas.