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Retirement in Thailand

2 replies [Last post]
Anthony Galloway's picture
Joined: 17-Dec-08
Posts: 2317

Hello Everybody,

I plan on retiring in less than 5 years and I am looking seriously at Thailand as an option. I have some contacts in Udon Thani and will make a trip over there next year.

My retirement income won't be much by US standards ($1500 - $2000/month, USD), but hopefully will prove adequate by Thai standards. I'm researching what it will take to make the move, the visa process, fees, etc.

So, a few questions:

How much does it cost to live in Thailand? I don't expect to live in Bangkok, but in a smaller town or city; perhaps Udon, or Chang Mai. I'm single, my needs are few, I don't need a luxury condo, or even a car, but may want to buy a scooter for short trips. I may be naive, but I would like to live as much like a Thai native as is possible for a farang: eat the food, shop in the markets, check out the night life, etc.

Any tips for learning the language? I'm trying to find a Thai tutor or take classes. At my age (53) my ability to learn a new language is limited, I'm sure. But my understanding is, if you make the effort to learn and speak Thai, people will try that much harder to communicate.

I'm sure it will be lonely being there at the beginning, so is there a solid community of expats that I can meet and get to know? I imagine that will depend on the area I wind up settling in...

Has anyone lived in/visited Koh Samui? I visited a site with a bunch of pictures the other day and it looks like paradise. Is it realistic to try and live there or some place just like it? I assume it's touristy and/or expensive.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read all this rambling...I look forward to hearing from you all.

JohnsonH's picture
Joined: 11-Jan-07
Posts: 2

My husband and I are thinking of doing the same. We want to to lease land and build a house. We too are looking for an area where we can live comfortable surrounding by the Thai way of life and make a home for ourselves along with new friends. Like the gentlman who wrote the initial email on this topic. We have never been to Thailand before and will be making a two-week visit to explore the areas outside of Bangkok. Any suggestions of where we should stay and where we should be looking will be greatly appreciated.


Anthony Galloway's picture
Joined: 17-Dec-08
Posts: 2317

Hi Here is one reply from a friend of mine

Try &

Basically you need to be over 55 [?] to get a retirement visa, and you need to be able to show a pension income [not sure of the amount] - but warn him to be patient as there's a shed load of bureaucracy and paperwork and faffing around. If he's not eligible for a retirement visa, then he can arrive on a tourist visa. Go to a Thai embassy and ask.

Living in Thailand can be as cheap as you want - 3-4M Baht will get you a basic house/condo and if you eat local it's cheap [1-2$ per meal] - also depends on how often your wife's / bar girl's grandmother's cow gets sick - be warned they have a lot of sick cows [and strangely enough sick grandmothers...]

Language - need to have basic thai lessons to understand pronunciation of the thai tones, then with a splattering of basic thai, smile a lot...


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