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A Guide to Retiring in Thailand

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If you have been working hard for more than forty years and your retirement is on the horizon, why not spend it in a tropical paradise like Thailand? Indeed, the Kingdom of Thailand is one of the most popular retirement destinations, especially for Europeans and Australians, and if you have chosen Thailand as your retirement home, here are a few tips to help with the preparations.

  • Visas – If you are aged 50 or over, then you can apply for a retirement visa, which needs to be extended annually and if you leave the country, obtain a re-entry visa prior to leaving and that does not affect your retirement visa.
  • Opening a Bank Account – It is necessary to open a savings account at one of the major banks, as you have to deposit a specific amount of money in order to qualify for the retirement visa. The other way is to show evidence that you receive a pension, which should exceed 50,000 Thai baht per month.
  • Buying your Retirement Home – Whether you choose a Chonburi house project (called โครงการบ้านจัดสรรชลบุรี in Thai) or a pool villa in Hua Hin, there are some stunning developments, indeed, many retirees own a condo near the beach, which is all the living space they require. It is worth spending a few months touring Thailand before you make a decision about where to live; staying in Chiang Mai in the north, visiting Phuket in the south and also checking out Bangkok and Chonburi.
  • The Thai Language – If you are planning to live in one of the tourist areas, most people speak English, otherwise you will need to practice your Thai. The locals love it when foreigners speak Thai and if you apply yourself to the task, it only takes a few years to have a level of fluency.
  • Health Insurance – Hospital treatment is very expensive in Thailand and you are strongly advised to take out a comprehensive health insurance policy, which would cover you for every eventuality. There are some top hospitals in Thailand, should you ever require treatment, which is a comforting thing.
  • Driving in Thailand – If you possess a driving licence in your home country, you may drive in Thailand for a period of 90 days, after which you need to apply for a Thai driving licence. Many expats buy a small motorcycle to get them around, while other prefer the comforts of a car, but either way, you need to have a valid licence and insurance.

If you detest the cold weather, Thailand is the perfect retirement destination and with a low cost of living and some of the best food in the world, you will enjoy your golden retirement years in style.

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