If you're thinking that Thailand is a 3rd World country not worthy of your time to retire to then think again.
The country has drawn many foreigners from all around the globe because it contains things your own country lacks.
From a poll taken from Reddit users, what's their favorite thing is about Thailand:-
You'll always hear the shrills from foreign naysayers how Thailand has changed for the worse, over the past decade or two. You'll get this people no matter where you live. They can't be happy, despite themselves.
For those foreigners looking to truly escape to another world, Thailand continues to offer a special place you can again call home. Providing you make allowances and trade-offs to fit a new environment.
Why would you travel to Thailand for medical care?
The Private hospital business in Thailand will have an average annual growth of 10-13% from 2019 to 2021. The 3 major hospitals in Bangkok care for 3.1 million foreign patients from over 190 countries annually. Hospital procedures costs less than 50% less than those in the USA. The roundtrip of a blood test is 2 hours from GP to testing back to the GP for your results.
Let's discuss this in more detail.
Qualifications for medical staff in Thailand range from world class to the lower end. Retirees are advised to always stick to hospitals which are dedicated to foreigners. Don't cut corners for major care at a clinic, despite that clinic's marketing and flashy exterior.
We will say that of most South East Asian countries we've looked at that the health care and hospital system in Thailand is by far the best. Hence why so many retirees choose the country for their later living. Sure Vietnam, the Philippines or Indonesia are fantastic places for holidays but their levels of health care are sub-standard for most foreigners.
The Private hospital business in Thailand is expected to enjoy an average annual growth of 10-13% from 2019 to 2021. This is great news if you're looking to relocate to the country.
Bangkok is the home of some of the most renowned hospitals in South East Asia including :-
Bumrungrad International Hospital - Bumrungrad has one of the biggest outpatient offices within SE Asia. Cutting edge facilities, leading medical practitioners and high level English speaking staff make Bumrungrad a popular go-to hospital.
Bumrungrad Hospital was first founded in 1980 and carries a Global Healthcare Accreditation with Excellence. It is one of the largest private hospitals in S/E Asia and cares for over 1.1 million patients from more than 190 countries annually.
Like most hospitals catering to foreigners, nearly all doctors at Bumrungrad speak English. The hospital also employs more than 200 language interpreters so no matter which country you're from, you're in good hands.
Bangkok Hospital - Established in 1972, the Bangkok Hospital was one of the first private hospitals in the country. It has a 48 year track record in covering specialists procedures and facilities in cancer and cardiology.
This hospital caters to almost 1,000,000 annual patients, of which 230,000 come from patients from 160 countries. A well respected hospital for retirees as well as medical tourists.
Also available is their 'Chivawattana MyHealth Membership Program' which offers a healthcare savings plan. You're able to use this membership for significant savings across 135 different hospitals in the Bangkok Hospital Group network. It is well worth checking out for retiring expats.
Praram 9 Hospital - The efficiency of Praram 9 Hospital is truly amazing. Located away from the usual Sukhumvit expat area most expats are accustomed to, this Rama 9 hospital also offers world-class care, service and accredited medical staff and doctors.
First opened in 1992, Praram 9 Hospital offers state of the art centres which include a Cardiovascular Institute, an Infertility Center, Prenatal Diagnosis Center, an Orthopedic Center and a comprehensive general and specialized Dental Clinic.
Keep an eye on the monthly specialised medical packages to save even more money.
Other equally respected hospitals include Yanhee General Hospital, Samitivej Hospital, Bangkok Christian Hospital, Siriraj Hospital, Phyathai 2 Hospital, Focal General Hospital and Ramkhamhaeng Hospital.
Every country's hospital system has different processes and how costs are calculated.
From personal experience and those of current expats, you can expect Thailand's hospital procedures to be at least half the cost or less than Western countries.
That's a huge saving for a retiree on a low income.
The Krungsri Bank of Thailand recently compiled the following overview which will help you though:
|Coronary Angioplasty||28200 $||5700 $||4200 $||13400 $|
|Heart Bypass||123000 $||7900 $||15000 $||17200 $|
|Hip Replacement||40364 $||7200 $||17000 $||13900 $|
|Gastric Bypass||25000 $||7000 $||16800 $||13700 $|
|Hysterectomy||15400 $||3200 $||3650 $||10400 $|
|Lasik (2 eyes)||4000 $||1000 $||2310 $||3800 $|
|Dental Implant||2500 $||900 $||1720 $||2700 $|
|Breast Implant||6400 $||3000 $||3500 $||8400 $|
As always, confirm any medical treatment costs. Many mentioned above, for Thailand, are also available in Packages as well as some procedures costs lower than stated above.
Whenever an expat has their initial visit to a doctor, the very first eye-opening moment is how the doctor or specialist has as much time to do the consultation as the patient requires.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
Here's how it works visiting a General Practitioner in Australia:-
Seeing a GP in a Thai Hospital:-
In Thailand, you do it all in the one appointment, you take your sweet time, the doctor is interested and it's less than 1/2 the price.
Incidentally, in Thai hospitals, it's the nurses that keep a check on the doctors too.
Nurses are hospital staff. Doctors aren't.
The nurses monitor the doctors to ensure they're taking good care of the patients. This is an interesting way for hospitals to maintain a high image of professionalism and always keeping doctors on the patient's side.
An important area for retirees to also consider is the staff's attitude towards you.
A positive feeling helps you both mentally and physically.
The staff members of most medical facilities in your home country tend to be bored with their job and the people they serve. And it shows in their nonplus attitude to patients. This is not conducive to good health. Nor should it be tolerated but, sadly, this is the norm.
Thailand on the other hand is well known as the Land of Smiles. All staff (and I mean ALL) in Thai medical hospitals are the friendliest people I've known.
It is their pleasure to take care of you. You'll be greeted by smiles at every corner including your doctor.
You're mental wellbeing is important for your recovery.
Don't get stuck in the Western medical meat grinder.
Choose Thailand hospitals if you're looking to retire there.
Thailand has always been a country wanting foreigners to retire to their shores.
It's been this way for decades and provides the country with a steady inflow of foreign money.
Your first order of business should be to get your Visas in order. Thai people are sticklers for process, paperwork and procedure. Sorting your Retirement Visa needs to take precedence so you can kick back and enjoy your years here.
Understand the Immigration staff in Thailand speak Thai language. If you're a first timer, applying for a Non-Immigrant O-Long Stay Visa (Retirement Visa) at the office yourself will be a daunting task. You don't know the language which can easily lead you to frustration against the staff - doing so can result in not getting your visa. Never ever argue with Thai officials, ever.
In a nutshell, you need to be aged 50 years or older and need the following:-
There are more requirements on the official Thai Immigration Page.
We recommend engaging a specialised Thai lawyer to walk you through all the steps needed.
Think of the lawyer as the cost of living in the country. Typically this service will set you back 25,000 baht once a year. They ensure all the paperwork is in order. They do all the talking but you must be present at the Immigration Office with them. They're well known and respected by Immigration staff and get preferential treatment.
The biggest change to your life will be re-adjusting to a new lifestyle.
And we mean you'll need to adjust it to be one for more relaxation, far less red tape and almost bypass living by rules. It can be daunting to some elderly folk until you start understanding how things work in the country.
Sabai Sabai (สบายๆ) is an expression to relax and enjoy the flow of your situation.
Most Thais tend to live in this way, as best they can.
Everything in Thailand seems to go at a slower pace than other countries.
The traffic looks hectic but it speeds along slower despite the official speed limits. Right of way is almost a give and take thing. Road rules are more like guidelines so watch yourself when you're approaching a crossing - motor vehicles are much heavier then you :)
All in all, though, life in Thailand is just plain 'chill'.
Adapting will most certainly lead you to a longer and more peaceful life.
There's so many unique locations to finally settle in, in Thailand. You should take some time in finding yours.
You have the benefits of solid infrastructure to do your planning from. Close shopping convenience and Bangkok, for example, provides a widespread public transport system.
Get settled into a smaller condo that is close to the BTS or MRT rail systems. 50 sq/m condos close to these range from 20000 baht to 30000 baht per month. Very affordable, well located and convenient.
So what are your interests?
If it's a party-time / drinking / relax kind of thing then Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket will probably suit you more. As they've done for many older guys in the past.
A larger percentage of retiring foreigners are looking for something a lot different to occupy their time.
|Bangkok||Buriram||Chiang Mai||Chon Buri||Hua Hin||Khon Kaen||Koh Samui||Krabi||Nan||Pattaya||Phuket||Rayong||Surin||Yala|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||70.00 ฿||50.00 ฿||50.00 ฿||60.00 ฿||60.00 ฿||42.50 ฿||100.00 ฿||110.00 ฿||40.00 ฿||100.00 ฿||130.00 ฿||70.00 ฿||100.00 ฿||50.00 ฿|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||800.00 ฿||500.00 ฿||600.00 ฿||415.00 ฿||650.00 ฿||500.00 ฿||625.00 ฿||600.00 ฿||400.00 ฿||1,000.00 ฿||625.00 ฿||575.00 ฿||625.00 ฿||400.00 ฿|
|Cappuccino (regular)||76.67 ฿||58.75 ฿||58.88 ฿||48.33 ฿||48.33 ฿||53.33 ฿||76.25 ฿||66.25 ฿||40.00 ฿||69.05 ฿||76.25 ฿||55.00 ฿||76.25 ฿||60.80 ฿|
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||52.55 ฿||45.67 ฿||56.80 ฿||60.00 ฿||38.67 ฿||45.67 ฿||60.50 ฿||40.00 ฿||46.00 ฿||52.70 ฿||61.98 ฿||51.51 ฿||60.50 ฿||64.87 ฿|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||36.12 ฿||38.00 ฿||41.58 ฿||40.00 ฿||40.00 ฿||35.27 ฿||48.50 ฿||38.33 ฿||36.00 ฿||36.43 ฿||48.50 ฿||41.32 ฿||48.50 ฿||40.83 ฿|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||38.46 ฿||35.00 ฿||32.04 ฿||28.33 ฿||28.33 ฿||35.00 ฿||34.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||30.00 ฿||43.47 ฿||34.00 ฿||45.00 ฿||34.00 ฿||31.25 ฿|
|Eggs (regular) (12)||56.06 ฿||50.00 ฿||48.05 ฿||40.33 ฿||62.67 ฿||40.00 ฿||50.00 ฿||47.67 ฿||35.60 ฿||50.20 ฿||50.00 ฿||51.50 ฿||50.00 ฿||53.00 ฿|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||676.15 ฿||550.00 ฿||644.44 ฿||333.33 ฿||333.33 ฿||640.00 ฿||300.00 ฿||1,500.00 ฿||600.00 ฿||590.00 ฿||658.33 ฿||947.82 ฿||300.00 ฿||650.00 ฿|
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||17.14 ฿||14.50 ฿||19.13 ฿||10.50 ฿||23.25 ฿||37.50 ฿||15.44 ฿||30.33 ฿||19.13 ฿||19.20 ฿||15.44 ฿||17.50 ฿||15.44 ฿||47.50 ฿|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)||61.05 ฿||51.67 ฿||53.96 ฿||54.02 ฿||54.51 ฿||51.67 ฿||50.00 ฿||56.33 ฿||53.96 ฿||53.49 ฿||55.51 ฿||68.33 ฿||50.00 ฿||52.38 ฿|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||125.55 ฿||105.00 ฿||98.90 ฿||75.00 ฿||91.25 ฿||105.00 ฿||77.80 ฿||71.67 ฿||75.00 ฿||88.33 ฿||77.80 ฿||120.00 ฿||77.80 ฿||70.00 ฿|
|Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)||150.00 ฿||132.50 ฿||145.00 ฿||132.50 ฿||132.50 ฿||132.50 ฿||120.00 ฿||102.50 ฿||130.00 ฿||142.50 ฿||120.00 ฿||145.00 ฿||120.00 ฿||71.95 ฿|
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||35.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||55.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||67.50 ฿||40.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||100.00 ฿||55.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||40.00 ฿||35.00 ฿||20.00 ฿|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||3,155.71 ฿||1,500.00 ฿||2,102.86 ฿||2,065.62 ฿||2,755.08 ฿||2,100.00 ฿||2,111.67 ฿||1,400.00 ฿||2,102.86 ฿||2,887.64 ฿||2,660.68 ฿||1,248.15 ฿||2,111.67 ฿||3,023.04 ฿|
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||688.63 ฿||594.00 ฿||685.31 ฿||639.67 ฿||662.60 ฿||677.00 ฿||729.39 ฿||700.00 ฿||685.31 ฿||799.93 ฿||729.39 ฿||828.25 ฿||729.39 ฿||697.73 ฿|
|Clothing And Shoes|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||1,835.91 ฿||1,600.00 ฿||2,300.16 ฿||1,611.11 ฿||1,611.11 ฿||1,530.00 ฿||1,000.00 ฿||?||2,300.16 ฿||2,238.46 ฿||1,571.43 ฿||2,150.25 ฿||1,000.00 ฿||1,816.31 ฿|
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||2,895.00 ฿||1,900.00 ฿||2,137.69 ฿||2,562.50 ฿||2,562.50 ฿||1,700.00 ฿||2,750.00 ฿||4,000.00 ฿||2,137.69 ฿||2,825.00 ฿||3,083.33 ฿||2,000.00 ฿||2,750.00 ฿||2,250.00 ฿|
|Rent Per Month|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||21,253.97 ฿||5,100.00 ฿||12,085.33 ฿||16,125.00 ฿||17,777.78 ฿||10,000.00 ฿||14,000.00 ฿||15,500.00 ฿||16,063.75 ฿||16,560.00 ฿||13,333.33 ฿||6,250.00 ฿||?||?|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||10,607.69 ฿||3,750.00 ฿||9,149.59 ฿||6,833.33 ฿||11,318.18 ฿||5,166.67 ฿||10,500.00 ฿||10,000.00 ฿||?||9,846.15 ฿||9,250.53 ฿||3,650.00 ฿||?||?|
|Buy Apartment Price|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre||182,545.45 ฿||45,000.00 ฿||70,352.44 ฿||64,333.33 ฿||63,750.00 ฿||55,000.00 ฿||35,000.00 ฿||?||345,817.53 ฿||70,454.55 ฿||68,333.33 ฿||?||?||?|
From our research above, across 14 popular Thai locations:-
I know a number of my friends are avid fishermen.
They chose a spread of locations such as Krabi, Chumphon and the Phuket areas to relocate. They've got an abundance of shallow and deeper sea spots to go out fishing and chill out their days, enjoying to hospitality of local Thai fishermen ... and their Thai girl.
As you move further away into smaller towns, the cost of living decreases too.
Reducing your monthly expenditure as a retired man makes good financial sense. The only other problem you do need to consider is transportation so you can get around. While public transport is available with buses, consider factoring in the purchase of a motorbike - cheap and easy to operate and available when you want it.
If mountains and greenery is your liking, Thailand is rich and plentiful.
Make a stop in Chiang Mai, as a start.
This major Thai city is surrounded by all the things you'll love. The highest mountain in Thailand is found here. You'll still need your own transportation or get a package tour.
Chiang Mai has their own unique miz of foods. The area is rich with fresh local produce and if hiking is your thing, there are many hiking trails too.
Chiang Mai is popular with retiring foreigners too. Why not make some new friends?
Want to live everywhere?
When you're retiring, it's always a popular idea to relive and write about your life.
Do as many other guys do and combine your Thai retirement adventures, record what you're doing, share with others AND make money during your retirement.
Start a YouTube channel.
It might be about your love of fishing, hiking or just travelling through Thailand.
You can combine your interests and live in multiple places, chronicling your adventures.
You'll be surprised how many other people are interested in exactly what you are.
As an example, choosing a location such as Krabi gives you a gateway to a large number of close-by places to explore and document. Krabi is very cost effective for living day-to-day too.
Grab yourself a GoPro, spare memory cards and power packs and get outside and start filming - a waterproof action camera is ideal for adventure. Creating a YouTube channel is entirely free and provides an income stream once you get some videos added and create some interest.
You can live and travel anywhere in Thailand, take your retirement to another new level and get paid along the way. Digital nomads are perfectly suited to living anywhere they want in Thailand.
The weather across Thailand is ideal for healthy living.
It is tropical and humid for most of the year. This is why Thailand is such a popular destination for tourists and retiring expats. Perfect for chilling on a beach or exploring the many temples, caves or jungle areas.
Northern Thailand between November through to May is dry. February to May gets the higher temperatures. May back to November can be dominated by South-West monsoons when the rainfall in the North is the heaviest.
Southern Thailand is either wet or dry. The West coast receives a SouthWest monsoon during April to October which can bring rain and heavy storms. The East coast receives rain during September to December.
It's been recorded that the southern areas of Thailand can average 2400 millimeters every year whereas central and northern Thailand average 1400 millimeters.
All in all, the rain can be a welcome relief to the hotter periods and never seems to get in the way of activities.
Of all the foreigners I know living in Thailand, only a few have even bothered to buy an umbrella.
Funny as this might sound, now that you've made the life decision to relocate to Thailand, finding a Thai girl to take care of you and to live with, will be the least of your worries.
You've now got time on your side.
You've now switched to be the hunted and not the hunter. Being a foreigner permanently residing in Thailand is exactly who Thai women are searching for.
You can choose to find 1 Thai woman for your life or maybe multiple girls if you're planning on living in different places, depending on how you wish to travel. That choice is up to you. Many guys choose one or the other and some choose both.
It's less confusion if you're retiring to find a constant Thai companion though.
Get signed up and start planning where to live, how you're going to support yourself and remember any partner you choose will also need some financial support, at some stage. That's just how things are here.
It's traditional a man takes care of his Thai lady when her money runs low. That can happen more than you want, at times.
This is easy once you map out who you're looking for.
List the qualities your Thai woman must possess.
There's many qualities you must determine when starting out.
We make this task a whole lot easier for you.
Besides the abundance of Thai woman, start using the rating system and secret notes field once you start searching and messaging. Both these allow you to easily zero in on more applicable women, better suited to you up and coming life change.
Retiring means a big change for you.
More travel time to start enjoying the years you've got left which we hope will be many.
Any potential Thai partner will be thrilled to start traveling with you. They don't get much opportunity except for short trip / short stay adventure. That's how the work system functions in Thailand.
You'll need to work with this system and make compromises if she's going to be with you fulltime.
Also factor in added financial costs since you'll be footing the bill for her too.
In western countries, retiring can often mean a slow sad demise to you wellbeing, health and love interests.
Rethinking your options to Thailand suddenly puts you in the drivers' seat to accelerate your life into areas you've only before dreamed of.
Picturesque beaches, intriguing jungle adventures, vibrant and bustling cities, friendly smiling local Thai people, mouth watering Asian foods and desserts and young dark-skinned enthusiastic Thai women are now on your menu.
You only have to take the first step.
Join free today, add some quality profile photos when you're ready and get searching!
Where are the cheaper places in Thailand to retire?
Where are the most expensive places in Thailand to retire?
Where are the best mid-range places in Thailand to retire?
Martin enjoys Asian food, cute Asian girls and travel in South East Asia.