On Retiring to Thailand 2018-02-14T09:51:35+00:00

On Retiring to Thailand

A Day in a Retired Life in Thailand
Originally posted on February 13, 2010
A lot of newly retired people wonder how they will spend their time once they don’t have a 9 to 5 job to go to.  In Thailand there are lots of alternatives.  Many retirees spend the majority of their days with a beer glass stuck to the end of their arms.  I elected to be a little more busy.  You can fill your days with as much as you want.  On my last birthday I jotted down how I spent my day and I thought I might share so

Becoming a Tourist Again
Originally posted on Feb 14, 2017

Before retiring to Thailand I spent many years as a part-time resident and a part-time tourist. Upon retiring and settling down here, my time spent doing touristy stuff in Thailand became less and less. I had forgotten what a really cool place this is to be a tourist. Then some old friends came for an extended visit and helped us to remember.John and Denise and Pikun and I had shared a house together when John and I got jobs teaching in Iran. This was in the mid 70s, before the Iranian

Cost of Living in Thailand Part I
Originally posted on February 21, 2010
Note: This was originally posted many years ago and things of course have changed. Many of the costs are the same as posted but others have inflated. To be safe it would be best to add 10% - 20% on the prices mentioned here.

One of the biggest questions we had before retiring in Thailand was how much would it cost us?  And the second questions was, would my Social Security pension be enough to live on here?  Everyone is different.  I know someone who is perfectly content to live on

Cost of Living in Thailand Part II
Originally posted on March 1, 2010
Note: This was originally posted many years ago and things of course have changed. Many of the costs are the same as posted but others have inflated. To be safe it would be best to add 10% - 20% on the prices mentioned here.

We continue with how much living in Thailand might cost you.  All prices are Chiang Mai prices and are as of today, Mar 1, 2010, and of course are subject to change.  All prices are approximates.  Local prices will vary greatly.   Check the daily exchange rate at www.bangkokbank.com .

Getting around

Cost of Living in Thailand Part III
Originally posted on September 27, 2010
Note: This was originally posted many years ago and things of course have changed. Many of the costs are the same as posted but others have inflated. To be safe it would be best to add 10% - 20% on the prices mentioned here.

The first 2 posts about the cost of living in Thailand have proven quite popular (Part I, Part II). So I thought that I would periodically post an update and describe the cost of the “stuff” that I have been buying in my daily life here. The more one

Getting Social Security in Thailand
Originally posted on October 10, 2010
(This info was correct as of the writing. Please let us know if there has been changes since then.)

Latest info on applying for Social Security
The SSA Manila has been implementing a new procedure concerning application. They now do telephone interviews where the SSA representative will take your information by phone and put it directly in the SSA system. There is no need for filing out an application form. They would only give the paper application if the claimant does not speak English. The new steps are:
1. Contact the US Embassy/Consulate and

Going Up the Country
Originally appeared in Chiang Mai City Life magazine
Most of us retirees are old enough to remember Canned Heat‟s declaration from Woodstock that they were “Going up the country … where the water tastes like wine.” I‟ve run into some Expats who have taken that to heart.
A growing number of Expats are deciding to live in rural, upcountry, Thailand. Since so many new Expats are considering just such a move I thought I would ask some people I know who are already living “up the country” for some advice.
Ricky lives just about 150 kilometers equidistance from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Lampang. That is

Nothing to Complain About
Originally posted on June 1, 2012

I try not to complain. Lots of expats living in lots of different countries spend a great deal of time and energy complaining about their current plight. Although I try to avoid this useless activity I do have a complaint to make. It is about Expats in Thailand who are always complaining.
I am retired in Thailand and I feel that being retired here is like being invited to hang out at a friend’s beautiful summer estate, with great food, tropical weather, and smiling people surrounding me. It’s not paradise, but pretty close.

One Day of Hell (At Thai Immigration)
Originally posted on November 11, 2014

I have a retirement visa for Thailand. This requires 800,000 baht deposited into a bank account for at least three months before applying for the visa or extension. Then once a year you take some forms, a picture, and a letter from your bank proving the amount in your account down to the immigration office. Then the fun begins.
Here is how it goes at Chiang Mai Immigration.

You can book a time online to be interviewed by immigration but it must be not before 100 days in advance. The

Owning a House in Thailand – A Caveat
Originally posted on January 20, 2011
For some reason many western Expats (mostly men) want to own property in Thailand. This usually means a house with land. The Japanese Expats I run into don’t have these same desires. They seem to be content with renting or buying condos. A friend I know who spent some years in Japan tells me that the condos available here in Thailand are quite a bit larger than most homes in Japan. So our Japanese Expats are usually content with living in what most westerners would consider closet-sized accommodations.

Those content

Retired?  Maybe You Should Stay That Way
Originally published in Chiang Mai City Life Magazine
Some people look forward to retirement while others plan to work forever.  I have been luckier than most in that I have always loved my jobs.  But I have always loved not working better.
For various reasons, ranging from needing to support a new, young partner, and family, to taking a huge loss in the stock market crash, to just being bored and wanting to get back into the “game”, I have seen retirees here in Thailand headed back to work.  Here, where work permits for retirees are

Sorry, I’m Too Busy. I’m Retired In Thailand You Know
Originally posted on April 30, 2014

The following is taken from my follow retirement bloggers Billy and Akaisha Karderli’s, very informative Retire Early Lifestyle.
They asked the question, Are you afraid to retire?
One person answered the following:
Thank you for your web site, at 53 I have 25 times what I need in retirement income. I really think that that is enough, 4 percent withdrawal rate. I am having trouble with severing the ties and just doing it, retiring. I seem to be so institutionalized to work that the fear of retirement is real.

Thailand, an Obstacle Course for Seniors
Originally posted on August 1, 2015

I live a contented, stimulating, healthful, and sometimes even exciting life here in Thailand. But I am not a Thai apologist or a Pollyanna. I have written about many of the negative aspects of retiring here (Floods , Reasons not to retire here , The climate , The perils of starting a business here , and others. I don’t write about politics even though that topic would fit in here nicely.)
So I am quite aware of the negative aspects of life here in the Magic Kingdom. It’s not a paradise.

The New Snowbirds
Originally posted on February 5, 2012

After watching the news about the frigid weather hitting most of Europe I thought that one of the chapters in my book Retired Life in Thailand might be appropriate for reprinting here. Want to get away from freezing temperatures and blizzards? The “winter” months in Thailand are about as nice as it gets.
The New Snowbirds
‘Snowbirds’ is a term used in the U.S. and Canada for retirees who flee the cold winters of the northern regions to warmer locales like Florida, Arizona, and Mexico. There is also a European species of snowbird who heads for

What We Men Don’t Like to Think About
Originally posted on November 30, 2014

In these posts I usually don’t share too much of what personally goes on with me since I want to spend as much time talking about general retirement and retiring to Thailand as I can. But for this post I wanted to share some personal stuff that might be important for my many retiring readers, especially men, and women who have men in their lives, to know about.
The National Football League has a week each season to increase awareness of breast cancer. All the players and coaches and

Why and How we built a house in Thailand
Originally posted on July 15, 2011

We just built a house in Thailand.
I have often stated on this blog and in other writings that I think that an Expat coming to Thailand should consider renting a place to live and leave the owning and building of a home to others. I still believe that. I just read about a condo for sale here. Beautiful place. 3.9 million baht. I wonder why the guy wants to sell. If you bought it how long would it be before you wanted to sell? Wouldn’t renting just

Why I Retired to Thailand
Originally posted on March 1, 2012

I just heard from a U.S. Consulate official here in Chiang Mai, Thailand that there are more than 8,000 registered Americans in just this town alone. Since I myself am not registered at the consulate and neither, it seems, is anyone else I know, it would appear that there are lots more than 8,000 Americans here. And we are one of the smaller contingents of peoples from around the world who have chosen to make Thailand their retirement homes.
Besides the wonderful people, the great food, the exotic atmosphere, the winterless weather,

You Are What You Wear
When I got to the garden party they all knew my name
But no one recognized me, I didn’t look the same
Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band – Garden Party
Most of us are aware that when we retire our lives change, sometimes drastically. And when we retire to a foreign country, the changes can increase exponentially. Some things that are affected by retiring and especially when moving abroad include the language that we speak, the foods we eat, the amount of alcohol we drink, the health care available to us, our circadian rhythms (including when we