Over the decade I’ve lived in Thailand I’ve met many western retirees who live here. Both single men and women and married couples, retired westerners love living in Thailand as it’s cheap, beautiful, has incredible weather and there’s so much to do.
While older people are ignored or thrown into old folks homes in the west, in Thailand they’re respected, taken care of and loved. Retiring to Thailand is easy and not too expensive and here’s how to do it in four easy steps:
1. Get a Retirement Visa – You need a retirement visa to retire to Thailand. You can apply for a retirement visa at any Thai embassy outside Thailand or in Thailand once you get here. You must have 800,000 baht in a Thai bank account (which equates to $25,000) OR proof that you receive at least 65,000 baht ($2,000) a month from retirement income (ie: social security or investments) or a mix of the two (ie: you could have 400,000 baht ($12,500) per year in retirement income PLUS 400,000 baht in a Thai bank account.)
Once you have proof of this income, you can apply for a retirement visa(an O-A visa) which costs only1,900 baht per year ($50) and is renewable every year as long as you can still prove the same income.
2. Get Your Social Security or Pension Check in Thailand
You can get your social security check or pension check put directly into a bank account in Thailand (Bangkok Bank does this) or have it sent to the embassy of your country of origin. Just arrange it with your bank in your home country.
3. Rent an Apartment or House
Getting an apartment or house is cheap and easy in Thailand for retirees. For a western-standard apartment or house in Bangkok, you’ll pay around 12,000-20,000 baht a month ($380-620) in Bangkok and even less outside Bangkok.
Almost all Thai apartments are fully furnished too, so you don’t have to buy furniture when you get here (for houses, you may have to buy your own furniture). There are so many apartments in Thailand, no matter where you decide to live (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai), you should be able to move into one the day after you arrive. All you’ll need is first month’s rent plus two months’ rent for a deposit.
4. Stock Up on Necessities – Once you’ve moved into an apartment, head to the local supermarket to stock up on necessities. They’re massive, just like supermarkets in your own country, and here you can get groceries, household products, cleaning items, beer, frozen foods, clothing, shoes, electronics, sports equipment and a lot more.
And there you have it, retiring to Thailand in four easy steps – retirement visa, arrange for your pension to be sent to you, rent an apartment and buy necessities. You’re now all set up for your new life in Thailand. The rest of what you need will simply fall into place, day by day.