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To retire in this time, when the global downturn of the recent years has made it hard to ensure a secure, comfortable and stimulating retirement what do you do?

Retirement might be difficult for many, financially speaking. The balance of a median retirement account of nearly retiring households is relatively low in many western countries, so many people will most probably be dependent on the benefits of Social Security. One proven way to reduce your cost of living is to retire in a lower cost country, where western money goes much further, i.e. Thailand.

Thailand can be a good example of a country to be contemplated by many people as the place to retire. Down below are a few reasons as to why one should consider retirement in Thailand:

Retire with a lower cost of living

Thailand’s cost of living is much more affordable than many western countries. One can purchase a comfortable condo in central spots in a city like Chiang Rai for about $30,000-$40,000; one may rent a nice condo for about $250-$300 per month. Necessities such as food, entertainment, transportation and others are more affordable in Thailand. A large number of expats live a very comfortable lifestyle for $1,500 per month, and sometimes less, in the “Land of Smiles”.

Thailand has a Warmer climate

There are plenty of scenic beach areas in Thailand, while the weather is tropically lovely. If dealing with snow and ice has exhausted you, then a nice cold beer in Chiang Rai might well suit you. The weather is humid from time to time, but one can definitely get used to it; in addition, there are air conditioners everywhere.

Thai Food & Western Food

If you are a fond of Thai food, you are sure to enjoy retiring in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand, since it is just a Thai food paradise. Many of the local cuisine dishes are not available in Europe, the U.S. or even in the south of Thailand.  If you want western food, that too is available in Chiang Rai, along with Indian, Mexican, Korean and Vietnamese.

Travel Hub

Thailand is a wonderful starting point for you to travel to other spots of Asia. You might get discount flights to surrounding states; Japan, China, Vietnam and Laos are all gorgeous and absolutely worth a visit. Living in Thailand for a while might give you a great opportunity to explore foreign cultures thoroughly.

How to Get A Retirement Visa in Thailand

A NON-IMMIGRANT Retirement VISA

Requirements:

  • Passport (at least 18 months remaining before expiration)
  • If you apply outside of Thailand you must be holding nationality or permanent residence of the country of application, or, if you arrive on a tourist visa, Retire In Thailand can get that converted to a non immigrant visa.
  • Proof of Funds

ONE-YEAR RETIREMENT VISA

Requirements:

  • Must be 50 years old and above unless you are married to a Thai citizen and are applying for a marriage visa.
  • Passport (signed copies of each page)
  • Non-Immigrant Visa
  • Departure Card TM.6
  • Proof of meeting Financial Requirements
  • Thai Bank Book (original)
  • Letter from your Thai Bank
  • Three(3) 4×5 cm photos, with full face taken

RE-ENTRY Visa Permit

Most people misunderstand the different concepts of “Extension of Stay” and “Re-entry Permit”. Sometimes mistaken for each other, you must understand that these are two different things, both of which you may need need during your stay depending on whether you choose a single entry visa or a multi entry visa.  On a single entry visa if you want to leave the country you will need to apply for a re-entry permit, a multi entry visa allows you to come and go as often as you wish.  If you are not planning on 3 or more trips a year, then a single entry visa will be more economical.

The Extension of Stay is simply the controlling date. Everything else is dependent on this. Everything is invalidated when your Extension of Stay expires. On the other hand, the Re-entry Permit’s validity is subject to the validity of your extension of Stay. However, leaving Thailand without a re-entry permit automatically invalidates your extension of stay.

Reporting your stay every 90 days and visa expiration

You are required to report to the Immigration Police every 90 days if you are on a long term extension of stay. However, anytime you leave Thailand before your 90 day report is due you must report to immigration when you return and the 90 days count starts from the day you return.  In fact, any time you travel for more than 24 hours you must report to immigration within 24 hours when you return.

Meeting the financial requirements for a retirement visa:

Financial Requirements are as follows:

  • Bank Account showing THB 800,000 this figure is 400,000 for a marriage visa.
  • Monthly income of at least THB 65,000 this figure is 40,000 for a marriage visa.
  • Combination (Bank Account + Income x 12 = THB 800,000.  This combination does not apply for a marriage visa.
Most Difficult Retirement Decisions in Thailand

There are number of decision factors before retiring: reaching a specific age, hitting a savings goal, or being laid off in a tumultuous job market. To support yourself without income from a job, you’ll have to make a series of choices about Social Security, health coverage, and your investments. Here are 10 of the toughest decisions you will make before you retire.

When to retire?

For some people, it’s a financial calculation. You know you’re financially ready when the combination of your Social Security, traditional pension, and investment income produces enough cash flow to cover all of your anticipated expenses for the rest of your life. Working two or three more years can make an incredible difference to your long-term plan. Many people also like to coordinate their retirement with a spouse.

Social Security

The age that you will start getting your Social Security can change from country to country. Sometimes an early retirement in another country will be better and cost effective solution for you.

Health care and coverage

It’s essential to find affordable health insurance if you want to retire in other country or to find a country that the health care is not expensive. In Thailand the health care is relatively cheap compared to other countries. The costs of local, Thailand only, health insurance can be very cheap, about $1,000 per year for someone aged 65.

How much you can safely spend each year of your retirement

If your nest egg isn’t sizable enough to finance your retirement completely, you’ll need to calculate how much you can safely spend each year without depleting your savings too quickly.

For a low cost retirement you can easily start with a $1,300 USD or 41,600 baht budget per month

How much investment risk

Retirees need to balance their investment needs for safety and continued growth. Retiring in Thailand will give you the stability you need with a low cost of living. You can keep on making money from your home country assets. You’ll need an emergency fund and several years’ worth of living expenses set aside in a safe place. Always make sure that you have your first three to five years of withdrawals invested in very conservative investments.

Taxes

For most people that want to retire in their own country it does not mean that they don’t need to pay Taxes. Even though many countries give Tax Discounts for retirement it is still very hard to make more income without any Tax.

Where to retire?

Once you are no longer tethered to a job, you can live anywhere that suits your tastes and budget. Moving to a place that costs less than where you live now can boost your standard of living and help stretch your nest egg.

Whether your home should help finance retirement. A paid-off mortgage can help finance your retirement because it eliminates one of your biggest monthly expenses.  You could sell the property or you could keep it and generate a nice retirement income.

Working after Retirement in Thailand?

If you decide to retire in your own country a part-time job is increasingly becoming common in the retirement years. Many people downshift to a job with shorter hours and less responsibility before retiring completely, while other people return to work after a break. The income, and sometimes benefits, a part-time job provides allows you to withdraw less of your retirement savings each year. Of course, if you live in Australia, you can’t earn more then $300.00 AUD per month without reducing your pension benefits. Some people also find jobs they enjoy that allow them to interact with former colleagues, consult on the occasional project, or learn a new skill.  However, on a retirement visa in Thailand you are not allowed to do any work – not even voluntary.  Having said that some people make a few extra bucks working online or selling on e-bay.

Bringing your belongings in to Thailand

You will be given six months from your entry to Thailand to bring in your household items from your country. If your visa grants you to stay for a year, these items will not be taxed. Otherwise, they will be taxed at a rate of 20% for import duty and 7% value added tax.

This site should explain everything you want to know.

What will you do.

Retirement in Thailand isn’t only about quitting your job. It’s an opportunity to have complete control over how you spend your time. Make sure you have a few ideas about how you will fill the eight or more hours per day you previously spent working and commuting. Some people miss the sense of purpose and friends that their job provided for them, while others finally have the time for hobbies and projects they have been waiting years to tackle

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