With an increasing number of people from Europe, the US and Australia looking to retire overseas, it is not hard to understand why for so many, Thailand is the obvious choice. Many may well have looked at other potential options such as The Philippines, Panama or perhaps places closer to home. However, Thailand ticks most boxes for almost every age group and the Thai Retirement Visa being relatively easy to obtain if you meet the criteria. So, why not select the Land of Smiles and its laid back attitude to enjoy your twilight years?
As one of the most professional visa agencies in Bangkok, we have helped countless people arrange Thai Retirement Visas to live legally in the country. With the peace of mind that they have satisfied the requirements and can be confident that they have no concerns about their visa, they can enjoy everything that the country has to offer. If you are unsure why Thailand is the perfect place for retirees, here are just some reasons why so many choose to make Thailand their home.
1. Cost of living
Although no one would argue that the cost of living hasn’t gone up in recent years, Thailand is still comparatively cheap to most western countries. Bangkok is an incredibly cosmopolitan city, but it is still possible to find excellent accommodation that is a fraction of what you would pay in the west – you just need to look around and choose somewhere away from the business centres. Food, especially Thai food, is cheap and plentiful, while other items such as gasoline, water and even electric are relatively inexpensive. It means that retirees can spread their income, meaning that it goes much further.
2. Excellent all year round climate
Let’s face it; one of Thailand’s biggest attractions is the excellent year-round climate. With temperatures in central parts of the Kingdom rarely falling below 25 degrees, the country is ideal for living an outdoor lifestyle. As we get older, most of us start suffering from aches and pains, and the warmer climate helps to minimise the impact. When this is combined with the fact that spending more time outdoors is better for you anyway, why wouldn’t you choose to spend it in a warm country with stunning scenery?
3. Healthcare provision
Of course, for many retirees, healthcare provision becomes more important, and in Thailand, you have access to some of Asia’s best private hospitals, such as the Bumrungrad in Bangkok. However, if you feel that this is beyond your budget, almost every other private hospital in the capital and those in cities such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya offer healthcare provision comparable to the west. So long as you have sufficient health insurance, medical care in Thailand shouldn’t be a concern.
While many people have preconceived ideas about Thailand, you will find excellent infrastructure in the bigger cities that wouldn’t look out of place in many places in Europe. The road networks are excellent; it is easy to fly both domestically and internationally with Europe less than 12 hours away. In most instances, television offers plenty of expat options. The electric supply is now far more reliable than it was a decade ago. Overall, life is well set up for a western living. Those who are concerned about how they could adapt to life in another country would be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to get the comforts of home.
As we touched upon in the point above, Thailand has excellent transportation links across the Kingdom and getting to different places is straightforward. For those concerned about returning to their “home” countries, Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the best in Asia and is regarded as a regional hub with daily flights around the world run by the world’s leading airlines. In reality, nowhere is much more than 24 hours away, so if you want to visit friends and family, they are never far away. Likewise, you can see the islands in the south or the hills of the north for a fraction of what it would cost in many places and with daily flights, it is all surprisingly easy.
6. Plenty to do
Whatever your interests, you will easily be able to satisfy them in Thailand. If you enjoy a round of golf, the country has dozens of championship standard courses to keep you occupied. Alternatively, if you want a more sedate life, you could go trekking in the hills around Chiang Rai, visit some of the unspoilt islands or just casually blend in with the local way of life. Whatever you want to do in Thailand, you will have no problem finding likeminded people with the same interests. One thing is for sure; you will never be bored or lonely!
7. Large expat population
A natural concern for anyone moving abroad for the first time is how easy it will be to make new friends. Thailand has a large expat population who are always happy to welcome new people and show them around and become accustomed to their new surroundings. Cities such as Bangkok have expats, groups and clubs from all countries, so you will soon be able to find people from your home nation. If you are concerned about the food, that won’t be a problem as the city has an abundance of restaurants catering for all tastes and supermarkets where you can buy food from all four corners of the globe.
Of course, one thing that we all want as we get older is stability, and in Thailand, you will find a country that, on the whole, if politically and economically stable. The country has a booming economy and has experienced little political disruption of any note in recent years. Crime and corruption are on the decline with everyone, regardless of colour, nationality, religion or sexual persuasion, made to feel comfortable. The attitude is very much “live and let live”, and this make is such a friendly and welcoming place!