Best Places To Retire In Asia - Retire in Thailand
Popularly known as the ‘Land of Smiles’, Thailand extends a warm
welcome to all her visitors with stunning beaches, dense forests, and beautiful mountains. The country is
equally popular as a retirement destination for thousands of Americans who have worked for long years in Asia.
This popularity is linked with several aspects such as a perfect living environment, warm weather and a
continuous improvement of the country’s infrastructure, which makes settling down in Thailand quite an
attractive option. Learn what makes Thailand one of the best places to retire in Asia.
The cosmopolitan culture and the wide usage and acceptance of English (apart from Thai) all over Thailand, makes
it further ideal for planning investments and attracting investors from all over the world. Foreigners over 50
years of age can use retirement visas according to their financial status for settling down in Thailand.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Thailand varies depending on your mode and standard of living. The
location you decide to live in also plays an important role in deciding the cost of living, making it much more
expensive to stay in Bangkok as compared to a smaller town in Thailand. The prices are calculated according to the
official currency, which is known as Thai Baht. 1 U.S. dollar is equivalent to 40 Baht. If you have plans for
staying in Bangkok, you may need to keep aside approximately 1000 Baht every month for water and electricity.
However, this amount may definitely vary according to the extent of usage. Using an
air-conditioner too often may raise your electricity bills up to 3000 Baht per month, which is still very
affordable compare to U.S. prices. Local phone calls, especially within Bangkok, are quite cheap, costing around 5
Bat per call. However, international calls are expensive, costing around 150 Baht for one minute. If you need to
make several international calls, you can purchase discount calling cards. Postage charges come to 16 Baht for
sending a letter to Europe or the U.S., which is quite a contrast to the postal charges of 3 Baht within Thailand.
For sending a one-page fax to the U.S., you will need to pay 40 Baht. Sometimes there might be some additional
surcharges to be paid to the places offering the service.
For renting an apartment in Thailand, you may need to pay around 3,000 to 10,000 Baht (up to
$267 U.S.) per month, depending on the kind of accommodation you choose for yourself. A single room apartment with
a refrigerator and an air-conditioner will price out at the lower end, while two room apartments with shared
swimming pools may cost a bit more. You may find apartments at cheaper rates compared to this, but the quality
might not be up to your standards. A single retired person can live comfortably by spending around $550 U.S. per
month while a couple would need around $850 U.S. Of course, you may always opt for better and more expensive
Alternatively, you may buy your own property by acquiring loans from banks and other financial
institutions. You may refer to several real estate agencies and consultants online and find out abut the various
economical offers for purchasing or renting properties. The government has also come up with various affordable
schemes to accommodate the growing American retiree population of Thailand.
Most apartments in Thailand are surrounded by several restaurants and
food stalls. Depending on the place and environment you are eating in, the prices of the food can vary to a
great extent. While eating at food stalls you may have to pay around 20 to 40 Baht for one
portion of rice and a spicy chicken or pork gravy. Similar prices are applied for fried rice and noodle
dishes. Although most places offer safe and tasty food, it is always advisable to choose a stall that already
has a lot of customers.
A typical Thai meal contains a clear soup, usually with bitter melons stuffed with minced
pork, a fried dish of fish and ginger, a steamed dish of curry and sauce and a hot salad. Sweet desserts and fresh
fruits (jackfruit, mangoes, grapes, papaya, durian) usually follow the main course.
Regular domestic flights are operated by Thai Airways International (TG), Bangkok Airways (PG)
and Angle Air (8G) to the north, south and northeast of Thailand. For flying to Phuket, Hua Hin, Krabi, Chumphon
and Pattaya you may take Air Andaman.
The Skytrain is one of the fastest and most popular modes of commuting in Bangkok. It has its
terminals in all the major commercial areas including Siam Square, Silom, Chatujak weekend market and Ekamai. The
Skytrain offers a great alternative for all those who wish to avoid traffic-congested Bangkok roads.
Buses within the city of Bangkok provide an economical and
convenient option to get around. The different types of buses catering to the public transport services
include air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses. The fares are based on the distance of the travel.
Usually, the fare of a regular bus costs around 3.50 to 5 Baht and 8 to 24 Baht for the air-conditioned buses.
There are also private buses running along the same routes as the city buses with comfortable seats and TV
viewing facilities. Private buses charge a flat rate of 20 Baht for one trip. These buses are particularly
comfortable for longer journeys. Buses can be hired for tours at bus terminals or through major
In addition to buses, taxis, riverboats, trains, tuk tuk (an open air vehicle),
three wheeled bicycle rickshaws and other regional transportation contributes to the variety of transportation in
Thailand boasts high quality medical facilities that are available all over the country.
Several excellent hospitals are located in the city of Bangkok. With an international ISO certification, the
Bamrungrad Hospital is extremely popular, especially among the expatriate community. Additionally, numerous
government hospitals also cater to all kinds of medical needs of the people of Thailand. Although you may have to
pay a little more as compared to the regular hospitals of other Asian countries, the overall experience definitely
assures value for money.
The temperate climate and low cost of living are just a few of the reasons that U.S. retirees
are settling in the country of Thailand in droves. With its slower pace and well-developed infrastructure, Thailand
remains one of Asia's top retirement destinations. You can begin to see what makes Thailand one of the best places
to retire in Asia, if not the world.
Learn more about traveling, living and possibly retiring in Thailand:
Thailand currency exchange: 1.00 USD = 30.9150 THB Thai Baht (April 2012)