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Dear all

I know I am a little early on asking these questions, but one likes to be prepared. I am planning on retiring to Thailand in around 2016 (will be 52yrs old). I have visited many times but not in the last 6yrs.
Over the next 4yrs I hope to visit several areas to get a feel of where I would like to retire. Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Pattaya, NE Thailand....etc
I am a single guy who fell in love with Thailand the first time I visited and have been back about 8 times since 1990. My initial aim is to hopefully spend the rest of my life in Thailand from 2016, I will hopefully be able to spend approx £1000 per month, and if I can get away with less, than save a little to backpack around and maybe visit Cambodia, Viet Nam, etc
I don't think I will be bored living on my own, I am a bit of a loner (like my own company)...so initially just getting some ideas, and then hopefully I will be ready in 2016ish...
Thanks for any help, just joined this forum as thought it would be a good start...
Howie
 

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Dear all

I know I am a little early on asking these questions, but one likes to be prepared. I am planning on retiring to Thailand in around 2016 (will be 52yrs old). I have visited many times but not in the last 6yrs.
Over the next 4yrs I hope to visit several areas to get a feel of where I would like to retire. Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Pattaya, NE Thailand....etc
I am a single guy who fell in love with Thailand the first time I visited and have been back about 8 times since 1990. My initial aim is to hopefully spend the rest of my life in Thailand from 2016, I will hopefully be able to spend approx £1000 per month, and if I can get away with less, than save a little to backpack around and maybe visit Cambodia, Viet Nam, etc
I don't think I will be bored living on my own, I am a bit of a loner (like my own company)...so initially just getting some ideas, and then hopefully I will be ready in 2016ish...
Thanks for any help, just joined this forum as thought it would be a good start...
Howie
Once you're 50 years you can get the one year non-immigrant "retirement" visa which you renew annually.

Where you choose to live of course depends on who and what you want to live with. Places like Pattaya , Chiang Mai , Hua Hin and the resort islands have farangs thick on the ground and all that goes with their living needs , while there are a other quiet non-tourist / expat areas and provinces , like Chantaburi or Kanchanaburi for example , where you can live a more Thai existence. Unless you are an avowed urban animal I wouln't even consider Bangkok for long term living in Thailand - fun to visit for a few days occasionally but that's all.

£1,000 (THB 50,000) is for most expats at the very lower end of their monthly living budget - unless you live like a monk you won't survive on less than this. From your stated needs and goals I would aim at £1,500 to 2,000 per month.

That about all I can offer at this stage.
 

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Howie:

First, 52 yo is relatively young to begin living on a fixed income. As Mweiga stated £1,000 is @ 50 kBht, today. That is living frugally in Thailand at this point in time. Currency exchange rates fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. Inflation exists and can take a heavy toll on a fixed income. God only knows what £1,000 will be worth in 10, 15 or 20 years. As the adage goes; "The only thing you can count on is change".

Also, don't forget medical and/or health care costs. Disease is prevalent and accidents happen. You may need to purchase medical insurance to protect yourself.

As you state, "one likes to be prepared"; If I was in your shoes with a goal of retiring at the age of 52, I would also investigate Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Malaysia. Don't ignore Myanmar and Indonesia before you finalize your plans.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies, it is much appreciated. I have been looking at my planned retirement and will now consider looking at other countries within SE Asia. I plan to return to Thailand probably next year for a month or so, which will give me an idea of whether Thailand in the correct option for me.

I know 52yrs is probably a little young to retire, but by then I won't have any ties (business, work or family) so it seems one option. I haven't considered whether I would wish to work while in SE Asia, or whether I would actually be allowed, which is why I am starting to plan things now, as originally I had decided to initially try to live on £1000 per month, which with a condo (stayed in before) at approx B12,000 per month and health insurance as well, I am quiet confident I could do this.

Also my allowance would be based on rent received in this country (England) from several properties I have.

I will keep on getting info and facts, and thank you to anyone who can give advice....off now to surf on other countries, never initially considered.

Thank you

Howie
 

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If you wish you could try some of the areas in Thailand that do not have a large number of foreigners, I live in Chumphon and there are plenty places in the area to live, would you be interested in the beach lifestyle, mountains, in the city, suburbs, in the rural areas, no cinemas, but it is close to places like Koh Tao and Koh Samui, about five hours drive to Phuket, two hours to Surat Thani and three hours to Hua Hin, but as stated earlier getting by on a thousand quid could be difficult unless you wanted to lead the quiet life in a quiet area.
 

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Once you're 50 years you can get the one year non-immigrant "retirement" visa which you renew annually.

Where you choose to live of course depends on who and what you want to live with. Places like Pattaya , Chiang Mai , Hua Hin and the resort islands have farangs thick on the ground and all that goes with their living needs , while there are a other quiet non-tourist / expat areas and provinces , like Chantaburi or Kanchanaburi for example , where you can live a more Thai existence. Unless you are an avowed urban animal I wouln't even consider Bangkok for long term living in Thailand - fun to visit for a few days occasionally but that's all.

£1,000 (THB 50,000) is for most expats at the very lower end of their monthly living budget - unless you live like a monk you won't survive on less than this. From your stated needs and goals I would aim at £1,500 to 2,000 per month.

That about all I can offer at this stage.
1000 GBP a month is more than enough Mweiga.

I used to live well on 500$ down in Songkla.

Unless you go to bars every night ,do 'bar fines' etc, you will struggle to spend more than 500.

I would recommed to the OP to look for smaller towns outside the tourist traps.

Songkla or Hat Yai are ideal imho.

Quick exits to Malaysia or Indonesia are very popular for us in the Deep South.

Failing the South I would look at all the towns along the Mekong...Mukdahan ,Nakon Phanom etc. Cambodia and Laos are nearby...These are backwater towns though
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you

Thank you for everyones's advice. Up to now my plan is to visit Chaing Mai early 2013 for a month, stay in a cheap B&B and for a few weeks live the type of life i would hope to live when I retire (now hopefully 2 yrs later).

I wouldn't want to live the expensive lifestyle even if I could afford it. I have been lucky in the UK to have a very good income, lovely home a wonderful cars, holidays etc, however non of this has ever brought happiness, as I am not a materialistic person.

I know I would be more happy and fullfilled with life, living in a B&B or apartment (then later when I learn a little Thai, move to a house in a quiter part of Northern Thailand). All I would need is 3-4 meals a day (Thai style as love the food, hate roast dinners etc in UK) love reading, will use my iPad on wifi, relax (never done that for 1 day in the last 30yrs here) and basically wake up every morning a smile (something else not done here much)...and after a few yrs if it doesnt work out, then I cant say i wish I had tried that!! I am single, hopefully have enough to live 40yrs at £1,200 per month, and have a property in the Uk to fall back on..:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thai cost of living

Only Howie again

I have over the last few months investigated further and my plams have changed a little. I am visiting Chiang Mai in May 2013 for a month to establish what is the cost of living, should I retire here.

I have spent over the last few months 2-3hrs per day talking to expats/researching etc and the info I have received in gereral is as follows:

healthInsurance approx £120 per month (50yrs old good health)
Condo approx £150 per month (studio with pool)
240v/water in Condo £40 per month
Food £450 per month (basic Thai off street)

I know the above list is basic as I have books full of information on costs, however am I missing something obvious as some of the threads state I can't live on £1000 per month and above adds to £760 per month. The only other cost would be water to drink and a beer a day (no bar fines etc as doesnt appeal)

Many thanks

Howie
 

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Only Howie again

I have over the last few months investigated further and my plams have changed a little. I am visiting Chiang Mai in May 2013 for a month to establish what is the cost of living, should I retire here.

I have spent over the last few months 2-3hrs per day talking to expats/researching etc and the info I have received in gereral is as follows:

healthInsurance approx £120 per month (50yrs old good health)
Condo approx £150 per month (studio with pool)
240v/water in Condo £40 per month
Food £450 per month (basic Thai off street)

I know the above list is basic as I have books full of information on costs, however am I missing something obvious as some of the threads state I can't live on £1000 per month and above adds to £760 per month. The only other cost would be water to drink and a beer a day (no bar fines etc as doesnt appeal)

Many thanks

Howie
Howie:

Your not missing anything. In your investigations I expect you have seen the below references:

From a 19JUL12 post by cooked in the "Moving to Thailand in 2013" thread.

Does it have to be Bangkok? Living costs there seem horrendous to people that live out in the sticks, we do ok, more than ok, in Buriram on ?46 000.- a month (no kids, own house, which we could rent for ?4 - 5 000.- if we were looking for something).


Also, from a 17AUG12 post by thai-insights in the "Moving to Thailand in 2013" thread.

Finally, for a number of years I lived on my own here: a no car, no motorcycle, no I-phone, no computer, no TV, no wife, no health insurance lifestyle. In short, a frugal, humble, "go native" "simple living" lifestyle. Frugality became a form of spirituality. A lot of fun actually. And I lived dirt cheap for a good five years. Dirt cheap, as in $5-6,000 a year cheap. No BS. But in the past several years, I find myself sending a step-daughter to private school, buying a pickup truck, buying a computer, eating higher on the hog, travelling back to the states more often, and my annual living expenses have jumped into the $15-20,000/year range in the blink of an eye. The moral of this story is that having a Thai wife, kid, and extended family can get a little costly, and even if you don't have a Thai family, it's not realistic to think that you can live in Thailand on "peanuts," at least not forever.


Anyway, both of the above references reflect the actual and frugal expenditures of expats who do or did, in fact, live on the amounts you are budgeting. On the basis of the amount of investigation you have done and the thoroughness that is apparent in your investigation, you can trust the quality of your investigation and the conclusion(s) you have reached.

And to comment on a statement you made in your post "however am I missing something obvious as some of the threads state I can't live on £1000 per month". The threads should really be interpreted as saying that "the poster cannot live on £1000 per month."


In my case, I will NOT live on less than USD +$1,500/month (up country) of USD $2,000/month (Bangkok) although I could if I was forced to.
 

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I am dithering between 'do it, you only live once', and 'what happens if in a few years you find that the 'simple' life style is getting boring'? You probably won't be able to get another job at your age.
I get my ฿46 000.- a month on the 6th, we fill up the freezer, pay internet and stuff, and are looking at easily ฿30 000.- left over. We are building/renovating our house, so a fair bit is going on building materials and labour at the moment. We also spent a good few thousands when we got married, travel to my embassy in Bangkok etc, there is always something you hadn't really foreseen, (fix the car, buy irrigation equipment for the BIL etc), but we are ok.
What I mean is, everybody has to make his own choice, if you rely on my advice you may turn out not to be the same kind of person as I am, and accuse me of talking BS. I say this because Thailand is definitely a place for individuals that are happy to draw their own conclusions, and you can't do everything by internet.
My situation is special as is everyone's, if we didn't have our own house and the farm produce plus old car already, maybe I would be talking a different language. I don't have health insurance I might add, I put money in a Swiss bank every month as 'self insurance'.... up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Stednick and Cooked

As I have said to you both on another thread, many many thanks for your very indepth and thought out replies (I love this forum). I will take all your advice on board and add it to the hundreds of bits I have already.

I know for a fact (most of you will smile at this as things don't go usually according to plan) but I intend to live on my own for several years (no Thai wife) and won't own a motor vehicle so that will keep costs down. Anyway my month next year (of which I will be spending a week with a male friend who lives up country who has done what I am hopefully doing) so should get some more advice from him.

Thanks again and no doubt speak again soon somewere on this forum.

Thank you

Howie
 

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Emergency Funds

I am dithering between 'do it, you only live once', and 'what happens if in a few years you find that the 'simple' life style is getting boring'? You probably won't be able to get another job at your age.
I get my ฿46 000.- a month on the 6th, we fill up the freezer, pay internet and stuff, and are looking at easily ฿30 000.- left over. We are building/renovating our house, so a fair bit is going on building materials and labour at the moment. We also spent a good few thousands when we got married, travel to my embassy in Bangkok etc, there is always something you hadn't really foreseen, (fix the car, buy irrigation equipment for the BIL etc), but we are ok.
What I mean is, everybody has to make his own choice, if you rely on my advice you may turn out not to be the same kind of person as I am, and accuse me of talking BS. I say this because Thailand is definitely a place for individuals that are happy to draw their own conclusions, and you can't do everything by internet.
My situation is special as is everyone's, if we didn't have our own house and the farm produce plus old car already, maybe I would be talking a different language. I don't have health insurance I might add, I put money in a Swiss bank every month as 'self insurance'.... up to you.
Mr. Cooke:

Very valid points you raise here.

Every person is different as is their spending habits, lifestyle and standard-of-living, both planned and actual. All need to expect that their/your planned standard-of-living will be different, and possibly significantly different, from their/your actual standard-of-living. All of us human animals are an unpredictable lot. We expect we know what we see in the mirror however I occasionally surprise myself.

Changing plans, desires, actions and activities. Change is the only thing you can count on. As no one I have ever met had an operation crystal ball, no ones budget is ever correct. Most budgets do not have an adequate "contingency" line item. We all need to have a reasonable and typically large safety net. Medical emergencies, mechanical breakdowns, help for friends and family, "mad money", and, of course, the occasional "duh, what was I thinking" moment or mistake can be true budget breakers.

Also, most all of us people are optimists, part of human nature, we tend to minimize potential problems and erroneously expect that through good luck and our hard earned "school-of-hard-knocks" wisdom that we will dodge oncoming bullets. When those bullets are on target and "strike" us they are unforgiving.

The point of this is; we all need a large, untouched, "Emergency Fund" safely stashed somewhere accessible to bail us out when things "Go South".
 

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howie-

Please excuse if I'm not using the forum properly. I have never been on one.
I am a US citizen thinking of retiring to Thailand; am also a bit of a loner, don;t really like condo living (I like a rural setting); like audio/visual (am an audiophile) and am disabled. I'm looking for a rural setting that is safe that I could have full time help, listen to music and movies loud without bothering others, and yet have a small bit of a social life.
I know this is not an answer to your question, but I am new to forums, am single (divorced), 10 years older than you (and computer illiterate) and I need guidance; I have never travelled. Been on Maui all my life. Also need to know if I can bring my cat to Thailand-odd, maybe, but I promised our Higher power to care for her when I rescued her from the brink when abandoned at birth; been 10 yrs now. The reason=the US no longer cares for older, disabled people in a respectable manner. They take your possessions (all assets), stick you in a horrid (been in two places) "Nursing Home" and "warehouse" you with 3 others to a "room" with NO personal possessions, NO privacy, they UNDERtreat you, and you just wait to fade away! That's not for me, who used to be very active. Now am not, thanks to modern medical mis-haps. I also need access to healthcare, mostly pain management and intestinal care, including possible further surgery, and then also the usual "getting older" issues. I would be essentially house-bound, depending on pain management (I can do much more when pain is adequately managed), and could share a (large) home with someone "on the move" that needs the home base looked after when gone, being active. I can afford to keep a home and full time help (but NOT in America!). Do you have any words of advice for me?
Thanks for your time,
Paul

Dear all
I know I am a little early on asking these questions, but one likes to be prepared. I am planning on retiring to Thailand in around 2016 (will be 52yrs old). I have visited many times but not in the last 6yrs.
Over the next 4yrs I hope to visit several areas to get a feel of where I would like to retire. Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Pattaya, NE Thailand....etc
I am a single guy who fell in love with Thailand the first time I visited and have been back about 8 times since 1990. My initial aim is to hopefully spend the rest of my life in Thailand from 2016, I will hopefully be able to spend approx £1000 per month, and if I can get away with less, than save a little to backpack around and maybe visit Cambodia, Viet Nam, etc
I don't think I will be bored living on my own, I am a bit of a loner (like my own company)...so initially just getting some ideas, and then hopefully I will be ready in 2016ish...
Thanks for any help, just joined this forum as thought it would be a good start...
Howie
 

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yeah, I'm not surprised that people are hesitating to answer these posts, these are delicate questions. A few people here are latching on to the idea that residences for people in need of care or let's just say approaching that point, are appearing here and there. I saw an excellent documentary in German recently, about care for Alzheimer patients and I was most impressed with the standard and measure of care that the people were receiving. Not that I am saying you are going down that road!. A Swiss place near Chang Mai offers basic care for around ฿40 000.- a month, nice house to live in, outings and food included, I am sure that there are others.
Another solution may be to find a lady that will marry you and look after you for financial considerations, but I have seen very good and very bad examples of the results of this kind of marriage. (like murder, not kidding).
It's all about money and trust, and not taking out life insurance and stuff like that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Please excuse if I'm not using the forum properly. I have never been on one.
I am a US citizen thinking of retiring to Thailand; am also a bit of a loner, don;t really like condo living (I like a rural setting); like audio/visual (am an audiophile) and am disabled. I'm looking for a rural setting that is safe that I could have full time help, listen to music and movies loud without bothering others, and yet have a small bit of a social life.
I know this is not an answer to your question, but I am new to forums, am single (divorced), 10 years older than you (and computer illiterate) and I need guidance; I have never travelled. Been on Maui all my life. Also need to know if I can bring my cat to Thailand-odd, maybe, but I promised our Higher power to care for her when I rescued her from the brink when abandoned at birth; been 10 yrs now. The reason=the US no longer cares for older, disabled people in a respectable manner. They take your possessions (all assets), stick you in a horrid (been in two places) "Nursing Home" and "warehouse" you with 3 others to a "room" with NO personal possessions, NO privacy, they UNDERtreat you, and you just wait to fade away! That's not for me, who used to be very active. Now am not, thanks to modern medical mis-haps. I also need access to healthcare, mostly pain management and intestinal care, including possible further surgery, and then also the usual "getting older" issues. I would be essentially house-bound, depending on pain management (I can do much more when pain is adequately managed), and could share a (large) home with someone "on the move" that needs the home base looked after when gone, being active. I can afford to keep a home and full time help (but NOT in America!). Do you have any words of advice for me?
Thanks for your time,
Paul
Paul

I thank you for asking me these questions, but feel I am not the correct person to ask these questions as I have yet to retire, but as always there will be many others that read your post.
Good luck in all you do
Howie
 

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Answer to Paul about bringing your cat to Thailand.

The airline you book a ticket can give you a guide line what to do. I brought my 2 dogs to US last 10 yrs ago. I contacted Northwest airline (no longer now) and I was so impressed for their helpful. What I had to do was having vaccinations's paper work from the vet and before I traveled I had to take them to check at the vet office at the airport so they can certified the pets on board. You have to keep that paper work in hand all the time you travel. I would recommend to carry on your cat with you.I did with my ****zu (carry on) and the other one, she 's medium size I had to put her in a cage (must qualified by airlines). The airline took care her so well and I could take her out with me while waiting long hours connecting flight. Rabies vaccine is the most important you need to have for your cat My both dogs are still alive and they became American citizens before me and bi languages as well. The air tickets for both of them last 10yrs. ago was so cheap, 100$ per each. They are my children.
 

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Planning

Please excuse if I'm not using the forum properly. I have never been on one.
I am a US citizen thinking of retiring to Thailand; am also a bit of a loner, don;t really like condo living (I like a rural setting); like audio/visual (am an audiophile) and am disabled. I'm looking for a rural setting that is safe that I could have full time help, listen to music and movies loud without bothering others, and yet have a small bit of a social life.
I know this is not an answer to your question, but I am new to forums, am single (divorced), 10 years older than you (and computer illiterate) and I need guidance; I have never travelled. Been on Maui all my life. Also need to know if I can bring my cat to Thailand-odd, maybe, but I promised our Higher power to care for her when I rescued her from the brink when abandoned at birth; been 10 yrs now. The reason=the US no longer cares for older, disabled people in a respectable manner. They take your possessions (all assets), stick you in a horrid (been in two places) "Nursing Home" and "warehouse" you with 3 others to a "room" with NO personal possessions, NO privacy, they UNDERtreat you, and you just wait to fade away! That's not for me, who used to be very active. Now am not, thanks to modern medical mis-haps. I also need access to healthcare, mostly pain management and intestinal care, including possible further surgery, and then also the usual "getting older" issues. I would be essentially house-bound, depending on pain management (I can do much more when pain is adequately managed), and could share a (large) home with someone "on the move" that needs the home base looked after when gone, being active. I can afford to keep a home and full time help (but NOT in America!). Do you have any words of advice for me?
Thanks for your time,
Paul
Paul:

As you are over 50 years old you meet the age criteria for a Thailand Retirement Visa. Do you meet the monetary requirement of a 65,000 baht/month income stream or a 800,000 baht lump sum deposit in the bank? At 31THB/USD this is @ $2,100/month income stream or @ $26,000 lump sum deposit.

As you state you are computer illiterate, how did you find this site? Your computer literacy is at least minimal. So, you may find this useful: Go to this link and read: Retire 2 Thailand

"Assisted living communities for both expats and Thais, where one can live independently but at the same time have lots of the drudgery of everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning and laundry and shopping taken care of, will be the next step for many of us. Follow this link to see what one of the first of these communities has to offer. The McKean Hospital Senior Care Program is in the ancient city of Chiang Mai in the north, right on the banks of the Ping River, in a beautiful botanical garden-like setting. For less than $1,000 per month you are provided with room and board, activities, and nurse and doctor's care right where you live."

Many other options are available such as renting a home, hiring a driver, maid and healthcare assistant, etc. The problem with this is how do you qualify the help? This method is plagued with the unknown. Far to easy for you to be taken advantage of. This option requires formal legal representation to protect you and your interests.

I would say that you need to perform an investigation of what is required for you to relocate to Thailand for retirement. As you stated you have medical issues that must be planned for. There is no "group" that I know of that is set up to provide you with a list of the necessary plans and or steps that need to be taken. So, this leaves it all up to you. This forum will help you with guidance and direction, however, again, it is all up to you.

Start by analyzing; where you are and where you want to be, your minimums and your maximums, what you need, what you want, what you could live without and what you absolutely cannot live without.

After you have detailed the absolutes, you can begin analyzing the legal aspects of your planed relocation. You do have a lot of investigation to do. This forum is a good place to start your investigation of Thailand. There are many things you will need to understand to succeed in a relocation. So start the investigation by reading threads in this forum.

You also may want to contact this Thai Wat for advice:

Wat Buddhajakramongkol Vararam (Wat Pearl City) 872 A, Second St., Pearl City, HI 96782
1 (808) 456-4176
Email: [email protected]
Website: Wat Buddhajakramongkolvararam

Let us know how you proceed and good luck.
 

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Thank you !!!

Dear Cooked, Stednick, Howie444 and SallyJS:
This is my 3rd attempt to reply...I hope I'm not messing anyone up. My unfinished replies just suddenly "disappeared"; likely "GIGO"=my fault, usually.
Your replies are exactly what I was (am) looking for. They were varied, experienced and SPECIFIC.
I have been reading "International Living" and "Live and Invest Overseas", but it is all so general. No offense intended, as that is how they make their money. Your down to earth, practical answers were great. Thank you for the advice, links, agencies, info, etc.
I DO fit the stated criteria for Thailand's "retiree visa" (I don't remember the actual term), which made me feel optimistic, for starters. And I have heard about "owning" land in Thailand, marriages for profit having bad endings, and I have heard of some with good ones (so far). The same seems to be so in the Philippines, I hear. NOT the way I want to go. I was married once before. That was enough. And with my disabilities, I really have nothing to offer a wife, so that's one option off the table-that needs no consideration.
I believe in integrity and companionship. We ALL need some interaction. I'd like to find a local person or family that I can have a symbiotic relationship with. My hope is that I can find a stable place to live and have my needs met (cooking, cleaning, maybe gardening, running errands, etc.) while increasing the standard of living for the people I employ. I have no illusions or delusions (anymore)...MONEY is the motivator. When I was able-bodied, I felt altruistic (my normal state), and I learned the hard way that most people are still living the laws of the jungle; "eat or be eaten", "me, my, mine", "take or be taken", etc. Yes, I am buying some quality of life during my last chapter. After all, it IS all about money that I am leaving the US! "We" do NOT care for our elderly or disabled. "Warehousing" us is NOT CARE-ing for us. The conditions are truly deplorable. I was a Paramedic by profession. I have seen healthcare from both sides now, from win and lose (hey, sounds like a song=sorry, it's old and cryptic)...so yes, even for me, it's about money; how far it will go in caring for me. I never expected to be alone at this point, but one never knows.
So again, THANK YOU all for taking your time to reply to my query. If you think of anything to add, please feel free to say something! I will do the same. I do have a question right now: Does anyone have a contact(s) for a place to rent for just a month while I visit to see what I can learn first hand? I would also pay for a guide, either an expat or an English speaking local...which brings up another question: Where can I find a list of what to expect to pay for common, often used services?
Thanks again for your Aloha.
Paul
 

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Looking for retirement locations

Next year I will be visiting Thailand and Vietnam to see if those are places I might want to retire along with a few countries in South America. My question is would it be a good idea to take a tour of Thailand or just wing it. Little concerned about just winging it. I have lived in Japan and Germany but I was in the military at that time. I would appreciate any advise you might have for me. Thanks.
 

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You are very welcome. I forgot to talk about your cat: I got my (Siamese!) cat from Zurich to Bankok using Thai Airways. She needed a chip implant, various vaccinations as well as an international vaccination book. (so called pet passport) We rang up Thai Airways at the airport about three weeks before leaving and the lady just required the chip number. We paid Fr.250.- at the airport ($200) and surprise: she got a seat to herself next to my wife! May not always be the case though. She made noise throughout much of the flight but she said she had heard worse from spoiled brats. At Bangkok immigration my wife was asked for ฿3000.-, otherwise the cat would have to go into quarantine for a few months. My wife didn't have it, and got away with paying ฿100.- ..she can be very charming.. that's Thailand...

Place to live: go to a hotel and look around, anything you find on internet will be overpriced. I have found some very decent hotels for ฿500.- a night for two, but not in Bangkok.
 
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