Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

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Undaunted
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Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Undaunted » Sat May 18, 2019 2:05 pm

I have lived here 16 years and nothing is the same as it was, most importantly the present government’s attitude toward long term expats. You will be best served to visit Thailand as a tourist, you should avoid owning property and or being involved in a relationship that will hinder your ability to leave at any point that you deem necessary.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Gaybutton » Sat May 18, 2019 3:05 pm

I don't agree. For me Thailand is better than ever. I don't see a negative government attitude toward long term expats. I see a negative attitude toward expats who have been cheating to remain here. I agree with that attitude. It's the cheaters who caused these problems affecting those who don't cheat.

I also blame the embassies.

I do not blame the Thai government for these problems, although I don't like the way they are handling them. However, I'm surprised they waited this long to start doing what they're doing.

I do agree that people should avoid buying property, getting involved in relationships, or doing anything else until they have lived in Thailand long enough to be truly certain Thailand is for them. In my opinion, that would take at least 6 months to a year living in Thailand full time. I don't see how anyone can decide intelligently when they have only been in Thailand for holidays.

I also agree people should leave themselves an escape route if it turns out Thailand is not for them after all.

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Trongpai » Sat May 18, 2019 3:50 pm

If you're an unhappy person in Farangland and move to Thailand you'll likely continue to be unhappy. Failed relationships, bad decisions with good intentions and just bad luck can happen anywhere, don't blame the location.

Yes, there's some negatives about living in Thailand but for me the positives far out weigh the negatives. 16 years living here for me too, 33 years visiting.

As for those who look back with those rosey spectacles of the way things were and complain of the way things are now all I have to say is I think your perspective is skewed. Lots of things, food choices, entertainment (non sex) and transportation has improved.

Oh, and then there's sex. Do you think a retirement to say Florida will have the same options?

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Undaunted » Sat May 18, 2019 5:30 pm

Those that wish to disagree do so because they want to justify their decisions to live here and are of the age that a change is incomprehensible, do not allow yourself to become one of them! My advice to those that have not as of yet made the decision to retire in Thailand is to look before you leap....
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by fountainhall » Sat May 18, 2019 5:40 pm

Trongpai wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:50 pm
Yes, there's some negatives about living in Thailand but for me the positives far out weigh the negatives.
Surely it's partly a question of original expectations and partly how settled one becomes here. I agree with Undaunted. If I was retiring now and had not beforehand had 22 years of regularly visiting Thailand and also assessing other Asian countries which I knew reasonably well, I would have to think much more carefully than I did back when I bought my apartment in 1999. I was certainly lucky in having that opportunity to visit over such a long period, to have a few Thai friends and to buy at almost an ideal time. With prices falling and the Baht still relatively weak - certainly compared to the 25 to $1 it was for a couple of decades before 1997 - for me buying has made a lot more sense than continuously renting over that period.

On the other hand, Thailand has changed much more dramatically over the last 20 years than I expected it might. I agree with Trongpai, though. There are still more positives than negatives. But then we should also realise that in some other countries the negatives have turned more positive. My fondness for Taipei is well known on this Board. If you knew where to look, it was quite a gay city 20 years ago, but its economic boom times had made it a lot more expensive. It remains more expensive in terms of accommodation unless you live on the outskirts or move to one of the secondary cities. But take out the accommodation issue and the general cost of living is roughly the same as Bangkok.

It has also become a much more open and free society. I reckon Taiwanese guys are the most handsome of all Chinese and the Taiwanese in general are far more polite and easier to get to know and become friendly with - and I mean proper and not fair weather friends - than the Thais. I have had clients here since 1982 and through them I have met and made other friends. But only a couple are gay and both are afraid for this to be generally known since there remains a strong social and professional stigma in Thailand. I was talking the other day to a Singaporean who retired early here last year. He has spent much of that time learning Thai. But he was bemoaning the fact that he finds it really difficult forming good friendships even though he is at a gym several times a week and interacts with quite a lot of people he'd love to have as friends.

That is totally different in Taiwan where in recent years I have made friendships that are a lot closer than any here.
Martin Lindström, general manager of Ikea in Taiwan and originally from Sweden, has lived on the island for almost a decade.

“Taiwan is one of the best hidden gems of the Asia Pacific,” he told me. “It is very easy to feel at home here.”

He pointed to the beautiful countryside with “scenic mountains and great opportunities for hiking or biking,” as well as the island’s local cuisine and amazing coffee shops.

But most importantly, he added, was the fact that people are really friendly.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jnylander/ ... 5957818868

Now, with gay marriage a settled issue and Taiwanese guys able to marry not only fellow Taiwanese but also boyfriends from any other country which permits gay marriage, retirement as a married westerner will become much, much easier. Even now, citizens of many countries can get 90 days on arrival, with no limit to the number of arrivals. Make at least three trips a year and you qualify automatically for fast track entry and exit. Marriage will no doubt permit open-ended entry. It is almost certain, also, that marriage to a Taiwanese will enable a westerner to access Taiwan's National Health Service which is vastly less expensive than the private insurance most need here.

Inevitably there are trade-offs. Balancing that, there is a climate that is not so ideal, with much cooler winters, regular typhoons over roughly five months each year and regular earthquakes of varying intensities. And for western gay expats who prefer to hook up regularly with fellow gay westerner retirees, Taiwan is not the place for you, for there is a lack of older expats living there.

I make these points merely to reinforce earlier comments that when it comes to retirement it is absolutely vital that a great deal of research is done prior to taking the plunge to live in any far away country. Equally vital is a realisation that the pace of future change may well exceed that of the last two decades - and that change may well be for the worse.

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Jun » Sat May 18, 2019 6:27 pm

Wherever you retire, ensuring your finances are robust for adverse currency movements of 30~50% or possibly even more is crucial. Either by allocating investments to reduce currency risk or by having a big safety margin. I see buying an apartment as just one investment option & there are other asset classes that can be considered.

As for Taiwan, some of my educated Chinese friends are convinced China will take back Taiwan & if necessary by force within the next 30 years. Probably whilst under the leadership of the current president. If there was a war, I wouldn't want to be living there.
I also imagine it's going to cost quite a bit more to live in Taiwan.

As for the pace of change, well adverse change might affect your home country as well. The UK might get a highly incompetent marxist government. Don't rule out currency controls if they really screw it up.
In the US, the chickens will eventually come home to roost after Donald Trump's idiotic borrowing spree. Sooner or later, the US will find it difficult to borrow as much as it needs.
Thailand doesn't look too bad to me.

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Trongpai » Sun May 19, 2019 12:16 am

Undaunted wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:30 pm
Those that wish to disagree do so because they want to justify their decisions to live here and are of the age that a change is incomprehensible,
I'm not sure how you can be so presumptive to know the motives behind those who disagree with your assertions. I don't feel that I'm justifying anything and I don't want to change anything because I am happy to live in Thailand. Perhaps that's true with some people but not all and not with most of the expats that I know.
Undaunted wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:30 pm
My advice to those that have not as of yet made the decision to retire in Thailand is to look before you leap....
Yes, that's good advise and just common sense.

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Dodger » Sun May 19, 2019 2:24 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:40 pm
On the other hand, Thailand has changed much more dramatically over the last 20 years than I expected it might.
I wonder if this isn't the very point that some people seem to be struggling with.

The whole world has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Change is inevitable. Nothing stays the same. I get a lump in my throat every time I remember the old days in Thailand and understand Undaunted's frustration, but all things considered, I'm comfortable with my decision to retire here and can't think of anywhere else in the world where I'd be happier. I'm not saying this because of a feeling of being trapped in my decision because if I had to I could move back home or to another country if I wasn't happy here.

If I had chosen to retire back in the U.S. the only sex I'd be getting would be sitting in front of my computer using my right hand. Just as I typed that sentence my 27 year old Thai boyfriend walked past the door wearing only his bikini undies. It's little subtle things like this that kinda make me think I made a good decision.

I agree with GB that the changes we're faced with now regarding visa and health care changes are changes that Thailand probably should have implemented years ago, and those who chose to retire in Thailand, or for that fact, any other foreign country, should be prepared enough financially to adapt to these types of changes.

I've always believed that home is what you make it. It's entirely up to me. Everywhere I go - there I am. There are things about Thailand (then and now) that I'm not thrilled with but I just try to ignore the negatives and enjoy the hell out of the positives and count myself lucky. Frankly, if this were my first trip to Thailand and I was able to find a gorgeous boy to roll in the hay with on the very first night I would think I was heaven, because for the aging gay man it is heaven. It's all about perception.

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by fountainhall » Sun May 19, 2019 6:28 pm

Dodger wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:24 pm
I've always believed that home is what you make it. It's entirely up to me.
I believe this should be true for everyone. We all create our own reality. We have little influence over most external factors and so have to adapt - as we've had to do almost all our lives. Our happiness is in our own hands - so to speak! ;)

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Re: Advice for People Over 50 Wanting to Retire in Thailand

Post by Jun » Sun May 19, 2019 8:39 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:28 pm
Dodger wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:24 pm
I've always believed that home is what you make it. It's entirely up to me.
I believe this should be true for everyone. We all create our own reality. We have little influence over most external factors and so have to adapt - as we've had to do almost all our lives. Our happiness is in our own hands - so to speak! ;)
Absolutely, we have to adapt to the world & not vice versa.
Most of us have had a great run over the last 50 years (some a few less, some a lot more). Overall, there have been huge advances in wealth, travel, liberty and so on. Most of us will have avoided being conscripted into wars and other such horrors.

In contrast to all the positive changes, we have had a few minor areas of deterioration, such as a declining gay scene in Thailand. However, the reality is that Thailand still has the best gay scene of it's type in the world & it's up to us to make the most of it.

Anyone who doesn't like Thailand might like to try the gay scene in somewhere like Manila. There we can find hot boys on the phone apps who are great in bed & have modest financial expectations. Howeverthe bars are spread out all over the city & I wasn't even keen on visiting them, based on reports of the type of boy, expense & need to get a taxi there, taking more care over safety. Most of the food is unhealthy junk lacking in flavour, so way more selectivity is required.

I still don't see anywhere to compete with Thailand.

The advice to think carefully seems very good to me. Making sure your finances are in good shape & "stress testing" them by figuring out what happens if your home currency falls to half its current value against the baht seems prudent as well.

There are also huge positives. For example if I understand correctly, Thai residents do not have to pay tax on overseas income, if it is not bought into Thailand in the year in which it is derived.

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