Thursday, February 3, 2011

Retire Overseas

When I posted the country profile for Thailand, thedr9wningman asked about retirement there. Boy, do I feel stupid. Obviously retirement is very important to people and with this being so important to people, it's obvious that I should start writing about this. I've updated all of my country profiles with a retirement section and I've also updated my country profile template with a retirement section to ensure that all future country profiles will include this information.

Retirement information is important for a variety of reasons. Many countries which don't want you living and working there — and thus taking work away from natives — are happy to have you retire there and spend your pension. Thus, for many people, retirement is an easy way to live abroad. At that point, though, why would you want to? You've probably lived in your country all of your life and your family and friends are there.  However, if your pension doesn't go far enough, you face either not being able to retire or retiring in poverty. If you're adventurous enough, you can actually retire with an excellent lifestyle.

As a case in point, when I was researching Thailand retirement, I was shocked. You only need to be 50 years of age and though there are a few other minor requirements (which you will probably meet by default), the financial requirements are easy. You pretty much just need 800,000 Thai baht in the bank or a guaranteed income of 65,000 Thai baht a month. Reading around quite a bit suggests that in Bangkok, the following information seems quite accurate:
One can rent a well equipped (TV, airconditioning, installed kitchen, washing machine etc) 2-bedroom apartment or condominium for 25-40,000 baht. This will also include facilities such as a swimming pool, sauna, exercise room. Electricity costs (includes airconditioning on in one room most of the time) about 3,000-4,000 baht a month. Single rooms with airconditioning are available in the 5,000-8,000 range, but will not appeal to all.
Reidar og Liva
How do you want to spend your retirement?
Photo by Ernst Vikne
And paying 70 baht for dinner in a restaurant? That's $2.25US. Mind you, that's in Bangkok. If you want to live further out, you'll save even more money. Not a bad deal! If you have more money, I've seen 4 bedroom houses with maid service, private gardens and swimming pool for 55,000 baht/month ($1,780 US).

You will need to be careful doing your own research as it's evident there are many sites out there with people willing to "help" you, but there are plenty of retirement options, many of which are even less expensive than Thailand. So do you want to be poor in your home country or live well in another country?
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