Retiring in Thailand? Read On

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If you have enjoyed many holidays in Thailand and are planning your retirement in the Land of Smiles, this article contains useful information to help you with the transition. Relocating to a foreign country is a big step, especially when English is not widely spoken, which is why you need to plan things.

Long Term Visa

If you are aged 50 or over, you can apply for a 12-month retirement visa; you can deal with this yourself if you have all the requirements, although most people use a visa agency. You need to open a Thai bank account in your name and deposit 800,000 baht prior to applying for the retirement visa and once approved, you are permitted to stay until the visa expiry date. 

Note: Your visa has nothing to do with 90-day reporting, which is a separate issue; every foreigner staying in the Kingdom longer than 90 days, must report to their local immigration office.

Health Insurance

Search online for brokers of health insurance for elderly, where you will find affordable insurance packages. You could take out a comprehensive policy that even covers out-patient costs, with hospitalisation costs also covered. We don’t recommend that you stay in Thailand without health insurance, top hospitals are very expensive and all it takes is an accident to put you in a vulnerable position.

Thai Language

Unless you want to feel alienated, you need to start learning the language; Thais warm to foreigners who make an attempt to communicate in Thai and fluency is achievable. Thai is a tonal language, which means the same word can have up to 5 separate meanings, depending on the tone. We recommend learning to read Thai at the same time as speaking, then you can recognise the tone and intonation. Click here for tips on keeping your family healthy on vacation.

To Buy or Rent

This is the big question for most retirees who are planning to relocate to Thailand; It should be noted that foreigners are not permitted to own land, although there are ways around this. You could, for example, set up a limited company and put the property in the company name; many foreigners prefer to lease the land on a 30-year lease, with the option for a further 30 years. This means your new home is protected under Thai law and while you do own the house, you are actually leasing the land. You are allowed to buy a condo unit, which is a very popular option for foreigners retiring in Thailand.

Where to Stay

If you have yet to find your ideal location in Thailand, start with a long touring holiday that takes in the north, Isaan, Bangkok and the south of Thailand. Some prefer the cooler climate in Chiang Mai, while others like to be by the beach in the tropical south, the choice is yours. Check out the Tourism Authority of Thailand for more info on places to see.

Thailand is the land of plenty with a tropical climate, perfect to spend your golden retirement years.

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