Retirement in Thailand safety tips
Coming to retire in Thailand, the land of smiles can be a wonderful thing with plenty of fun all year round sunshine and an abundance of beautiful women wanting to take care of you, so what more could you ask
Below I have given details of some of the major things you should take into consideration when retiring to Thailand for the future. for after working most of your life and wanting to enjoy the spoils of hard labor. But after 14 years of experience I have personally seen scores of men lose savings, their home, and other belongings by leaving their home country and letting responsibility go out of the window and take a back seat.
Medical Insurance in case of sickness or accident
This is a must no matter what age you are, because insurance in Thailand (whether through an insurance company or ‘self insurance’) could literally save your life. All hospitals in Thailand are privately run like a business (even government hospitals cost money) mostly giving inflated prices to foreigners so if you are living off just a pension and do not have the back up of savings you could find yourself with a huge bill you cannot pay which will lead to serious problems. You never think it will happen to you but I have seen it numerous times where something has gone wrong and the foreigner does not have the funds to pay, the hospital may even register the debt with Thai immigration so you would not be allowed to leave the country until the amount owed is paid. These days, most private hospitals will ask you to pay a deposit before they will treat you and in Thailand there is no medical health care backup system like in the UK so if you cannot afford it and you cannot get medical insurance due to age or illness then you may wish to find an alternative location to retire. Getting your Insurance or a large sum in the bank to cover medical bills should be your first priority.
Arranging your long stay visa in Thailand
There are a few choices but the favorite for people over 50 years old is the retirement visa which allows you to reside in Thailand for the period of 365 days and can be renewed yearly so as long as you have the finances to obtain the visa. The financial requirement is predominately you have 800,000 Thai baht in a Thai bank or a monthly income of 65,000 baht per month or a combination of money in the bank and a pension to equate to the 800,000 baht for the year then you can reside as long as you wish as long as you can show this financial annually, use our retirement visa calculator on this page to check if your income is sufficient and how much money you need to deposit into a Thai bank.
Having money in a Thai bank or which you can access quickly
You should always have some money in a Thai bank account as a safety cushion, I have seen many instances were the foreigner has been living just going to the ATM machine and then lost his credit and debit cards or had them stolen and has no money at all until he can get new cards. So unless you want to starve to death make sure you have spare money in a Thai bank in case of an emergency, do not leave in your safe in case of a robbery, Thai bank accounts are not difficult to open.
Never rely on your Thai partner during retirement
The main reason foreigners retire in Thailand is due to having a Thai partner who they wish to live with in Thailand, but what if your partner leaves you? What do you do then? you must have friends, you must know were to eat food that is palatable for you, you must know how to pay bills, you must do your home work and not rely on your Thai partner to do everything for you or take control of the relationship/household. If they leave you it can lead to isolation and worry so try to do as much yourself and if the unfortunate occasion arises were you are left alone you can manage and continue your life.
Never give your credit card or debit card pin numbers to anyone
This is also a problem I have seen numerous times where the Foreigner gives his PIN numbers to his Thai partner and the rest is your guess, you should learn to use the ATM machines yourself and not feel lazy and let your Thai partner go to the machine for you. Learn, take control of your finances no matter how much you trust somebody as it can change in seconds, no matter where they come from or how long you have been together.
Buying property in your Thai partners name
This is an ongoing debate that you must research and never use just ‘gut feeling’ if you are planning on putting property in your Thai partners name then only invest in Thailand what you can afford to lose, that is my advice. If the cost of the property will not damage your finances to a level were you can no longer stay in Thailand then it would not be as big a pill to swallow, if it will cause you problems then buy a Condominium in your own name which is safer and then you know that the property will always be safely yours no matter what happens in your current relationship. There are other options for buying property including purchasing property in a company name but there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to this method which are too details for discussion in this article – try checking out this guide.
The above items should convince you to do your homework before retiring in Thailand. As a long term resident here I can also add that it is a great place to live amongst great people but there are numerous pitfalls and problems that can be faced during your life in a Foreign Country so enjoy your life but stay responsible and your actions will determine your own life in Thailand.