Any place will do, right? It’s all sun, warm weather, blue sky, so any place will do.
Not really, there are certain things you have to take in consideration, being a retiree in Thailand, and these we will cover here, so you are prepared the best for your stay in warm and sunny Thailand.
Firstly, you need to look at your distance to the immigration, you will need to travel to them ones in a while, and you are not the only one there, plus you will also need some sort of paperwork beforehand which needs to be submitted, so if the distance is far you will either need loads of time or traveling back and forth, which at some point could result in you get an overstay fine or in worse case, get your visa cancelled.
Check online or ask us, if there is an immigration present in the area you are thinking about settling in, but as rule of thumb, there are one in each major city like, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket, but as can change outside of Bangkok, check first.
How is your health? Not like an 18-year-old for sure, but is it closer to 35 or 95?
In any case, you might want to check what kind of hospitals are in the area? Are these international hospitals or local government hospitals, the difference can be huge, not only in terms of language issues, as many of the staff in government hospitals have a lacking skill of English, but also that international hospitals tend to have access to better equipment and facilities.
Also a good way to check if the hospital in your area is good, check the forums or people already living in the area, forums like ThaiVisa and if there are some retiree groups on Facebook or online for that area.
What would you like to do?
This is a big question, but Thailand is a large country and there are plenty of nice places to settle, but some of the thought you want to be thinking and evaluation things like Seaside or inland, jungle or mountains, country side or big city life, this will help you narrow down in what areas you would look closer at.
But it’s not all about your surroundings, you will also need to think about the social aspect, like if you are playing golf you might want to find an area like Hua Hin or Cha-am which has more golf courses than restaurants, well almost at least, but if you have a hobby it would be beneficial to learn if there are similar groups in the area you wish to stay in.
Infrastructure – yes, you do need to consider this.
Thailand is not like Europe, and thank the maker for that, but there are some infrastructures you will need to consider, we already covered hospitals, but you also need to look at what kind of internet can you get. Are there busses / trains or shuttle service to and from the airport or to Bangkok or just from the selected area of your place into town.
Now I got the area sorted, then what?
The next step would be to look a bit at your finances, and your plans. Are you going to buy a house or rent? Do you need a studio condo or a giant mansion or something in between?
There are pros and cons on all of them, like owning a house is not easy for foreigners in Thailand as you per definition can’t own land, but you can own a condo unit, unless there are too many foreigners already in the complex as that is also a rule.
Renting is more easy, and you find that most long term rental places does come fully furnished, so it’s more or less arrive, unpack and relax. Best part about this is that it goes for condo units as well as houses.
How’s the neighborhood? Is your future home located in the middle of a busy market area where you will get loud noises all day long or are there no neighbors at all, and you are located in the middle of nowhere and miles to the next door neighbor.
Of cause, this depends if you are sure you will settle in Thailand for your retirement, if it’s your first time or not sure about the area, it’s always better to rent a smaller unit in the beginning maybe for a month or so, and then use your time to travel around the area looking for just the place you like.
The best advice is “Do not rush it” there are so many available places to rent, and there can be many blinding factors that makes a place look good, but after a short time the glazing starts to crack.