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Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-11-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
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Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

I'm not getting aresponse to my question - is this the right place to post it?


Has anyone lived in Thailand or Mexico for more than a few months? If so, would you be willing to tell me your costs for rent, food, internet or anything else you can think of (except health insurance-I've already got that one figured out).
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-11-2007, 08:12 PM   #2
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

Here is a link to good information on living in Mexico. http://www.chapala.com/chapala/cost.html
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-11-2007, 10:23 PM   #3
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

i've been studying a lot about thailand as i plan to possibly overspend a little early on stateside and then lay back in the third world for a while if need be. the more i learn about it the more i like. i'm even purposely not going there too soon because i'm afraid i'll fall in love with the place and never come back. here are some links where you might get good answers to cost of living there....

http://ajarnforum.net

www.thaivisa.com

www.gay-thailand.net

ooops.

here's one with cost of living from 2005

www.udonmap.com/costs_of_living.html

and of course there is

www.retireearlylifestyle.com/

who according to their website they seem to be inviting us all to phuket.

so far from what i've been reading in discussions in thai forums, seems like you can live really well for us$2k/month. people do it with less, maybe even $1k/month but i'm not sure what sort of lifestyle that buys. for just us$3k/month it looks to be pretty amazing.
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-11-2007, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

Thanks for the great links!

It seems that $1500-2000/month would provide a decent lifestyle in Bangkok. Does anyone know if it would be any less in Phuket, Chiang Mai or countyside?
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-11-2007, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
who according to their website they seem to be inviting us all to [say] phuket.
Hehe, I have such a juvenile mind. I read that and thought, "hey, that's really what corporate America is doing!"
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-12-2007, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

Lightfoot,

We have lived for extended period in both Chapala, Mexico and Thailand.

In Thailand, basically, using Bangkok as a mid point, things get less expensive in the north, and more so in the south. The beaches are south and Phuket ( Pooh - Ket ) is one of the more expensive places to go. However, if you go in off season, there are bargains to be had. Usually we go there as a break for some beach time or for body surfing in the off season. During this period the waves are larger, but it is the rainy season.

For long term we prefer the northern city of Chiang Mai. Our website www.RetireEarlyLifestyle.com has a load of information on this area. Internet can cost 30 cents an hour or more, using cyber cafés, which are everywhere. Food, if you eat a lot of Thai food can be cheap, but if you want western food it can get expensive.

Housing/rent, obviously depends on you, but most expats spend $200-400 per month.

Overall $2000.00 per month is very doable.

That said…Thailand is going through some changes and we have been noticing prices rising along with the Baht/Dollar exchange rate not moving in our favor. Still it’s a great place to be.

Chapala, Mexico too can be wonderful. Again, prices in Mexico have been raising for a few years now, and real-estate can be California prices. But I know many expats who rent furnished homes with pools for $500.00 US. Internet there is around $30.00 per month, or the cyber cafes are about 1 Dollar per hour. There are some newer internet providers moving in so perhaps prices will come down a bit or the service will be better.

IMO, Chapala offers a great lifestyle and value, though a little more pricey than Thailand.

Billy
RetireEarlyLifestyle.com


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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-12-2007, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

Chiang Mai - Cost of living

Here's is a site that gives approximate costs to live in various locations (mostly Bangkok), for different lifestyles, in Thailand.

Probably the cheapest way of all, is to live in a Thai village in the North or Northeast. We're too used to living in cities, so couldn't do it ourselves.

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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-12-2007, 10:51 AM   #8
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

I did a comparison in 2003 with an acquaintance who is retired in Mazatlan. Prices were about 73% of ours. Big items like cable, internet and phone were comparable, whereas rent and food were substantially cheaper. Since the peso has declined while the prices are increasing, we are guessing that it might have improved since then.

They lived in Ajijic for 5 years but moved to be on the water.
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-16-2007, 12:27 PM   #9
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

I just received this from a Friend spending some time in Pai, Thailand.

"The Family Lisu is fine, thank you. I took the entire group out to a buffet dinner in Pai last night....Aunt Martha and Uncle Joseph and their four kids, the two sisters and a friend of theirs....along with my friend Steve. 11 people in all. The dinner tab came to 1000 baht, half of which was the beer Steve and I and Uncle Joseph consumed. It was a big night on the town and I was happy to treat. Can you imagine treating 11 people for dinner for less than $30 in the US?"

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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-16-2007, 03:14 PM   #10
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

I have a house in Ensenada, Mexico. That is 90 miles south of the border from San Diago. Though it certainly can be done cheaper than I did it. My mothly difference in living there vrs. Arizona as an example comes to about $500 a month and probably $700 a month when you factor in cheaper food and eating out. Another big help for me is the cheaper labor when I need something repaired, as I often do in the states. It is getting rediculous here to have anything repaird whether it be your car or your washing machine. Also a once a week maid there costs $5.00 an hour vrs. $15 an hour I pay in the states. But when you go further into Mexico you pay $2.50 to $3.00 an hour for a maid.

"But being this close to the broder, Ensenada has become very Americanized and prices reflect this. If you go further into the mainland, and stay out of gringo areas, you can save considerably more, but you better speak Spanish and learn to accept more of the Mexican standards as opposed to American standard. That really seems to be the problem. Everyone wants to be able to have a lower cost of living, but we don't want to give up any of our Americanized expectations. At least I found that true in my case. I still want the dishwasher and air conditioner and nice yard.

DSL there has recently come down. You can now get 1,000,000m speed for $35 a month and 2,000,000 for $60 a month. (Still slower than DSL here, but getting there) Telephone is $20 a month, but that is only for 100 calls, after 100 you pay per minute, but still not bad. My RE taxes are about $300 a year, but as I am near the ocean, I must pay trust fees of $550 a year. If you live in the mainland not near the beach, you don't have to set up a trust, and won't have those fees. My homeowner fees are $300 a year because I live in a 24hr. gated community. Basic TV with maybe 10 English stations is about $35 a month, but I am putting up Direct TV.

Mexican brand food is cheaper. Some is as good as ours and some isn't. Example in a store recently I tried a box of Mexican version of RITZ crackers. They had the Mexican version (copied the box almost exactly) for $1.55 and the American one for $3.89. The mexican one turned out to taste just like the American one.
Fruits and vegitables are much cheaper. Fish and Chicken is cheaper, but beef is not what we are used to. Everything is sliced real thin first of all. Pork chops are about 1/2' thick at best, and same with beef. But you can go to butcher and get it cut like you want. Soda is about the same, but juice is much cheaper and good. You can buy 1/2 gal juice containers for about $1.25

Eating out there is anywere from 1/3 to 1/2 half the cost of eating out in US. I went to a fanacy reastuarant there with white tablecloths and great food presentation, and ordered the most expensive meal on the menu. It was $13 for a steak.

Other more casual type restaurants have meals in the $6 to $8 range. Take out whole chicken dinners range around $8.00 or in some places two chickens for $10.
In Ajaic (mainland) them sell them with sides of vegs. for $5.00.

Electric is much higher there per kil hr. Probably four times the cost of here in US, so people are much more energy conscious there. Use propane for their stoves, hot water heaters, and dryer (if they have one) I have not lived in my house with all my TV's, computers, etc. hooked up so I can't give you a realistic number on that one yet. However, my friend who lives there averages about $75+ a month for electric and probably about $60 a month for propane. (No AC, but not needed for the most part)

Every day Household goods and electronis cost more for cheaper quality, so it is best to take that stuff with you if you can, and you won't find selection there like here is US. You know how we can buy 12 hangers in Wall Mart for $1.00. Well I needed hangers there, and had to pay $4.00 for THREE of them. Boy that hurt. Same for just about anything for the house. A glass we can buy for .50c to $1.00 here cost $2.00 there etc. Most Mexicans shop the flea market there called Los Globas for that kind of stuff and buy it second hand.

Anyway, hope this gives you some perspective.
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-17-2007, 04:40 AM   #11
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

Lightfoot,

For Thailand, a lot of people seem to get by on around B40,000 per month (US$ 1,200), with another B10,000-12,000 for expat expenses incl. air-fare, worldwide health insurance, etc. For two people, you might need to multiply that by 1.5x. This is up from what was costing around US$1,000 per month 2-3 years before. Thailand has had more inflation than usual in the last few years, mostly, it seems, because of oil-related increases. A lot of goods are transported across the country by truck and so basics like food have been rising faster because of this.

I know two people who have lived in Bangkok for that kind of money and quite comfortably. If you want an apartment instead of a studio, then the cost tends to be another $200 per month more. Chiang Mai, and elsewhere, can be cheaper. Eating out and some of the basics are a lot cheaper there, I've heard.

Petey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightfoot
I'm not getting aresponse to my question - is this the right place to post it?


Has anyone lived in Thailand or Mexico for more than a few months? If so, would you be willing to tell me your costs for rent, food, internet or anything else you can think of (except health insurance-I've already got that one figured out).
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand
Old 02-17-2007, 11:38 AM   #12
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Re: Cost of Living in Mexico or Thailand

I've lived for extended periods in Mexico and Costa Rica.

The difficulty in answering your question is that it all comes down to it depends how you want to live.

You should move to a place because you love the culture, the pace of life, the people. Not because it's cheaper to live there.

If you want to live like an American or Canadian in Mexico, I submit you'll probably pay roughly the same living expenses as back home. Less than a big city like New York or Toronto but comparable to a smaller place. But in these places you can live a simpler life and if you cherish the culture, the food, etc you'll find you are living quite cheaply because you are mostly consuming in ways that the local economy supports. On the other hand, if you want to live like you did back home, you'll pay less for a few things (like labour) and more for other things which are imported.
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