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Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-23-2005, 06:40 AM   #1
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Inflation in Thailand...

Yesterday I felt productive, so I strolled over to my neighborhood mall and bought two dial-up internet prepaid cards. The retail price is Thai Baht 169 per 15 day unlimited usage card,* but the owner would accept THB 150 ($3.66) per card if I purchased two. This time no dice THB 160 ($3.90) each.

On the way home, I was hungry, so I stopped to buy some pork noodles. Normally they are THB 22, but again the owner said "new price", now THB 25 ($0.61)

Both proprietors blamed the higher cost of diesel and gasoline as the primary reason for the price increases.

Currently gasoline is about $2.22 per gallon now; diesel $1.85; up $0.37 and $0.50 respectively.

Some of the other increases I've noticed are:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Previous* * * * * * * * * * *Current
Regular bus* * * * * * * * * * $0.12* * * * * * * * * * * *$0.17
Bus to beach* * * * * * * * * $2.20* * * * * * * * * * * *$2.68
640ml Leo beer* * * * * * * $0.90* * * * * * * * * * * *$0.95

The price increases seem rather mild, but when put into respective, they are substantional. The average Bangkok Thai general laborer earns about $4.27 per day. Outside of Bangkok many farm hands toil long hours in the hot asian sun for a princely $2.93 per day.

Thailand normally has a current account surplus, but the combined effects of imported oil and lower than expected tourist arrivals (Tsunami) has resulted in a 3% current account deficit.*

My first two years I really didn't notice any inflation, but it's creeping up now...

Lance, your roving reporter*





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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-23-2005, 01:40 PM   #2
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

As long as they don't raise the price of a massage, your much better off than most of us.

My daughter just got her house re-assed, no tax increase but a value increase of $184,000, so I told her to be prepared in December when the tax bills come out. She thinks because the tax assessment didn't go up her tax bill will not rise. Yikes!
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-23-2005, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

This is the danger of ERing in the developing world. Price and currency flucatuations are much more dramatic and sudden although clearly you're insulated from some of it if your income and savings are in hard currency.

I struggle with that. Sure I can live in Costa Rica on $1000US/month now but there's no guarantee that'll still be true in 10 years which makes it hard to plan. Costa Rica has the advantage of a managed currency (which devalues approx 10% per year against the US dollar with the devaluation spread out equally each day of the year so you know exactly what the value of the colon will be in 90 days) vs floating currency which cushions the blow a little.
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-23-2005, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Lance, say it aint so!

There goes my cheap beer dream.
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-24-2005, 01:34 AM   #5
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Hi Dougdo,

Sure, there are financial risks when living abroad, but they can also be minimized if one is willing to be flexible.

Personally, I own no real property in Thailand and have no plans to acquire any. So, if the Thai baht suddenly strengthens against the USD, I will simply relocate. There is always a bargain "country" somewhere out there...

How do you like Costa Rica? It seems we have roughly the same living expenses: my latest 12 month rolling monthly average was $1,022.

Have you considered Brazil or Argentina?

All the best,

Lance




Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdo
This is the danger of ERing in the developing world. Price and currency flucatuations are much more dramatic and sudden although clearly you're insulated from some of it if your income and savings are in hard currency.

I struggle with that. Sure I can live in Costa Rica on $1000US/month now but there's no guarantee that'll still be true in 10 years which makes it hard to plan. Costa Rica has the advantage of a managed currency (which devalues approx 10% per year against the US dollar with the devaluation spread out equally each day of the year so you know exactly what the value of the colon will be in 90 days) vs floating currency which cushions the blow a little.
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-24-2005, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Hey Lance,

There are some recent book and interviews available free streaming on the site linked below which illuminates things:

http://www.netcastdaily.com/fsnewshour.htm

Interesting to see things happening much as predicted re: gas price increases and knock-on effects.

Petey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot
Hi Dougdo,

Sure, there are financial risks when living abroad, but they can also be minimized if one is willing to be flexible.

Personally, I own no real property in Thailand and have no plans to acquire any. So, if the Thai baht suddenly strengthens against the USD, I will simply relocate. There is always a bargain "country" somewhere out there...

How do you like Costa Rica? It seems we have roughly the same living expenses: my latest 12 month rolling monthly average was $1,022.

Have you considered Brazil or Argentina?

All the best,

Lance



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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-24-2005, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot
Both proprietors blamed the higher cost of diesel and gasoline as the primary reason for the price increases.
Phew, what a relief.

I thought it was in anticipation of the impending tsunami of Boomer ex-pat ERs looking for Soi Cowboy...
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-24-2005, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Soi Cowboy ? , never been there but it sounds like a place where someone could relax with a nice non-lactose drink and chat with friendly fems. Just guessing of course. I'm shocked (Casablanca!).

Inflation on a $1 lunch from the street vendors seems minor compared to the $19.95 lunch prices here in Chicago. Percentage isn't everything. Nor is shrinkage due to cold temps.



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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-24-2005, 10:00 PM   #9
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

[quote
I thought it was in anticipation of the impending tsunami of Boomer ex-pat ERs looking for Soi Cowboy...
Nords, I researched your theory last night.

Cowboy remains calm; more than my (hungover) head*anyway
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-24-2005, 11:42 PM   #10
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

[quote Inflation on a $1 lunch from the street vendors seems minor compared to the $19.95 lunch prices here in Chicago.* Percentage isn't everything. Nor is shrinkage due to cold temps.I hear you OAP
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-26-2005, 12:44 AM   #11
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot
Personally, I own no real property in Thailand and have no plans to acquire any. So, if the Thai baht suddenly strengthens against the USD, I will simply relocate. There is always a bargain "country" somewhere out there...

How do you like Costa Rica? It seems we have roughly the same living expenses: my latest 12 month rolling monthly average was $1,022.

Have you considered Brazil or Argentina?
I have been thinking about visiting Brazil but I like the idea of owning real property and settling down and getting to know the locals. But you're right, there will always be someplace that's cheap I guess. I only live in Costa Rica part time and am not sure I'm returning this winter....
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-26-2005, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Guys,
For the folks coming over for the first ever ER convention, immigration is slower than normal. They are now doing an iris scan which slows things down a bit...plus..they asked me for my boarding pass from my last flight. Lucky I had it...most times I throw it out.

I am happy to report the Beer Chang in Chiang Mai is still 35 Baht at my local shop. That's a relief!

Billy
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-27-2005, 03:12 PM   #13
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
Guys,
For the folks coming over for the first ever ER convention, immigration is slower than normal. They are now doing an iris scan which slows things down a bit...plus..they asked me for my boarding pass from my last flight. Lucky I had it...most times I throw it out.

I am happy to report the Beer Chang in Chiang Mai is still 35 Baht at my local shop. That's a relief!

Billy
www.RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

What is and where is the ER convention?
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-27-2005, 03:50 PM   #14
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Billy, nice website and those photos capture Asian nicely. Everything under the sun going on but a sense of tranquility in the midst of hustle and bustle.

Need to get my behind in gear.
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-27-2005, 06:28 PM   #15
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

I'm planning on going mid to late October for 30 days.

Billy, I hope you will still be around.

I haven't bought the tickets yet so if anyone hears about any special flight deals leaving from NYC to BKK, could you PM me.

Thanks.
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-27-2005, 08:56 PM   #16
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Ok...let's see if I can answer some of these questions.

Since so many of us are converging on Thailand we figured we should make it offical and have the fisrt ever Early Retirement convention here. Your welcome to join us GTM. Lance, Ben, MJ, us, and scores of others have already signed up...

OldAgeP,
Thanks for the compliments on our site, but watch out for that "gear behind you". It can come back to bite you!

MJ, I "think" EVA Air flys out of NY now. They have a Deluxe Class that is worth every dime for these long flights, but please keep it a secret...

Billy
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-28-2005, 02:35 PM   #17
 
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Are you soured on Costa Rica? Or just itchy? (if this is too probing, feel free to ignore!)

tozz

Quote:
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I only live in Costa Rica part time and am not sure I'm returning this winter....
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-30-2005, 09:21 PM   #18
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

I'm thinking hard about visiting either Thailand, Argentina or Brazil or Panama this fall/winter... looking for a place to live part time.. or more. Has anyone been to both Thailand and Argentina? Any comments on potential for frugal retirement living? I was in S. America in 1980, but things have changed quite a bit, like exchange rates. Argentina seems as cheap as Thailand in some respects, but with a lot less beaches.

-m
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-31-2005, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

Quote:
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Argentina seems as cheap as Thailand in some respects, but with a lot less beaches.
-m
We don't need no stinkin beeches.

Argentina has a pretty long coast line. I would think a decent portion of it would have nice beaches.

I actually prefer fresh water. I wonder if Argentina has a lot of lakes?
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...
Old 08-31-2005, 08:59 PM   #20
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Re: Inflation in Thailand...

I think Argentina must have lakes, since they have an area known as the "lake district." It's a large area in the south-central west, bordering on Chile. Supposed to be beautiful, but wouldn't want to be there in (their) winter.

-m
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