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Retiring overseas?
Old 04-29-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
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Retiring overseas?

I married a Thai girl last year and we're just finishing up building a custom 3 bedroom 2 bath house for around 50k, all top of the line materials, it looks like a resort in the eyes of the other villagers. No plans to live there yet but would like to someday, my mom is in her 80's now and there's no way I can leave now .

I've been to Thailand several times and the dollar goes really far there, you can rent a house for $200/mo, eat for $1 a meal, and see a doctor or dentist for a small fraction of what it costs here.

I have a friend in his early 50's with no sight of retirement, took him with me to Thailand last year and now he would consider living there, he could leave his job today and get a $2000 pension and he'd be living like a king there

Living overseas would make FIRE possible for a lot of people
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:58 AM   #2
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Nothing good ever starts with, "I married a Thai girl last year" - haha

Personally I think you got it about 75%. It is very true that you can live there for much lower cost, and if that is the goal then go for it. Why do you think there are so many 50+ western men roaming around (ok, yes there is that), but it is also the cheap cost. The $1-$3 dollar food is amazing and good. Labor is extremely cheap so you can get many things done cheap.

BUT - if you are expecting come kind of Western lifestyle, then you are way off. If you want to go eat or even buy a steak, it is very expensive (1 raw NY strip = $20). A very small box of Kelloggs cereal - 3 servings maybe - is $10. If you want to go out to eat for Spanish, or Cajun, or Italian, or any of that stuff, it is basically USA prices. And as for rent yeah I guess some people can get $200/mo or whatever in some sleepy village. But if you are talking a nice apartment in Bangkok, or even a nice house in the burbs, that is not even in the ballpark. And for most people (without the Thai wife), purchasing is not an option as foreigners are not allowed to own.

So, in my opinion you are correct about FIRE - but I don't want everyone to just think...ohh, I can live like a king in the US for $2000/mo. And there is that little pesky issue of getting your visa renewed every year.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:46 AM   #3
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I've been researching this very thought for about a year or so. Subscribed to https://internationalliving.com/ and found that there are locations around the world where living is just a bit easier than in the USA. Clobber is correct the major cities are going to be more pricey, but living in places like the boot heel of Italy offer affordable options.

Because we have deep family roots in the USA, we will not be able to completely retire overseas. So we are planning on more of a roving retirement taking advantage of lower cost living areas in 3 month spurts. Still trying to determine how to execute the short term rentals vs hotels to take advantage of the low living costs. Just got back from a short trip to Ireland. Not exactly what you would think of for low cost. But if you dine out, you get much higher quality food for significantly less money. We had a 5 star restaurant dinner for 3 @$129 total it included a nice rib eye steak and 2 rack of lamb, a Sheppard's pie, 4 drinks.

Another big up and coming industry is medical tourism. Where if you can plan it correctly you will save money and still receive top notch health care.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:59 AM   #4
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You can't simply retire to any country you want. Most will not allow it because of immigration laws. There are some countries in Central American and SE Asian that have retirement visas so do your research.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:16 AM   #5
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I lived abroad much of my adult life and could find a way to make a home just about anywhere in South America, but there are only a few places where I would want to live. You can't have your cake and eat it too. A lower cost of living is the result of a lower standard of living, and life abroad is much different than here in the US - or most other developed western countries. There are many aspects of life in the US that people appreciate more when they are absent. Our legal system and physical infrastructure, for example, and the pro-consumer culture.

Retiring abroad works best for people searching for and comfortable with a different culture and language, deal well with unpredictability, and are less oriented to material things.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:19 AM   #6
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Yep, Thailand offers the retirement visa that's renewable every 2 or 3 years. You can stay 3 months on a travel visa but can be extended with a visa run out of the country then re enter for another 3 months

I'm not saying it's for everyone but for someone that can't achieve FIRE in the states it is a mighty tempting option, my friend is single so it would be very easy for him
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:18 AM   #7
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I have been to Thailand and while beautiful the air and water were very polluted (1998). Also lots of crime with big signs in the Bangkok airport warning tourists about what not to do ( like don't accept a strangers offer to be a tour guide for you-will probably just rob you, etc.) We were there in Nov and it was so hot and humid. Ugh! A big price to pay in many ways for being cheap.
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:51 PM   #8
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I hate the weather there also but I was actually getting used to it after the first 30 days, coming out of the airport felt like walking into an oven at 2am in the morning. I spent time in Bangkok can be very dangerous, I like to go north more, Chang mai and Chang rain are nice cities that are less congested than Bangkok and are much cooler up north. I see apartments in these cities going for $200-$300/mo and with electric so cheap I would just run the air 24/7.
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so i read a book about this
Old 04-30-2017, 01:08 PM   #9
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so i read a book about this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
I have been to Thailand and while beautiful the air and water were very polluted (1998). Also lots of crime with big signs in the Bangkok airport warning tourists about what not to do ( like don't accept a strangers offer to be a tour guide for you-will probably just rob you, etc.) We were there in Nov and it was so hot and humid. Ugh! A big price to pay in many ways for being cheap.
i was all crazy about living like a king in some foreign land with my American dollars, i barely speak English, let alone another language, i dont want a grass hut, i want the mansion,the servants, lobster, filet mignon, champagne , top shelf doctors, things i have here minus the big price tag, (ok i dont have any servants and my house is not a mansion but it is new and nice). when i was done reading the book, i was all gung ho to retire in some exotic land, the bride does some google searches just to humor me. She burst my bubble , but the book should have started out as "once upon a time"... Sure some folks here do it in style and live awesome i sure , its just not for most of us. like today i took a stroll down to the corner got a loaf of still warm Italian bread a pound of rare roast beef and lunch was served. i just wanted to do that for 25 cents instead of 16 dollars
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:10 PM   #10
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I love to be outside and would not want to be in air 24/7.
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:25 PM   #11
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Overseas retiring isn't for the person that's FIRE here and now, the option is more geared to the people like my friend that has no sight of retirement, living like a king in Thailand beats the hell out of working to your 70's and beyond, working just for survival, heck I can stand the heat
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 97guns View Post
I married a Thai girl last year and we're just finishing up building a custom 3 bedroom 2 bath house for around 50k, all top of the line materials, it looks like a resort in the eyes of the other villagers. No plans to live there yet but would like to someday, my mom is in her 80's now and there's no way I can leave now .

I've been to Thailand several times and the dollar goes really far there, you can rent a house for $200/mo, eat for $1 a meal, and see a doctor or dentist for a small fraction of what it costs here.

.....
So you are telling us you built your Thai wife a 50K nice home.
I do hope it works out for you the way you planned it, that you will be able to move and live there with her, and that you don't simply get ripped off somehow.

I did read a story written by a fellow who lived in MN and had no pension, he ended up selling his house and moving to Thailand, as he could rent a beach house with a couple of servants, and not even spend all his SS. He had been doing it for many years by the time he wrote the article, so for some folks it is a good choice.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:06 AM   #13
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So you are telling us you built your Thai wife a 50K nice home.
I do hope it works out for you the way you planned it, that you will be able to move and live there with her, and that you don't simply get ripped off somehow.

.


No, that's your assumption, my wife is laying in bed with me right now,
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:10 AM   #14
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My wife is laying in bed with me right now,
Good that you stopped right there. This isn't "that kind" of website...
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:21 AM   #15
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Good that you stopped right there. This isn't "that kind" of website...

I had the comma inserted ready to elaborate
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:24 AM   #16
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I have been to Thailand and while beautiful the air and water were very polluted (1998). Also lots of crime with big signs in the Bangkok airport warning tourists about what not to do ( like don't accept a strangers offer to be a tour guide for you-will probably just rob you, etc.) We were there in Nov and it was so hot and humid. Ugh! A big price to pay in many ways for being cheap.
Definitely don't judge it by 1998. When I first went in the late 90s I thought my mouth was on an exhaust pipe the whole time. In they last 20 years they have made some REALLY big improvements. The main ones are building an elevated train (BTS) and expanding the subway (MRT). Also, all taxis must run off LPG. It really has made a big difference and generally never even notice pollution.

Hot and humid is good for some people. 365 day snowbird.

All the other stuff is common everywhere you go (tourist scams its).
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:34 AM   #17
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Thailand is a 2nd world country. Theres a reason its less expensive there.

I vacationed there 3 years ago. We did a lot of the "touristy" things that were nice/clean/safe...etc etc. Traveling around though I caught glimpses of "behind the curtains" of what the country has to offer. Its poor...really poor. Poverty in the states may as well be an all inclusive resort compared to poverty in thailand.

Can you retire cheap there...absolutely. Are you going to have a lifestyle anywhere close to what you have in the states...not even close.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:57 AM   #18
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So this is really a retiring to Thailand thread.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:23 AM   #19
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Thailand is a 2nd world country. Theres a reason its less expensive there.

I vacationed there 3 years ago. We did a lot of the "touristy" things that were nice/clean/safe...etc etc. Traveling around though I caught glimpses of "behind the curtains" of what the country has to offer. It's poor...really poor. Poverty in the states may as well be an all inclusive resort compared to poverty in Thailand.

Can you retire cheap there...absolutely. Are you going to have a lifestyle anywhere close to what you have in the states...not even close.
I was in Costa Rica just last month and thought the same thing. CR has a literacy rate of something like 94% and because of eco-tourism they're very protective of their environment so I'd prefer CR to Thailand, but still think I'd miss the comforts of home. There WAS a Justin Bieber concert the night before I left but that's not my idea of arts and culture. I was there just before the rainy season started and it was perpetually sunny and humid- it was SO beautiful outside but I was always sweaty and frizzy.

And then there are my 2 beautiful granddaughters in the heart of America. I think I'll stay here!
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:46 PM   #20
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I visited CR about 8 years ago and really liked it but after a lot of research feel it is too small. My thinking is Mexico offers many more choices and is next door. It has its pluses and minuses, like any place including the US. And you have the choice of spending up to 180 days on a tourist visa and back home for 185 days if you wanted that lifestyle.
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