Retiring in Thailand – how to live the dream, how much money do you need to retire in Thailand ?
So, you came on holiday and you were met by wonderful caring people at your 5-star hotel and where amazed at the prices of good food on the street and in so many diverse ranges of restaurants, the beaches took your breath away, and if you are single; the beautiful ladies and men with their carefree attitudes to your massive waistline, took you dancing and drinking on the beach till dawn that gave the whole holiday experience a total hallucinogenic appeal.
So now you decide you will come and live here & retire in Thailand…. Whoooaaah there Tonto!
Thailand Retirement Visa – how to get one ?
I wish it was that simple. If you are over 50 and you have a decent private company pension or savings that gives you a very decent steady income from now till the end of your days, then come on in, get yourself a Thailand retirement Visa, you are fine, it is the easiest visa to obtain, and you just live off your money, drink, eat, walk the beach, and do no work, because retirement visa means just that, if you think you can start an allotment and sell vegetables just to keep you from losing your marbles in your old age, you may find yourself in a stew! No work means no work!
The average age of the expats first visit to Thailand is around ‘post-divorce 40’ and the general M.O. is a few more visits over the next few years to 100% make up one’s mind to up sticks and live in Thailand with your Thai partner, so that leaves 17 odd years till you are of pensionable age in your home country.
Start a Business in Thailand – whats the risks ?
If you have no other residual income available to show, well then you will have to try and start a business, and you will need; a decent startup amount of around 3-5 million baht, a good lawyer and the patience of a saint. Unless you are an American you cannot have a business here that is owned 100% by you. You have to find shareholders whom you trust enough to take over 51%. Even the amity treaties for Americans with 100% ownership need a lot of patience in the set up.
To be successful with any enterprise in Thailand you will need a Doctorate equivalent in Thai culture, they do things differently here, and cross-cultural knowledge will make or break you. But if you can circumnavigate all the pitfalls and fall in a few for good measure and learning, make a few original mistakes everyone else can learn from, then you get the prized possession; a Thailand work permit, the little blue book no one ever asks to see which means you can work here. It does not mean you can stay here! You still have to get a business visa and try to get the Thailand visa to coincide with your work permit. Good luck with that.
On top of all this the Thailand government loves to change the rules whenever they see fit, and if it is all going smoothly for a year or two you can bet on a few government coups to upset the flow. I doubt you have been reading the Bangkok Post or The Nation each day catching up on the Political goings on in Thailand whilst enjoying your 5-star vacation, were you?
Marriage Visa Thailand
The Married O Visa is another route where you get married to your Thai lady love and then as any marriage is a contractual obligation with the Thai government that you are able and can take care of wifey and her children.
Similar issues I have read and been told about. Do not expect an easy route from Thai Immigration. Their outlook has always been, “if you are under 50 years old why are you not back in your home country sending money to your wife in Thailand instead of lazing in Thailand?” They are suspicious you might attempt to make money in Thailand somehow without a work permit, or use your marriage as an ‘easy way in’ to stay in the country, so you have to try and satisfy their curiosity.
Smart Visa (Digital Nomads) – working from a hotel room in Thailand ?
Over the last few years Thailand has been looking at the number of expats making a living online in the Kingdom..
The internet certainly has come of age and you don’t get strange looks when you say you have an online shop or you are an affiliate marketer anymore. Digital Nomads as they are called are really difficult for Thai immigration to classify.
As an example; If you have a website hosted in the West and you sell globally online and you have a bank account in Europe and you bring cash into Thailand’s economy each month and support a family, well that’s good for al parties right, so they have now introduced a digital nomad visa where you can ‘fess up’ and say you live here but work online and you can stop doing border runs which are nigh on impossible now and finally go legit.
They promise this will be a major boost for Thailand as a Nomad hub, as it will invite more Digital Nomads and help them stay for longer durations than 3 months. They have currently limited the applicants to start-up business owners, investors, high level executives, or other highly-skilled professionals. This visa may not work out for all Digital Nomads best to take legal advice.
Thai Visa Professionals – Immigration Consultants
So now you see there is so much to think about, my advice after living in Southeast Asia for 12 years is don’t rely on the guys in the pub, or your Thai wifey, she may have some good connections, however they will be coming from the Thai side of knowledge and needs and may not have the best advice for you.
Go and see a professional and certified Thai Visa and UK visa professional for when your missus wants to see where you come from as well and see the snow and grey clouds we tell her about every day.
If you think a Thai Visa company is expensive wait until you try do things yourself and how much medical treatment for stress in Thailand is