In 2004, my close friends, William Chew, Richard Ng and Vincent Khoo got together regularly to talk about retiring in Thailand. That’s 10 years ago. We have been living in the region for more than 20 years. Today, Richard stayed on and worked in Bangkok. Vincent Khoo moved back recently to Singapore due to health reasons; he is eager to get back next year. William Chew stayed on in Myanmar, having lived there for almost 30 years. I have been living in Thailand for more than 20 years, and today, I am extending my plans to live in Thailand for an indefinate period of time.
There are many Singaporeans living in Thailand, enjoying their retirement. They can be found in Chiangmai, Phuket, Bangkok, Korat, Pattaya and HuaHin. Most have either a house Upcountry or an apartment in key cities. Many live on a modest lifestyle, enjoying the vastness of Thailand, the beautiful shores, the wide range of medical facilities, the modern supermarkets, the friendly culture, and importantly, the low cost of food, transportation, housing and travel.
Language is easy, most Singaporeans can pick up day to day communication within 3 months. I went to school for 6 months, Thai karaoke every week and speak Thai in my best with anybody around me.
Whether you are a man or a woman, you will find friends to help you make Thailand a place to stay, even for retirement, short term or long term. It’s for you to build the relationships.
There is a Singapore Club of Thailand (SCOT) and there is the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce (STCC). I was the President of SCOT for two terms and a co-founder of STCC. The first is social and the latter is more business. Either one, you can join.
You may be able to get a job in Thailand, or you can start a small business with a local partner. Both of which are not complicated procedures. A small business can make your stay beneficial and worthwhile.
While Thailand has a growing middle class, many Thais are still very poor. They are mainly in agriculture. If your heart is to help the poor, you will find doing charity projects meaningful as our contributions to the less fortunate.
Here in Thailand, you can easily have a maid, a kitchen help or a driver. On a shared basis, among friends, you will find the cost of living in Thailand workable and within the means of a small calculator.
I shall lead this Post on Thailand covering issues on retirement living, including short term living. Each week, I shall cover an issue, and you are free to ask a question or make a comment.
Please stick strictly to Thailand and retiring in Thailand issues. For members who wish to join in on this topic, please feel free to join in.