How easy is it to retire in Thailand?

How easy is it to retire in Thailand?

Imagine the prospects of living out your retirement in a lush tropical environment spending your days relaxing on white sandy beaches. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? I am sure many would be delighted to know that in Thailand, that retirement lifestyle is very attainable. In fact, a retirement visa is one of the easiest visas to get should meet the requirements.

In today’s world, people are finding it very challenging to survive on their pensions and with countries implying such laws that employees can only seek retirement at 65 yrs of age, in order to receive their full pensions is tough.  Some countries are even trying to push this to 67yrs of age, madness one would say! For the average person who has not attained a great deal of wealth and does not have other thriving investments which would allow them to see out their days comfortably, many are looking to alternative options in which to help them manage better on all accounts.

Thailand not only is it attractive from a scenic and lifestyle point of view but many cities such as Phuket, for example, also have very good facilities like the international hospitals, world-class dentists, as well other general medical care facilities, which in older years are very necessary to have around.

What seems to be an upward market trend these days is for couples approaching their retirement years to scout for affordable investment properties in Thailand, with the intention to have them earning a good passive income during a 5-10 year period and then reselling, while also earning a nice appreciation on cashing out in order to purchase something bigger to live in, or they simply take up residence in the property.  Due to the low property and income taxes, this allows people the chance to maximize their investment and stretch out their retirement money as far as possible.

The government of Thailand requires that you be 50 years of age, with a minimum of 800,000 Thai Baht as proof of funds. That is roughly 26,000 U.S dollars, 23,000 Euro’s or 20,000 Pounds that needs to be shown in your bank account to grant you a 1 -year retirement visa. This is easily renewed each year as long as you still have that amount of money to show the immigration officer. They generally prefer to see this sitting in a Thai bank account. What you need to do is file the paperwork at your Thai embassy for a NON O visa prior to coming over to Thailand. This visa grants you entry into the country and informs the Thai government that you will be making an application for a Retirement visa once you arrive. A NON-O visa will also enable you to open up a Thai bank account so you can transfer the required money into it. The money needs to sit in there for a least three months before you can make your application with immigration. For most first-time retirement visa applicants, they tend to use a Thai lawyer or visa agent to ensure all paperwork is in order and make the application on their behalf, as it can feel a little daunting if you have never done so before. However, this is only for the first year, by the second year when you need to renew, it’s a very simple and straight forward process. All you need is your bank book for proof of funds, proof of address form filled out, your two passport photos and the renewal fee. What is also a bonus is that if you wish to be out the country for a period of time, not longer than six months, your visa is still ongoing as long as you apply for what is known as a re-entry permit. Easy to get at immigration and you can choose single or multiple entries. Once, you have been granted your 1 -year retirement visa you must report to immigration every 90 days to inform them you are still in the country. A date will be input in your passport and this date is vital that you report on that day, or be prepared to face fines of 500 baht per day for each day that you are late. What is also very important is to keep your departure card issued, that white slip of paper they give back to you after you submit your arrival card at immigration at the airport on arrival is super important. It has the stamp on it and if you don’t have it, things for some reason become complicated.

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