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Old 11-12-2018, 08:16 PM
 
1,734 posts, read 1,954,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I actually considered Thailand for retirement for a while before nixing the idea. It does have several advantages for folks with a limited budget & an adventurous nature. First & foremost is financial - someone with only $1K monthly income can live a very acceptable & fine altho modest life. Someone with more money can roughly multiply 3X their net worth once they move there & live quite well in a modern tolerant nation that is a hub for regional travel.

There are pretty large Western expat centers in at least Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin & each has their own character much as The Villages, Las Vegas, Tucson & the Ozarks are reasonable financially but different "cultures" for retirees. The health care is mostly first rate, American trained board certified physicians in the cities, but they typically are cash. The costs are so low though that I have heard of guys having heart surgery, cash first, for less than it would cost in the US with coverage. One can also get international insurance.

The sex tourism is a thing but old dudes with only SS will have to find a real partner soon unless they want to go broke quick, some "older" & uneducated country women (probably with a kid or two) hook up with them for security that is probably impossible to find elsewhere. I think they figure they will outlive the old duffer & have his money for their old age. (I understand the real sex tourism is actually along the border towns by highways with truckers mostly from China.)

There is some tiny percentage of dead-enders that just drink themselves to death or homelessness... some have "accidents" from high-rise condos. But most are fine. I found Hua Hin & Chiang Mai to be hospitable for couples & even single women & lots of younger people are flocking to Chiang Mai in recent years.

I finally decided that hot & humid isn't my first choice & financially things are OK for elsewhere.
Thanks for the info! I was considering Chiang Mai as a place to reside for awhile, couple years, long enough to learn to speak another language or maybe two (I like taxonomy: grammar is largely taxonomic). I always liked learning languages. Knowing more than one or two gives you a completely different view of the world: more textured, more nuanced. What is it they say about Inuit languages? They have fifty different words for snow or some such.

My colleague went to Chiang Mai to set up an agreement for cloud servicing. He says it's at an elevation and never gets that hot and humid! He said he had thoughts about going native. I know this guy: he's an engineer like me, and as uncomfortable as I am in the 90/90 heat/humidity of Metro DC! Could last for a full 60 days in spurts, over here. For an engineer to go think about going native like that is an astonishment, based on my working experience.

About Chiang Mai: What're we talkin' about here? 95 heat 90 humidity, or less (please, much MUCH less!). If it's much, MUCH less I may go there as a base of operations while I attempt to learn some Thai language and some Mandarin. Don't laugh, please. One is NEVER too old to attempt to learn a new language, lol! Anyway, I like Mandarin characters. Brings out the artist in me. OK, not MUCH of an artist. But we can aspire, can't we?
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:21 PM
 
1,734 posts, read 1,954,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
odanny it's a lot easier to be social these days because the internet makes it possible to discover groups or activities that suit you. In Chiang Mai there are all kinds of organizations that do everything from meet for lunch to chat, hiking in the hills around the city, investment clubs, foodie stuff, board games, etc. There is also volunteer stuff like helping get soi dogs sterilized, treated, and adopted.

My wife often goes to some over-40s expat ladies group that meets in some park where they walk then get coffee, I call it the menopause club which irritates her. I attend a language exchange every Saturday where I get to speak Chinese with folks from China but lots of people there just speak English and enjoy helping others practice while learning new things about other cultures and making friends.

There are modern malls, good movie theaters with same movies as in US played in English with Thai subtitles, and in a big benefit over Latin America endless streets, alleys, and markets to explore on foot without worry about security issues.
WOW, liequiang! That is really good info! Thank you so much for your generosity in knowledge!
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Outside US
1,265 posts, read 499,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
I was reading an article in the doctor's office the other day. It was about Americans who are lured by the promise of comfortable retirement on a Social Security check, in Thailand. Many, it seems, fall prey to the tourist bar life and quickly squander their monthly checks, become alcoholics and get evicted from their rentals. According to this, there is a growing problem of homeless Americans who have made themselves destitute and don't have the means to return to the US and, having given up everything to move to Thailand, have no place to return to. I wonder if it is something that happens in other dream cheap retirement destinations as well, or is the article sensationalizing a not-so-common problem. The scene of the drunk ex-pat hugging the bar in an exotic locale is almost a movie cliche isn't it?
These people (vast majority are guys) are fools.

They are not young fools, they are old fools.

They were dumb back home. People bring their baggage with them.

I've lived in South East Asia for 16 years.
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:58 AM
 
708 posts, read 166,637 times
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Originally Posted by Returning2USA View Post
These people (vast majority are guys) are fools.

They are not young fools, they are old fools.

They were dumb back home. People bring their baggage with them.

I've lived in South East Asia for 16 years.
Not to derail this post, but Iíve read your other postings. Are you still planning to return to the PNW?
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:42 AM
 
15,150 posts, read 19,808,585 times
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Thailand was in the news today:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...let-wound.html
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,930 posts, read 1,600,561 times
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Originally Posted by TFW46 View Post
Please refer to my earlier post about "accidents" from high rise condos.... not unusual in Pattaya.

Last edited by Hefe; 11-14-2018 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:00 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,999 posts, read 2,919,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_sm1th73 View Post
About Chiang Mai: What're we talkin' about here? 95 heat 90 humidity, or less (please, much MUCH less!). If it's much, MUCH less I may go there as a base of operations while I attempt to learn some Thai language and some Mandarin. Don't laugh, please. One is NEVER too old to attempt to learn a new language, lol! Anyway, I like Mandarin characters. Brings out the artist in me. OK, not MUCH of an artist. But we can aspire, can't we?
Chiang Mai is hot. It does have some elevation so not as hot as Bangkok but still hot. I like hot weather so am fine with it, it's more comfortable than Phoenix in the summer and probably closer to the weather in South Florida. Take today for example, it was an unusually warm day since we've officially entered the cool season and have had a few periods where I had to take a sweatshirt on my morning walk. High was 33, and some humidity. Usually mid November -> mid February are the cool months and it also dries out so even temperatures near 30 feel pretty comfortable.

Regarding language I've seen quite a few schools for learning Thai around town, some people use them to make staying in the country easier since schools can arrange education visas even if you only have class a couple times a week. You can indulge your hobby without sweating the details of long term stay immigration issues. It's easy to practice Chinese here since most tourists are Chinese and many college students from China come to the university. Most menus in this part of town (we live near the university) are in Thai and English and I think I actually hear a lot more Chinese being spoken by people around me than Thai, although that probably has something to do with Chinese usually being really loud while Thais are usually more reserved.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:30 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Chiang Mai is hot. ..... Usually mid November -> mid February are the cool months and it also dries out so even temperatures near 30 feel pretty comfortable.

....
I've seen photos of folks around CM wearing jackets, I have to assume that's up in the hillier areas during the "cool season", never had the pleasure of experiencing that myself.

For me a big disappointment with CM is that during the cool months is when the regional farmers burn last season's fields & the area can fill up with smoke & haze. I think that the city may collect & hold this because it is a low point among hills... pity since it is otherwise a nice time there. I understand some local expats use this time to travel elsewhere to escape the "smoky season".
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:00 PM
Status: "Loving life, wife and job!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: USA
1,005 posts, read 394,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TFW46 View Post
Sounds like someone was sending a message.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:29 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,999 posts, read 2,919,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I understand some local expats use this time to travel elsewhere to escape the "smoky season".
This is exactly why we're leaving in March, it gets really hot and the burning season will run until the rains come in May. It's no unique to Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia also have problems with farms in Indonesia clearing by burning during the planting season.

So on to some negatives with Thailand. One obvious for us = the visa runs. Thailand has some retirement type visas with usual requirements x amount money in Thai bank etc. but it has min age (50 or 55 I forget) so we're too young to qualify. This puts us in a visa run situation, our visa can be used to stay legally for 8-9 months but we must leave every 60 days. We recently did this by making a quick trip into Myanmar, which wasn't so bad since we rolled it into a few days in Chiang Rai to play tourist. However I could see that getting old if you were here for many years. After nine months we'd need to get a new one back in USA but we're going to go live in Portugal for a while in the spring so doesn't matter.

Interesting on the Burmese border run = how often do you get to ride in a nice modern sleek bus like this? Good times!



Another is infrastructure. Thailand is relatively modern with many things there are shopping malls as nice as any in USA, good cell phone coverage, fast internet, intl food, etc. but some things are still behind. Sidewalks come to mind, they are used more for a usable space that isn't the road where pedestrians are a secondary function. You have to go in the street to go around signs people have put up blocking the sidewalk, scooters parked perpendicular across, food stalls, trees, phone booths, power poles, sometimes it's hard to make it one block without needing to step into the street to get around something. Thais also tend to ride their scooters on the sidewalk to get around one-way traffic, this is sometimes cracked down on but usually just ignored. There are great things about the Thai "live and let live" attitude but some annoying aspects as well, sidewalks being one of them.

Another is bills. Near the first of the month I do:

- Pay our water bill downstairs at the desk of our apartment building
- Pay our internet bill at the mall where the company has a kiosk
- Pay our electricity bill at 7-11 (yes, the convenience store)
- Pay our rent at the bank, where I deposit cash into landlord's account

Some of these might have better means but I don't have a local bank account and don't read Thai so everything is best handled in cash. Another example of cute at first but probably gets old after enough years.
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