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Old 10-27-2018, 06:13 AM
 
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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?
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Old 10-27-2018, 06:17 AM
 
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Couldn't this happen anywhere? I would never retire in Thailand because the culture is too different for me. Otherwise, drinking and gambling your money away can happen anywhere in the U.S., Europe, Central America and so on. How is retiring in Vegas any different?
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Old 10-27-2018, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Couldn't this happen anywhere? I would never retire in Thailand because the culture is too different for me. Otherwise, drinking and gambling your money away can happen anywhere in the U.S., Europe, Central America and so on. How is retiring in Vegas any different?
I agree. Every country has tourist bars, so I don't see how Thailand would be a special case. Also, not everybody drinks or hangs out in bars. Maybe they are saying that that's the only place they can find other ex-pats to hang out with, since the culture is so different from the US, but it seems sensationalized.

Last edited by TheShadow; 10-27-2018 at 07:15 AM..
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Old 10-27-2018, 06:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
I agree. Every country has tourist bars, so I don't see how Thailand would be a special case.

Thailand has a reputation as a destination for low cost debauchery. Judging by the number of tourists who go strictly for that purpose, it seems likely that people (almost exclusively single retired men) would imagine that to be a dream retirement place.


Unlike staying home and squandering your retirement, Thailand has no safety nets if you do. So it is different being thousands of miles from home - old and broke.

Last edited by IWLC; 10-27-2018 at 07:14 AM..
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:02 AM
 
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I happened upon a "Tourist" bar in Phnom Penh Cambodia. It was frequented by older whiskery white guys from Englsih countries and very young Cambodian Girls. I went there twice with a tourmate (it was down the street from our hotel) and we felt kinda out of place but we stayed cause it was a great street watching spot being on the corner of a lively street. I think the availability of young girls is an attraction for certain types of retired men. Out tour leader told us that because of the lack of opportunity for women we saw prostitution whereever we went in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. I agree the culture is so different there its wouldn't be the ideal place to retire for most.
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
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Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
Thailand has a reputation as a destination for low cost debauchery. Judging by the number of tourists who go strictly for that purpose, it seems likely that people (almost exclusively single retired men) would imagine that to be a dream retirement place.


Unlike staying home and squandering your retirement, Thailand has no safety nets if you do. So it is different being thousands of miles from home - old and broke.
Not much sympathy from me on that front. If that's how they end up broke, they reap what they sow.
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:33 AM
 
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Lacking the discipline to do what one NEEDS to do versus what one WANTS to do, in retirement and pretty much everything else in life, is not something I'm willing to supply tax dollars to remedy. I think most everyone can sympathize with peoples' plights, but people also have to be accountable for their choices. And by people I mean everyone, not just select groups.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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I don't think it's just retirees. Adherents of Tim Ferriss ("The 4 Hour Work Week") glommed onto the idea of moving to Thailand and making just enough money via the Internet to live on while lazing on the beach.

There are always people who are looking to get something for practically nothing, as well as those who never grow up. It doesn't surprise me when these folks fare poorly in retirement.
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,227 posts, read 4,119,698 times
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Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Couldn't this happen anywhere? I would never retire in Thailand because the culture is too different for me. Otherwise, drinking and gambling your money away can happen anywhere in the U.S., Europe, Central America and so on. How is retiring in Vegas any different?

Yes, that story could have been written about any number of countries. The Philippines also come to mind. Thailand is the best example on mainland Asia due to the numerous military members who have spent time there and the low cost of living. I've been there a number of times with the military and places like Pattaya Beach have well over a hundred bars and steam houses that cater to tourists. One time I saw a huge (6' x 4') sign on the sidewalk warning American citizens not to engage in any underage sex as it would be prosecuted in the US, so that gives you an idea as to what kind of tourist goes there.


I agree about the culture being too different. I love Thai food, but I would never want to live there. Interesting place to visit, but there's no place like home.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Portugal
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There are washed up older dudes who spend a lot of their time/livers/money at bars in Thailand because low-budget local chicks hang around trying to pick them up and score a husband. It's actually sad to see, these dudes ending up with some middle-aged woman with a 5th grade education and very little in common but whatever I'll try not to judge I think both sides know why they entered the relationship and what the benefits are.

However it's not an absolute. There are plenty of folks who retire in Thailand and enjoy the friendly people, good food, low cost of living, warm weather, fun atmosphere, etc. without ending up being one of the losers at the bar every day by 10:00 am. One could make a case there is more temptation in Thailand (most 75 year olds can't walk into a bar in USA and have 3-4 women yelling "hey handsome") but bottom line the problem is the retiree, not Thailand.

Another point = it's not all bars, and it's not everywhere. There are however known districts where most places have the bar girls hanging about and one doesn't have to go there.

Last edited by lieqiang; 10-27-2018 at 10:52 AM..
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