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Tips for Moving or Retiring to Thailand

Retired couple in Thailand


Are you thinking of becoming an expatriate in Thailand? Perhaps you are considering retiring in Thailand.


There are a number of things you should know and consider before dropping everything and making the move, and we are here to help guide the way.


Thailand is a popular place for many to want to move to; pretty beaches, hot weather, beautiful views, work opportunities and so much more. Whilst all these can certainly be found, Thailand can feel like a very different country to where you are moving from, which can be both exciting and unsettling. With a different set of rules, laws and customs, property ownership and visas can particularly be an issue for expats for starters.


Here are our tips to make sure you are fully aware of what to expect and think about before moving to Thailand, to make sure you don’t fall into any of the common traps!


Know what you are moving to Thailand going for

This may sound a bit silly, but many people lose sight of the purpose of their move and often become sidetracked or unhappy with such a big change. Are you going to look for work in the big city? Are you wanting to travel around as a tourist? Where do you see yourself in 6 months to a year?


The biggest trap for most people without a plan is running out of money too quickly. Do you know how you are going to make money? Do you even know how much jobs pay? A bit of planning and research will make sure you are well prepared for this change in the long term as well as short.


Choose the right expatriate Visa for Thailand

The rules for visa’s in Thailand regularly change, so make sure you are applying for the right one. There are different visas for those who wish to work in Thailand and those that wish to obtain a Thailand retirement visa.


If you are moving to Thailand for work, you will be asked for documentation from your employer confirming the nature of your business. If you get a job after arriving in Thailand, it is often the case that your new employer simply writes to the embassy confirming this. This type of Visa is called a Non-Immigrant Visa B.


For those wishing to retire to Thailand, or have married a Thai national, the Visa you would have to apply for at the time of writing is the Non-Immigrant O Visa.


If you are retiring to Thailand, then you must be at least 50 years of age and either have an income of 65,000 THB or a balance of 800,000 THB in the bank. You may also need to have a medical health certificate.


Cost of living

Compared to most of the world, living in Thailand is considered low. Many people choose to eat out every day rather than cook as local Thai serving restaurants are very cheap. Western food is much more expensive than local food.


Whilst the cost of rent is low, it does vary depending on where you are looking to live, so take some time and get to know the areas before you commit to a long rental and budget accordingly.


Owning property in Thailand

If you are looking to buy a property in Thailand, let us stop you right there. An expat is not allowed to own a property in their name in Thailand. You may only do so if you are married to a Thai national.


Healthcare in Thailand

Being treated for health related problems can be costly in Thailand and it is strongly recommended that you take out private medical health insurance for Thailand if you are looking to move there.


Some hospitals are crowded and if you are living out of the city you may require special transportation to take you to a larger medical center. How much do you think it’s going to cost to fly you to another area for treatment?! Can you afford that?


With the right expatriate medical healthcare cover, your treatment will be quicker, and costs will be covered up to the level in your policy documents.


We at Healthcare International provide expat health cover options that will enable you to fly home for treatment, skip medical facility queues and cover other costs incurred as a result of an illness. We also have very close contacts with the hospitals and medical centers in Thailand, so you can be assured that we will be able to look after you properly.


Please contact one of our specialists today for more information on how we can look after you in Thailand: +44 (0)207 590 8800 or visit our website


If you would like to switch your expat medical healthcare from another provider, you can do so over the phone and do not need to be in your home country.