Now that your golden years are here, it is time to think about what to do with your precious time and resources. Questions like “What will I do?” or “Where will I retire?” are probably in your mind right now. As an Australian, you might have heard of people visiting Thailand as tourists, but have you considered retiring there for good?
You might be wondering why Thailand is gaining popularity as a retirement spot for Australians. The answer is simple — the country has excellent weather, fantastic sights, delicious food, and overall efficient and affordable infrastructure. Moreover, the people there are easy to get along with which helps foreigners to quickly adapt.
How Do You Prepare for Retirement in Thailand?
There are many reasons why so many Australians choose to retire in Thailand. If you want to do the same, it is time to discover how to retire permanently in Thailand. Where you will retire is a big decision, so there is plenty of planning involved. Clients will be needing professional help and a budget to finish the process appropriately.
Acquiring A Visa
The first thing you will need to enter the country is a visa. There are two ways to go about it: an O-A Visa and a Non-Immigrant O-Visa.
The O-A Visa, the traditional way of getting a retirement visa, is acquired by going to a Thai embassy in Australia. However, this process involves numerous requirements, such as buying health insurance in Thailand and undergoing background checks.
This visa has many perks, as it allows you to stay in Thailand for one year, with the count beginning on the day of your entry into the country.
The easier option, the Non-Immigrant O-Visa, can also be acquired from a Thai embassy in Australia. However, the Non-Immigrant O-Visa does not allow you to stay in Thailand for a whole year. Instead, when you enter Thailand, you need to open a Thai bank account.
Once you open the bank account, you must deposit 800,000 Baht or around 32,000 AUD. Leave this amount in the bank account for sixty days. Afterward, you can apply for a 1-year extension of your stay in the country through an immigration office.
This method is called the extension of stay based on retirement. Additionally, you must be fifty years old and above to apply for the extension. The process does not end there, as you must report to the immigration office every ninety days.
You can do the ninety-day reporting online if you cannot make it to the physical immigration office.
Deciding Where to Settle Down
Thailand caters to many different preferences, whether a loud party scene, a quiet rural town or a beachfront. There is a place in Thailand that matches your lifestyle and goals. Such things make Thailand a desirable place to settle down.
However, before deciding where to retire in this country, you must first visit your prospective locations. Get to know the place more before deciding whether or not you will retire there.
If you choose to settle in a city like Bangkok or Chiang Mai, you need to consider traffic, increased rent, and other nuances of living in a town. However, there are still perks to city life, like numerous restaurants, bars, and diverse people. Many believed that life in the city is more convenient than in remote areas.
You can also consider settling down in a more laid-back environment, like a town a few hours away from the beach. There is one drawback, though — you might not be able to interact with as many people as in city life. A fellow foreigner might be rare in a rural area, making you feel a bit isolated. Well, this is an ideal choice if you long for better privacy and peaceful life.
You also need to consider transportation methods, as purchasing and owning a car in Thailand is not cheap.
Lastly, there is the option of living near the beach. Places like Koh Samui, Hua Hin, and Phuket offer a nice view of the beach with plenty of housing options. Getting around islands like Koh Samui is easy, as taxis are easily accessible.
The beach is a popular retirement destination for foreigners, so you might meet and make friends with similar people. It is also a good place to unwind and create new memories with loved ones.
Acquiring Property in Thailand
A foreigner cannot own land in Thailand, so you only have the option of renting land. You can, however, opt to buy a house in the country if your financial situation allows it. This is one of the downsides for non-citizens.
For health and life insurance, you need to check with your existing provider if you can transfer the policy to Thailand. Moving the policy is impossible; you can avail of insurance from a local provider. Insurance plays a vital role in providing extra protection in case bad things occur within your property.
Banking is also relatively easy in Thailand, with foreigner-friendly banks like Kasikorn Bank and Bangkok Bank.
Do not forget to bring essential documents like your driving license, as you will need them when you apply for a new one in Thailand. And school requirements for kids who will study abroad.
Spending Your Golden Years In Thailand
Thailand is a beautiful country with many experiences in store for everyone. That is why it is a popular option for retirement among foreigners.
However, the process of retiring in Thailand is not simple. This guide only provides an overview of what you must do in preparation for the best years of your life.