Agree that for your position as retired and divorced you are certainly in the best set-up living in Thailand.
Problem is - for someone of working age wanting to be in Thailand, given the employment restrictions farang are somewhat limited in finding genuinely well paid legitimate work (setting aside being an expat sent to work out there by your company). I am sure it is there but best chances seem to me to be to set your own business up (i.e. requiring you already have capital) or non-Thai work like IT freelancing for overseas clients or oil/gas.
As for commuting,...my gf can sometimes sit in traffic for 2 hours each way just traversing Bangkok - took her 3 hours to get home last week due to the flooding! Meanwhile, I work from home in the UK most days so not always as cut and dried as it may seem. And I'm not sure a Thai university degree will carry much clout overseas, unfortunately, so options to move to Europe are limited. Plenty of UK graduates with questionable degrees can't get high paid work.
Totally agree with the point about exorbitant cost of housing in the UK but London has never been cheap. A better cost comparison would be Bangkok to London, which is still bound to be definitely in favour of Bangkok. Go to other parts of the UK and things would change a bit. For example, I live in in Surrey in a flat with current market value £265k. That would go a long way to buying me a far bigger property away from the south east. But of course - certainly not equivalent to what that may buy you in the Thai countryside. However.....I have no legal right to own land in Thailand, so that has to be factored in.
Other costs are not always cut and dried in favour of Thailand. A couple of examples...
- I find the range and quality of supermarket goods to be of better value in UK (even using a pre-Brexit 50 baht exchange rate). I spend around 4 months per year in Thailand so am using my own direct experience when making that comment. I am constantly surprised how much I am laying out for everyday items when heading to Big C etc., not just imported goods which of course carry a premium. Obviously, if you eat Thai local food it's a different equation. Bought 10kg of fresh pineapples from the roadside for 100 baht on a road trip with gf a few months ago - won't find anything that in the UK.
- Range and vfm of clothing are also better value in the UK unless you buy your gear from stalls or F&F. Case in point - gf commented on this and took plenty back to Bangkok on her previous visit to UK last summer.
This thread is pertinent to me as someone contemplating retirement in the next 3-5 years. I'm 48 and I am not sure I would have been in this position working a similar job in Thailand (2 properties mostly paid for and an OKish private pension at 60, I might as well forget the state pension LOL). My gf works a decent job (45k baht monthly plus bonus) but apparently has no company pension provision, for example. So I wouldn't say it's accurate to call life outside Thailand miserable in that context. Yes it's safe and possibly boring (depends on the individual) but I have had plenty of advantages I may not have had otherwise working or living full-time in Thailand.
As for monthly budget under a retirement scenario, was hoping to target 75k-80k baht plus my gf's contribution, so that I can try preserve my capital. Will probably target an 8/4 split in favour of Thailand, that's enough for me. The place isn't quite what it was since I first pitched up in 2005 imo.