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Retirement in Krabi.


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Thanks.
I wish to add, that you better check with the British embassy, as that how it works to my knowledge, but I’m not British. Perhaps other British TV-members can confirm.
I also want to say, that if you can afford it, do place some funds in a Thai bank fixed deposit. I know it’s a low interest, around 2½% p.a. for 12 month, but that may lift you from some hassle every year when renewing your retirement extension, and it’s advisable always to have instant access to extra fund in Thailand in case of accident or illness (depending of your health insurance situation). There is a 15% withholding tax on the interest, which you may be able to claim back. You can cash out the interest annually from the deposit. You can cash money out at any time before the end of a fixed term period, for example 12 month, but you loose the interest on that amount.
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Thanks again kuhnPer. I do have enough funds to put the full amount into the bank but I am trying to avoid doing so as I have heard and read some horror stories with regard to getting it back out of the country if needed. I will though take your advice and put some 'rainy day' funds in. Thanks again.

Think we all hear more of the horror stories than the good ones. whistling.gif
Transferring money more than equivalent to 20,000 US$ (aprox. 650,000 thb) in one go, you can have a form in the receiving Thai bank to register the amount at the National Bank. You will get your approved copy back in a weeks time, keep it, you are allowed to transfer equivalent to 20k$ (or more) out hassle free. Same used as when one buys a condo or builds a house.
The reason I have used the 800k-deposit is, that I so far have been living on my savings only, or rather dividend and gains and interest, and wished the easy solution, not needed to explain it to my embassy annually before having an approval letter. Hassle free with the 800k-deposit; the bank will write a letter to Immigration in 10 minutes or so while you wait, and you also show Immigration the original bankbook plus give them a photocopy. Normally the bank-letter shall be dated not more than a few days before renewal. Off to Immigration and you are done for another year… smile.png
I’ve found Bangkok Bank the best for that, as they will do multiple accounts in one letter and the fee is minimal (last time 100 baht), whilst for example SCB charge more and cannot state multiple accounts in one letter – did try it once, never again, 3 letters and 3 double-fees, immigration officer confused and complains that he needs a calculator facepalm.gif. Sometimes banks can offer a higher interest on special fixed deposits, like 15 or 36 month – if moving money around in various deposits always make sure you have the 3 month seasoning in the book, don’t expect the immigration officer will understand that money goes from account to another.
I’m not advising anyone to move (major) savings into Thailand, just telling my experience as an input for the individual person’s consideration. wink.png
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Point 2 is your interpretation of "resident". I am a UK tax resident, domicile does not come into it. I receive a repeat prescription from my GP every 6 months.

Hi Sandy

It's not my interpretation, I was quoting verbatim from the NHS link I gave. All I am suggesting is make some investigation, just in case.

Regards

SDM

It seems that you lose eligibility for treatment on the NHS if you live abroad for more than 3 months of the year...

"Britions who live overseas for more than three months of the year currently lose their right to free health care at home, unless they have a medical emergency during a visit".

... And the qualification seems to be whether you're ordinarily resident...

"The current qualifying test for free treatment is whether a person is ordinarily resident. This is deemed to be unfair, as it is satisfied almost immediately by many new and temporary migrants, who may have contributed nothing."

... But there are changes planned (may have already happened) to change this to be based on (at least 7 years) NI contributions.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/expathealth/10303008/Brits-abroad-could-have-rights-to-free-NHS-treatment-restored.html... Link to UK gov consultation paper https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/migrants-and-overseas-visitors-use-of-the-nhs

Edit: Just spotted the paragraph "Expats of state pension age who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years remain entitled to some cover even if they permanently live abroad", which may explain how some people are fully entitled to continue to receive their Meds etc...

Edited by JB300
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If you don't drink/smoke/eat out every day or have any other bad habits/fetishes, you can live very well in Krabi on that income.

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It seems that you lose eligibility for treatment on the NHS if you live abroad for more than 3 months of the year...

"Britions who live overseas for more than three months of the year currently lose their right to free health care at home, unless they have a medical emergency ................. Expats of state pension age who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years remain entitled to some cover even if they permanently live abroad", which may explain how some people are fully entitled to continue to receive their Meds etc...

" Expats of state pension age who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years"

This seems to mean that if the expat lives in the UK from the state pension age (65?) for ten years continuously (more than 9 months of the year ?) then they are free to live from the tenth year permanently abroad and retain some entitlement. If I have read this correctly that would mean that the person would have to live full time in the UK until the age of 75 and is then free to move abroad and retain SOME entitlement. When I read this initially I thought that the ten year period could be at any stage, but the clever wording makes it clear that this is not the case.

Also " "Britions who live overseas for more than three months of the year currently lose their right to free health care "

Although this seems pretty clear and not open to interpretation.

I'm really not happy at all that I seem to be proven correct and as still a UK Tax and NI payer, and a UK employer find this a disgraceful state of affairs.

SDM

Edited by SDM0712
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I read that as saying if you've lived in the UK for a period of 10 years at any point in time, you're entitled to some cover once you hit state pension age, but isn't very clear at all & could be interpreted as having lived in the UK:

1) For 10 years at any time

2) For 10 years prior to reaching State Pension age

3) For 10 years after reaching State Pension age

I do think basing it on having paid x years (suggestion is 7) NI contributions is much fairer & think they should do something similar with Pension Increases (good thread on this already under UK Pensions).

Edited by JB300
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The maximum UK state pension is currently GBP 113.10 pw, assuming you have paid full contributions, but fixed at that rate forever in Thailand (no cost of living increase).

So where does your GBP 163 pw come from?

I reached 65 years old in 2011 (three years ago) and receive the maximum UK pension fixed at GBP 105.48 pw (which includes a small amount for "graduated" pension).

As you see, the value of the UK pension in Thailand will decrease over time considering inflation. Will it be worth anything in 20-years time?

You obviously opted out of SERPS and are receiving those contributions by some other means.

I left the UK to work overseas in 1973 and then paid voluntary Class 3 contributions sufficient for the maximum basic UK pension. Hence, the SERPS contribution was only for one or two years and doesn't amount to much.

I would still like to know how the OP has a UK gov pension of GBP 163.

On expenses in Thailand, I keep detailed records and my ACTUAL average monthly expenditure in Bangkok (with wife and kid) are as follows:

2010 = 33,418 baht / month.

2011 = 41,477 baht / month.

2012 = 43,781 baht / month.

2013 = 41,405 baht / month.

I own my own condo outright (but I have another condo). Above does not include school fees, health expenses, capital items (new washing machine, etc), travel, car maintenance, entertainment, and hobbies.

I definitely do not live a lavish lifestyle.

Good luck on 38K a month.

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@ajarnsiam said "It is against UK law to claim a pension on the basis of a fraudulent UK residence when you are registered and living as a retiree in Thailand. I'm not sure what the penalty would be for this, but I guess it could jeopardise your pension rights as well as giving you a criminal record."

Australian Centrelink (Social Security) records are now linked to airport/immigration records so they know when you come and go automatically - so you could not achieve the above if you tried.

This statement is so far off base it is just unbelievable. The discussion is regarding a state pension and if you are eligible it does not matter where you live.

The pension service has 2 application forms, one for people living the UK and one for people living abroad.

i get my pension paid directly to a Thai bank and the pension service have both a UK address and a Thai address.

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What you are quoting is aimed at people who have been out of the NHS for some time. I have never left the system, my prescriptions have been virtually continuous since I left the UK.

No time limit is mentioned, the relevant quote is " People who do not normally live in this country are not automatically entitled to use the NHS free of charge " and the relevant word " normally "

Would you say that you "normally" live in the UK or "normally" live in Thailand ? I suppose the acid test that they might apply is out of the last 12 months, how many did you spend in the UK. Really I have no idea how the NHS would quantify "normally" but clearly if you spent more time in the last year living in Thailand than the UK I cannot see how it could be claimed to be "normally" living in the UK.

Now this part is my opinion, so feel free to shoot this down in flames (!), you say you have a repeat prescription and you have " never left the system". I believe that your GP has just let it ride since it is an existing arrangement and just turned a blind eye to it. However lets say you need an operation, it's a new condition, something expensive like that, these days the NHS is very underfunded and will scrutinize every situation. This would be new and authorised by the hospital and not your GP.

This was a great concern of mine and I looked I to it at some length and concluded that it was not anywhere near a certainly that I would be treated for free.

SDM

I hear what you are saying but I am not going to lose any sleep over it. I qualified for my pension under the old rules, 44 years worth of contributions.

Edited by sandyf
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The maximum UK state pension is currently GBP 113.10 pw, assuming you have paid full contributions, but fixed at that rate forever in Thailand (no cost of living increase).

So where does your GBP 163 pw come from?

I reached 65 years old in 2011 (three years ago) and receive the maximum UK pension fixed at GBP 105.48 pw (which includes a small amount for "graduated" pension).

As you see, the value of the UK pension in Thailand will decrease over time considering inflation. Will it be worth anything in 20-years time?

You obviously opted out of SERPS and are receiving those contributions by some other means.

I left the UK to work overseas in 1973 and then paid voluntary Class 3 contributions sufficient for the maximum basic UK pension. Hence, the SERPS contribution was only for one or two years and doesn't amount to much.

I would still like to know how the OP has a UK gov pension of GBP 163.

On expenses in Thailand, I keep detailed records and my ACTUAL average monthly expenditure in Bangkok (with wife and kid) are as follows:

2010 = 33,418 baht / month.

2011 = 41,477 baht / month.

2012 = 43,781 baht / month.

2013 = 41,405 baht / month.

I own my own condo outright (but I have another condo). Above does not include school fees, health expenses, capital items (new washing machine, etc), travel, car maintenance, entertainment, and hobbies.

I definitely do not live a lavish lifestyle.

Good luck on 38K a month.

It is quite easy if you spent your working life in the UK. My pension is larger than that and is made up of 5 components. The largest after the basic is the "earnings related"

You need to pay class 1 contributions to get the additional state pension. On the NHS issue it is only class 1 that carries the NH contribution. When they talk about 10 years contributions, they mean 10 years class 1.

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Thanks for all the replies so far folks, I must admit to being surprised at the response.

A couple of questions if I may.

Is it necessary or desirable to get a thai bank account or is it just as easy and cheap to use my UK bank?

If I marry my thai g/f, what kind of visa will I get that does away with visa runs?

Anybody got any links to insurance for retired farangs?

Once again thanks, been very interesting so far.

Oh! and I'd just like to add, I aint got the money for a retirement visa and I'm already renting a bungalow in Ao Nang for 3,500baht a month.

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The maximum UK state pension is currently GBP 113.10 pw, assuming you have paid full contributions, but fixed at that rate forever in Thailand (no cost of living increase).

So where does your GBP 163 pw come from?

I reached 65 years old in 2011 (three years ago) and receive the maximum UK pension fixed at GBP 105.48 pw (which includes a small amount for "graduated" pension).

As you see, the value of the UK pension in Thailand will decrease over time considering inflation. Will it be worth anything in 20-years time?

You obviously opted out of SERPS and are receiving those contributions by some other means.

I left the UK to work overseas in 1973 and then paid voluntary Class 3 contributions sufficient for the maximum basic UK pension. Hence, the SERPS contribution was only for one or two years and doesn't amount to much.

I would still like to know how the OP has a UK gov pension of GBP 163.

On expenses in Thailand, I keep detailed records and my ACTUAL average monthly expenditure in Bangkok (with wife and kid) are as follows:

2010 = 33,418 baht / month.

2011 = 41,477 baht / month.

2012 = 43,781 baht / month.

2013 = 41,405 baht / month.

I own my own condo outright (but I have another condo). Above does not include school fees, health expenses, capital items (new washing machine, etc), travel, car maintenance, entertainment, and hobbies.

I definitely do not live a lavish lifestyle.

Good luck on 38K a month.

It is quite easy if you spent your working life in the UK. My pension is larger than that and is made up of 5 components. The largest after the basic is the "earnings related"

You need to pay class 1 contributions to get the additional state pension. On the NHS issue it is only class 1 that carries the NH contribution. When they talk about 10 years contributions, they mean 10 years class 1.

I haven't spent all my working life in the UK, but most of it, and obviously enough as that is the quote the lady in the pension office gave me when I signed on.

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I hear what you are saying but I am not going to lose any sleep over it. I qualified for my pension under the old rules, 44 years worth of contributions.

That's probably the best way to look at at and just hope for the best, but looking at the rules you probably wouldn't be accepted for free treatment at home and would get a hefty bill at the end. Personally I would want to know in advance just so if a situation just come about I would know what my options were in advance. You might even be better off paying for anything serious over here rather than jumping on a 'plane to find you probably have to pay more anyway. I suppose the other thing is if you were clearly ill it's possible that no airline would accept you for travel without a "fit to fly " certificate from a doctor, which you probably wouldn't be able to get if you were ill and in need of medical care. As a keen motorcyclist in a part of the country not known for road safety (is anywhere !) my fear has been being hospitalized following an accident.

In any event I hope you don't have to find out for sure !

SDM

PS Obviously when I say "you" I mean any of us that don't have private cover and have been living outside the UK for three months.

Edited by SDM0712
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Is it necessary or desirable to get a thai bank account or is it just as easy and cheap to use my UK bank?

Why not, if you are living here it makes sense. I would suggest Bangkok Bank they seem to offer the closest standard to what we are used to at home. But keep the UK account and ATM card, it can be useful.

If I marry my thai g/f, what kind of visa will I get that does away with visa runs?

I can never remember the letter but yes and you will just have to do a 90 day appearance at Immigration. The income requirements are much lower than a Retirement Visa, 400K for over two months or 40,000 per month income.

Anybody got any links to insurance for retired farangs?

I use AXA for international cover but sit down before you call them!

Oh! and I'd just like to add, I aint got the money for a retirement visa and I'm already renting a bungalow in Ao Nang for 3,500baht a month.

That is cheap, over her in Phuket you wouldn't even get a room for that, maybe a miniature one !

S

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Is it necessary or desirable to get a thai bank account or is it just as easy and cheap to use my UK bank?

Why not, if you are living here it makes sense. I would suggest Bangkok Bank they seem to offer the closest standard to what we are used to at home. But keep the UK account and ATM card, it can be useful.

If I marry my thai g/f, what kind of visa will I get that does away with visa runs?

I can never remember the letter but yes and you will just have to do a 90 day appearance at Immigration. The income requirements are much lower than a Retirement Visa, 400K for over two months or 40,000 per month income.

Anybody got any links to insurance for retired farangs?

I use AXA for international cover but sit down before you call them!

Oh! and I'd just like to add, I aint got the money for a retirement visa and I'm already renting a bungalow in Ao Nang for 3,500baht a month.

That is cheap, over her in Phuket you wouldn't even get a room for that, maybe a miniature one !

S

»Is it necessary or desirable to get a thai bank account or is it just as easy and cheap to use my UK bank?
Why not…«
It’s often (much) cheaper to transfer into a Thai bank and use a Thai ATM-card, than use of foreign plastic card in ATMs. Bangkok Bank is easy to open an account with. If you have an UK-account with access to on-line banking including foreign transfer, that may be very affordable compared to other money transfer possibilities.
»If I marry my thai g/f, what kind of visa will I get that does away with visa runs?
I can never remember the letter…«
Same Visa, Non Immigrant-O, but extension based on “marriage” instead of “retirement”.
»Anybody got any links to insurance for retired farangs?
I use AXA for international cover but sit down before you call them!«
If you are 65yo or younger, you can sign up with a Thai-company (or International with branch in Thailand), for example Bupa Thailand. Starts from around 12k/y (61-65yo) for lowest cover; which is low, but probably better than nothing. Bupa Thailand’s best cover, Platinum, will be up around 70-90k/y (61-65yo). If more than 65 only few companies will accept new cover. (See bupa.co.th)
There are a number of treads in TV-forum about health insurance and coverage and suggestions – however the public health insurance for farangs mentioned in some posts, has not come through (yet)…
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I'm somewhat perplexed that a poster who has been a member of this forum since 2009 and has more than 1200 posts under his belt would ask such a naïve, newbie type question!

He frequently posts vehemently about Thai politics, but knows nothing about COL and visa issues?

I note he hasn't been back to his thread to respond to any answers.

While an interesting discussion for many, I have to wonder about the OP's motives in starting it.

Im sorry I've somewhat perplexed you, simple answer is, I'm a live for the moment type, never been organised or a planner, never thought about retirement but now I've reached 65 I'm thinking about it. Had a longtime association with Thailand, first visited in '66, then not again till '88 but since many times including 2 times for 12 months, 3. times for 6 months, numerous 3 months and even a fair splattering of month or shorter trips. Got a future wife in Ao Nang and a really good deal on a small bungalow we've had since 2009. My choice is basically, keep working and only visit once a year for 3 weeks but live quite well in the UK, or go for it and see how the cookie crumbles.

Sent from my LG-P880 using Thaivisa Connect Thailand mobile app

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