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Retirement in Krabi.


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I spend less than 38,000 baht a month, although my income is greater than that, and think I have a fairly comfortable life style and don't find myself skimping. I am not living in a village but a city, enjoy a drink or two and regularly eat western food. But as mentioned before your major concern could be health. If something goes wrong and you are not covered by insurance or have no reserves you are in trouble.

The state pension is what you earn through paying national insurance - a tax by any other name. It has nothing to do with pensions provided by an employer or any private pension scheme you may belong to. (something unfortunately being encouraged by a government following the US model of everyone looking after themselves!) Unfortunately this system does not work for all because people doing low grade manual work are often in companies that do not run a pension scheme or they may change contracts too often to ever get into such a scheme. These same people are also the group least likely to be able to set money aside for a private personal pension and so often find themselves strapped for cash when they eventually have to retire. Those who are fit enough often choose to carry on working (compulsory retirement ages have been made illegal now) and it is not uncommon to find people in their late 70s still working full time.

My state pension is only about a third of my retirement income but the things that deter me are:

1) a pre-existing medical condition which occasionally needs high cost treatment and for which I could not get affordable insurance and

2) from what I can see there is no such thing as a permanent retirement visa - ie one that guarantees you can stay for life and without that you have to keep options open here that will tie up capital

3) I doubt my civil partnership to a Thai citizen would count as we are both male ( he has dual nationality so can live here forever if he wants to)

Without wishing to sound pessimistic I would rate the chances of living out your retirement in Thailand on a state pension as very low and it may be less painful to accept this now, as I have, rather than have to come to terms with a mistake later on.

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Can I ask you knowledgable folk on here a couple of questions please?...........

I am heading out your way soon with the plan of retirement for a few years, I am over 50. My intention is a Non-Immigrant 'O' Visa - Multiple entry to see how things go. I will produce my retirement pension docs with my application.

Q1. I have UK state pension (£690) and a private pension (£320), both are paid into the bank every 4 weeks making 13 payments per year. Are the calculations done over the 12 months or the 13 payments. Either way it makes me a tad short of the minimum requirement so I will have to have a cushion in the bank to make it up.

Q2. I have an investment that I started about 5 years ago that produces me a quarterly income of £900. It was always intended to be a top-up for my pension.

Will this be allowed to count towards my total monthly income as it essentially gives me an extra £300 per month on top of my 2 pensions.

Many thanks in anticipation of your replies.

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Ooops - The post went off prematurely - I meant to expand a little more....

YES that is correct. These issue around being a non resident in UK and (strangely) being non resident in UK for Tax is where the problem can sometimes become complex. Wile being non resident for tax does not explicitly cover fixing the level of pensions - it is the important consideration - There are a lot of other issues that are also involved. For example if you still retain access to housing in UK etc. The benefit of the extra years need to be claimed - not given as a right. - But if you do want to claim it can be complex. Having said that indexing of pension over 3 years is not going to make a significant impact. However what might make a significant impact is when and if you need to be getting back into the indexing scheme for UK pensions and to catch up..

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Can I ask you knowledgable folk on here a couple of questions please?...........

I am heading out your way soon with the plan of retirement for a few years, I am over 50. My intention is a Non-Immigrant 'O' Visa - Multiple entry to see how things go. I will produce my retirement pension docs with my application.

Q1. I have UK state pension (£690) and a private pension (£320), both are paid into the bank every 4 weeks making 13 payments per year. Are the calculations done over the 12 months or the 13 payments. Either way it makes me a tad short of the minimum requirement so I will have to have a cushion in the bank to make it up.

Q2. I have an investment that I started about 5 years ago that produces me a quarterly income of £900. It was always intended to be a top-up for my pension.

Will this be allowed to count towards my total monthly income as it essentially gives me an extra £300 per month on top of my 2 pensions.

Many thanks in anticipation of your replies.

Proof on income is to my knowledge (never used it, as I use the fixed full 800k deposit instead) an annual letter from your (British) embassy confirming your income when renewing the retirement extension of your Non Immigrant visa. It's the embassy who states the income. Summing up your stated income – (320+690 x 12) + (900 x 4) = 15,720 x 50 = 786,000 – you are just around the 800k, safe if exchange rate of 1£ equals 51baht or more. However, you can use the combination method, which is some money in a Thai bank (12m fixed deposit best for higher interest) and the confirmation letter of income for the remaining amount, i.e. having some 100+k in deposit should make you clear. Also, it is always good to have instant access to some extra “rainy day account” money when staying in Thailand.

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OP, please be aware that some of the suggestions offered here require you to break the laws of Thailand and/or the UK.

For example, it is against the law in Thailand for a person on a retirement visa to work as teacher, or in any job; it's also against the law to "work" in any voluntary role if you are on a retirement visa. Deportations due to breaking these laws are not uncommon, but they are not well publicised for obvious reasons. Current rules state you would not be allowed to apply for a new visa for 5 years.

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.

In the past many westerners have lived in Thailand on or close to the breadline, often by bending the visa rules to suit themselves; those days are coming to an end, due to a combination of more effective enforcement and tighter rules. These rules will get tighter over the next few years.

There has also been a lot of good and realistic advice on this thread. My advice would be: if you can do it within the rules then do it; if you can't then don't. Destitute westerners are now a staple of the Thai press; understandably there is little sympathy for them.

For the record I did not previously suggest the fellow works, but teachers teaching English after an approved language training course? No one minds, public and private schools and universities hire foreign teachers, and I know two men over 50 doing so and one just over 30 in Bangkok. Neither of the older fellows on a retirement visa "need to work" but want an "occupation." Thailand is desperate to become bilingual and wants qualified English teachers, but those are best used by people who already have a four year college degree in a western country. Some people teach without the four year degree however after they have completed the needed coursework.

Nextly, no "volunteer work?" Please! I served on a condo committee registered with the land office for over four years and that was a volunteer position. Are you suggesting that folks to volunteer time at a nursery, orphanage or seniors home will be endangering their visas? Shame on you!

Now as to foreigners here without legal financial means to be here I am in complete agreement, but teaching, volunteerism and being a good citizen are things to be applauded.clap2.gif

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Actually you need working permit for non payed volunteer work. There is also a special visa for it

So our management company that operates 150 condo buildings in various parts of Thailand was in error registering me with the land office (or I was) to have served my building? I therefore endangered my retirement visa with unpaid volunteer work? They with a full legal department at their disposal don't know as much as you?

Sounds like an excuse to die on a barstool. I do hope you clean up all those lawbreaking Rotary Club Members!

This may add information to expose this myth. Work for Father Ray or something won't you?

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-thailand/topics/canadian-thailand-for-volunteering-visa-questions

Mai pen rai!

Edited by Justanotherpassword
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Can I ask you knowledgable folk on here a couple of questions please?...........

I am heading out your way soon with the plan of retirement for a few years, I am over 50. My intention is a Non-Immigrant 'O' Visa - Multiple entry to see how things go. I will produce my retirement pension docs with my application.

Q1. I have UK state pension (£690) and a private pension (£320), both are paid into the bank every 4 weeks making 13 payments per year. Are the calculations done over the 12 months or the 13 payments. Either way it makes me a tad short of the minimum requirement so I will have to have a cushion in the bank to make it up.

Q2. I have an investment that I started about 5 years ago that produces me a quarterly income of £900. It was always intended to be a top-up for my pension.

Will this be allowed to count towards my total monthly income as it essentially gives me an extra £300 per month on top of my 2 pensions.

Many thanks in anticipation of your replies.

Proof on income is to my knowledge (never used it, as I use the fixed full 800k deposit instead) an annual letter from your (British) embassy confirming your income when renewing the retirement extension of your Non Immigrant visa. It's the embassy who states the income. Summing up your stated income – (320+690 x 12) + (900 x 4) = 15,720 x 50 = 786,000 – you are just around the 800k, safe if exchange rate of 1£ equals 51baht or more. However, you can use the combination method, which is some money in a Thai bank (12m fixed deposit best for higher interest) and the confirmation letter of income for the remaining amount, i.e. having some 100+k in deposit should make you clear. Also, it is always good to have instant access to some extra “rainy day account” money when staying in Thailand.

Thankyou khunPer you reply helps me greatly. I am pleased and relieved that my investment income will be taken into account too.

Edited by robcar
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Can I ask you knowledgable folk on here a couple of questions please?...........

I am heading out your way soon with the plan of retirement for a few years, I am over 50. My intention is a Non-Immigrant 'O' Visa - Multiple entry to see how things go. I will produce my retirement pension docs with my application.

Q1. I have UK state pension (£690) and a private pension (£320), both are paid into the bank every 4 weeks making 13 payments per year. Are the calculations done over the 12 months or the 13 payments. Either way it makes me a tad short of the minimum requirement so I will have to have a cushion in the bank to make it up.

Q2. I have an investment that I started about 5 years ago that produces me a quarterly income of £900. It was always intended to be a top-up for my pension.

Will this be allowed to count towards my total monthly income as it essentially gives me an extra £300 per month on top of my 2 pensions.

Many thanks in anticipation of your replies.

Proof on income is to my knowledge (never used it, as I use the fixed full 800k deposit instead) an annual letter from your (British) embassy confirming your income when renewing the retirement extension of your Non Immigrant visa. It's the embassy who states the income. Summing up your stated income – (320+690 x 12) + (900 x 4) = 15,720 x 50 = 786,000 – you are just around the 800k, safe if exchange rate of 1£ equals 51baht or more. However, you can use the combination method, which is some money in a Thai bank (12m fixed deposit best for higher interest) and the confirmation letter of income for the remaining amount, i.e. having some 100+k in deposit should make you clear. Also, it is always good to have instant access to some extra “rainy day account” money when staying in Thailand.

Thankyou khunPer you reply helps me greatly. I am pleased and relieved that my investment income will be taken into account too.

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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Actually you need working permit for non payed volunteer work. There is also a special visa for it

So our management company that operates 150 condo buildings in various parts of Thailand was in error registering me with the land office (or I was) to have served my building? I therefore endangered my retirement visa with unpaid volunteer work? They with a full legal department at their disposal don't know as much as you?

Sounds like an excuse to die on a barstool. I do hope you clean up all those lawbreaking Rotary Club Members!

This may add information to expose this myth. Work for Father Ray or something won't you?

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-thailand/topics/canadian-thailand-for-volunteering-visa-questions

Mai pen rai!

A link to Lonely Planets question as a proof you have the right Visa and WP :) That's funny. Since when is Lonely Planet experts on WP & Thai visa?

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You could live like a king on that money here....but I don't drink or smoke and own my house.

No You cannot live like a King don't say that. Not fun living in Thailand and have to turn every penny around before spending.

As written by others above, make sure to take everything in concideration before a permanent move to Thailand..

Tha´ts just my opinion.

Very true Nielsk

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38K Bath per month may be possible now if you are extremely careful, not a lot of room for leisure already.

But I wouldn't advise you to take the risk considering exchange rate fluctuations, rising prices of everything in Thailand, possible health issues, changing visa regulations, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't attempt it,...unless I was fluent in Thai, and had at least a few connections, such as a Thai that held you in great esteem. In Chiang Mai, 38k baht is about the average monthly income for Thai folk (like a taxi driver), who live like Thai's, and are part of extended families. For a farang (a term that merely means Westerner), it is not so easy get Thai prices on goods and services unless you are seen as an integrated resident,...which includes dressing like a Thai, and having a fundamental understanding of their Buddhist culture. Chiang Rai or Nong Khai would likely be easier, price wise,...but from Bangkok and south,...you'd best have 60k baht+ per month for a no-frills, austere retirement.

From what I've noticed....foreigners who respect the Thai culture, ie., refrain from wearing beach clothes unless they're at the beach,...have a lower cost of living than farang pushing their cultures onto the Thai.

This is wildly inaccurate. 38k is at least three times what the typical working class guy makes a month, even in Bangkok, and 60k a month is great for a comfortable life, even in Bangkok, even for a Westerner. You've got a problem with mathematics or with reality, one or the other.

I also think the average Thai makes considerably less than 38K per month. Assuming you make the Thai minimum wage of 300 baht per day and you work 30 days per month that works out to 9000 Baht per month. If you were to assume that most people make double the minimum wage that is still less than 18,000 per month (not many people work every day of the month). I do think it would be difficult for most westerners to make it on less than 20K Baht per month, for very long.

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