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Is Thailand the best country in Asia to retire? Some think so. Thailand was ranked as the best country in Asia for retirement in 2022 by International Living magazine. And out of a list of 25 countries, the magazine listed Thailand as number 11, with Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico topping the list. The magazine’s annual global retirement index is scored on several categories including housing, benefits, visa and residence, entertainment, and climate. Thailand ranked as the number one country in Asia to retire this year because of its beaches, tropical climate, variety of affordable living options, reasonable medical costs, […]

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Its not so hard to be the best in Asia for retirees when you compete with countries like Pakistan, Afganistan, North Korea, Myanmar, Bangladesh or China.

 

 

 

Edited by Somchai
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One could easily take all these questionable rankings, ratings and surveys with a grain of salt. 

Lifestyle and how one might acclimate into local culture is never taken into account. 

Retire.

Yes.....of course.😉

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1 hour ago, Somchai said:

Its not so hard to be the best in Asia for retirees when you compete with countries like Pakistan, Afganistan, North Korea, Myanmar, Bangladesh or China.

Ouch. Not sure why Siberia Russia, Iraq, Papua New Guinea or Saudi Arabia wasn't mentioned either. Siberia might be good for meeting the women though.

image.thumb.png.0042397eb963575357895c0db07a0ec2.png

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Jeeez  that don’t say much for the rest of Asia if Thailand is the best of the bunch 

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3 hours ago, Somchai said:

Its not so hard to be the best in Asia for retirees when you compete with countries like Pakistan, Afganistan, North Korea, Myanmar, Bangladesh or China.

Oh come now. You could ride a horse into the snow covered mountains of Korea with Kim Jong Un. Or score legal 'horse' (heroin) under Taliban rule in Afghanistan (discounts for retirees). The possibilities are endless. I hear the lockdown rations in China are quite tasty. 

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2 hours ago, NCC1701A said:

here is a link to the best places to retire article:

https://internationalliving.com/the-best-places-to-retire/

the word Thailand not found.  

I find it hard to take Mexico seriously as a retirement option when it's been and is home to a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands.  Per wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_drug_war

"Total casualties:
41,034 dead in war conflicts between identified parties 2006–2019[25] (total 350,000–400,000 dead from organized crime homicides 2006–2021)[26]"

Now Columbia, also on their list, might be tempting, assuming the cocaine epidemic isn't a problem This 2019 pre COVID article suggests it's still #1 in Coke production: 

https://en.mercopress.com/2019/08/03/illegal-coca-plantations-in-colombia-down-slightly-in-2018-but-still-the-world-s-biggest-producer

Uruguay, France, and Spain seem nice. 

It might be fun to see their scoring system. 

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Thailand could be the best country in the world if it finally got rid of its disastrous bureaucratic madness for foreigners who want to live here.
 

 

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9 hours ago, NCC1701A said:

the word Thailand not found.  

It is right there, #11, highest Asian entry.

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7 hours ago, Vince said:

I find it hard to take Mexico seriously as a retirement option when it's been and is home to a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands.  Per wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_drug_war

"Total casualties:
41,034 dead in war conflicts between identified parties 2006–2019[25] (total 350,000–400,000 dead from organized crime homicides 2006–2021)[26]"

Now Columbia, also on their list, might be tempting, assuming the cocaine epidemic isn't a problem This 2019 pre COVID article suggests it's still #1 in Coke production: 

https://en.mercopress.com/2019/08/03/illegal-coca-plantations-in-colombia-down-slightly-in-2018-but-still-the-world-s-biggest-producer

Uruguay, France, and Spain seem nice. 

It might be fun to see their scoring system. 

Colombia:

I was blown away at how nice Medellin is

The Pablado area(where most expats live) is as nice as Vancouver!

Their restaurants were amazing and their main entertainment district, Parque Lleras, is the best entertainment district I have ever been to

 

 

Panama:

Casco Viejo(old area) in Panama City is probably the #1 place I would choose to live as an expat.

Panama, as a country, is one of the most accomodating countries towards expats..........they roll out the red carpet in terms of real estate, insurance, etc

 

Costa Rica:

I'd choose CR and one of the small beach towns if I wanted to live a more laid back lifestyle

 

 

 

Casco Viejo Panama City.jpg

El-Poblado-Medellin.jpg.webp

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7 hours ago, Vince said:

It might be fun to see their scoring system. 

Same system Thailand and Myanmar use for counting votes in their elections 😉

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From an expat perspective, the world has changed profoundly over the past decade. Thailand once seemed to have an unassailable lead in terms of quality-of-life and cost-of-living. Other S.E. Asian countries were too undeveloped and Latin American countries were too dangerous.

The 2014 coup and the rise of a fascist mindset in Thailand changed its trajectory. The conscious decision to degrade the experience of Western expats in favor of the apparent bonanza of Chinese tourism handed Vietnam the opportunity they needed and they were rapidly closing in on Thailand's lead. The pandemic threw everything into a deep freeze but don't be surprised if, post-pandemic, Vietnam emerges as the pre-eminent expat destination in S.E. Asia.

Less favorable exchange rates in recent years changed Thailand's value-for-money equation and made the heavy tariffs on imported goods and "luxury" taxes on alcohol far more obvious. I was stunned to realize, about three years ago, that some first-world countries, such as Spain and Portugal, now offer significantly better overall value alongside a higher quality-of-life. Eastern Europe is also becoming a far more viable option.

Meanwhile, South America and Central America have improved by leaps and bounds. The infamous Latin American bureaucracy has somewhat modernized, while various currency crises have kept prices low. Exposure of the general population to the Internet has also, I believe, created a better overall environment for expats.

Mexico, in North America, seems to have become a worse bet due to the rise of the cartels. There are undoubtedly wonderful enclaves within that massive country but the instability of being, essentially, a narco-state makes it a worse bet for expats. I don't see that changing unless the United States does something radical, such as legalizing drugs, but that won't happen anytime soon.

Now, at the start of 2022, I suspect that Thailand will never regain its lead among Western expats. Retirees already entrenched there will continue to enjoy it but the future will be very much Chinese.

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1 hour ago, SickBuffalo said:

From an expat perspective, the world has changed profoundly over the past decade. Thailand once seemed to have an unassailable lead in terms of quality-of-life and cost-of-living. Other S.E. Asian countries were too undeveloped and Latin American countries were too dangerous.

The 2014 coup and the rise of a fascist mindset in Thailand changed its trajectory. The conscious decision to degrade the experience of Western expats in favor of the apparent bonanza of Chinese tourism handed Vietnam the opportunity they needed and they were rapidly closing in on Thailand's lead. The pandemic threw everything into a deep freeze but don't be surprised if, post-pandemic, Vietnam emerges as the pre-eminent expat destination in S.E. Asia.

Less favorable exchange rates in recent years changed Thailand's value-for-money equation and made the heavy tariffs on imported goods and "luxury" taxes on alcohol far more obvious. I was stunned to realize, about three years ago, that some first-world countries, such as Spain and Portugal, now offer significantly better overall value alongside a higher quality-of-life. Eastern Europe is also becoming a far more viable option.

Meanwhile, South America and Central America have improved by leaps and bounds. The infamous Latin American bureaucracy has somewhat modernized, while various currency crises have kept prices low. Exposure of the general population to the Internet has also, I believe, created a better overall environment for expats.

Mexico, in North America, seems to have become a worse bet due to the rise of the cartels. There are undoubtedly wonderful enclaves within that massive country but the instability of being, essentially, a narco-state makes it a worse bet for expats. I don't see that changing unless the United States does something radical, such as legalizing drugs, but that won't happen anytime soon.

Now, at the start of 2022, I suspect that Thailand will never regain its lead among Western expats. Retirees already entrenched there will continue to enjoy it but the future will be very much Chinese.

As for the Thai mindset I think of the rise of the constitutional monarchy against the prior absolute monarchy. 

As I understand it, this was done by a coalition of military forces:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_revolution_of_1932

As such, the military is - historically speaking - a founding member of the Thai government as we know it. 

As Tony Soprano said "if you want respect, you show respect." 

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2 hours ago, SickBuffalo said:



Mexico, in North America, seems to have become a worse bet due to the rise of the cartels. There are undoubtedly wonderful enclaves within that massive country but the instability of being, essentially, a narco-state makes it a worse bet for expats. I don't see that changing unless the United States does something radical, such as legalizing drugs, but that won't happen anytime soon.

 

I love Mexico and I have never felt unsafe there and have driven all over

 

But you can't ignore the detoriation it's going through with cartels

 

 

We were in Tulum in July and the army patrols the streets on the back of military trucks with machine guns

 

There have been shoot-ups in some of the most popular spots

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Haven't been around the world but Thailand has been nothing but a perfect place for retirement, aside from healthcare, which is the only downside / limiting factor for me. 

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Sick Buffalo is spot on in his remarks, I have been living in and out of Thailand for 35 years, doing business and buying land. There are a large number of older expats who will never leave as unwisely most of their assets are in Thailand, they will remain. Over the years(until recently) I’ve seen a constant increase of expats arriving, meeting girls and buying land, houses and condos and starting businesses. In a property market such as Thailand’s, it is essential that there is a steadily increasing rate of arrivals. I believe that due to the absurdly complicated and expensive entry requirements and draconian regulations if you finally make it in,will put many potential retirees off. The housing market in Thailand is very different from Europe/USA, here a house will normally sell within 3 months if priced reasonably, In Thailand I’ve friends with good houses still unsold after 5 years despite continually reducing the price. This situation will only get worse as people who would have come to live in Thailand discover more friendly easier to access destinations. I have a bungalow in Jomtien that I haven’t visited for 2 years now and won’t go until travel is quarantine free, test free and insurance free. If Thailand doesn’t get its act together pretty quickly, it could endure an economic slump resulting in violent civil unrest which would frighten away any foreign capital. The situation will eventually spiral out of control when the extent of the government and private debt becomes apparent and unemployment soars, probably around the latter part of the year.

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3 hours ago, Marc26 said:

I love Mexico and I have never felt unsafe there and have driven all over

But you can't ignore the detoriation it's going through with cartels

We were in Tulum in July and the army patrols the streets on the back of military trucks with machine guns

There have been shoot-ups in some of the most popular spots

When the body count is in the hundreds of thousands and even the USMC is not allowed to visit, I'd say the security situation *might* be slightly sub-optimal. But if that's not in the articles retirement scoring system maybe it's not a big deal. 

But then again maybe some people like excitement in their retirement?  

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To be honest, I'd like to see Thailand further down in the ranks... I'm telling everyone Ecuador is the place to be... $400.00 month for PR there. And the cost of living is about the same. And they use dollars as the currency. Tell all your friends if they must come to Asia, tell them Vietnam is the best... Lol. 

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3 hours ago, dj230 said:

Haven't been around the world but Thailand has been nothing but a perfect place for retirement, aside from healthcare, which is the only downside / limiting factor for me. 

You mean the cost of mandatory insurance for retirement visa? 

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On 1/12/2022 at 4:56 AM, Vince said:

You mean the cost of mandatory insurance for retirement visa? 

Just the healthcare situation, as a Canadian government health insurance expires after 6 months out of country and private health insurance doesn't cover pre-existing conditions.

I was going to go back to Canada this month for some medical tests but I was looking at accommodations in Toronto, even in smaller towns outside of downtown its about $2000 a month for a cheap apartment. Decided to stay in Bangkok, a nice condo in centre of Bangkok is about $500, anything remotely similar would be close to $3000 a month in Toronto

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Just now, dj230 said:

Just the healthcare situation, as a Canadian government health insurance expires after 6 months out of country and private health insurance doesn't cover pre-existing conditions.

And the cost of out of pocket care is prohibitive? 

I understood (generally speaking, as an insurance newbie) pre existing conditions would be covered, they would command, possibly, a higher premium? 

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1 hour ago, Vince said:

And the cost of out of pocket care is prohibitive? 

I understood (generally speaking, as an insurance newbie) pre existing conditions would be covered, they would command, possibly, a higher premium? 

All the insurance companies I’ve spoken to have told me that no insurance company will cover pre existing medical conditions. 
 

albiet some mentioned if the insurance company doesn’t “know” it will be covered but if they find out they can deny coverage. 
 

I've also always been very cautious with insurance companies and went with more established companies if I had the choice even if the premiums were higher. The hassle free claim payouts are worth it in my opinion, nothing worse than getting in an emergency and then having to go back and forth with insurance for claims with them trying to not payout anyway they can 

 

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