Retiree for Chiang Mai?

Right...Ive got it sorted.....google Nationalseniors.com.au.  Go to Age pensions and overseas travel.  Its all good...

Thanks for that. 
This information seems to be at odds from what the person at Centrelink told me during a brief phone chat 2 weeks ago.

THUS I am 77 looking to retire in thailand am on a pension i contacted the international dept of centrelink ( didnt know they had one ) anyway they told me that i could live overseas as long as i like but after six months i would lose my rent assistance plus all the other bits and bobs my o /a pension at the moment is $1027 :40 in six months it will be $814 per fortnightbecause the key word is HOLIDAY !!in other words you are going on extended holiday !! that was 3weeks ago i dont think its changed in 3weeks !! hope this helps                                                                                                                                                            regards  retiredenglishgent  !!

What's rent assistance? You realize that rents in Thailand are about 10% what you need in Australia? :)
You'd think they'd be happy to see you spending the $$$ in a country where it went further.

You will loose your rent assistance the moment you leave Australia.  Rent assistance is not payable outside Australia.  At Present if you live in Australia your aged pension including various allowances  will be $894.40 P/F.  After being out of Australia for 6 weeks it will fall to $837.10 P/F, some allowance gone.  Your rent assistance will stop on departure as you go through customs  You can live anywhere in the world and Centrelink will pay your aged pension into your bank A/C each 4 weeks free of charge.  There are thousands of Australian doing it in Thailand.  Why in both Chaing Mia and Cha-am and all over Thailand there are thousands of Australian living on the pension (70,000 + according to Govt. statistics).

Perhaps some reading for you on Thai Visa lots and lots discussion and fighting about Australian aged pension. Some nice advice some not so good.  140  of pages of various comments some 10 post to the page.  There a few post from me on this site and also some insults as is often the case on ThaiVisa.

https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/16 … d-pension/

Hello Jane, I have been retired here 5 1/2 years now so I'm well settled in. The advice to come over first and have a look around, taking your time, is good. I love it here but have been married to my Thai wife for 26 years and been working here for over 30 years on and off. So for me it was fairly easy - just the same we planned it over 10 years and it all went smoothly.

Living costs in general are about 66% lower than Australia in my estimation. Food , transport ( except cars ), clothing, power and water are all a lot less. I have no knowledge about the pension as we have our own superannuation scheme which enables us to live very comfortably.

There are some times of the year,- coming soon, Feb -March when it is smoky but last year wasn't so bad as they are taking some steps to curb the burning in the province but smoke and haze still comes over from Myanmar and China.
The rest of the year it ranges from hot and dry Feb to May to hot and wet June -Oct with short heavy rains in the afternoons or evenings in general with increased humidity. Nov Jan is the coolest and most pleasant time to be here with lower temps, not much rain and lower humidity. I personally like the climate. You can Google Chiang mai Climate for the most accurate information.

There will be some cultural adjustments needed especially if you have not had experience with Thai culture before but generally Chiang mai and its people are welcoming. You can get by with English but if you pick up some Thai language along the way it will be easier. Chiang mai relax is the motto and a calm smile works very well usually.

Medical is good with two excellent western style private hospitals which are expensive and cheaper public hospitals which are also good. The same with dental services. Health insurance should be considered and investigated as it can be expensive depending on your level of cover.

We bought a house as my wife is Thai so I have no idea about rental costs and that would need some research on your part according to your needs and preferences. But in general they are lower than Oz.
You can buy a strata title in a condominium but you cannot buy actual land. Prices are much lower here.

I would recommend a month visit to look around and see if you like the place and then go back and think about it for a while and then make another trip later as you will see it through different eyes the second time.

There are many expats retired here and the supply of western food is good but you will obviously pay more for imported products. I buy cheese, Yogurt and butter from local supermarkets and it all comes from Melbourne even Vegemite. Wine is taxed heavily but there is a broad range from many countries.

If you love Thai food you will find the availability, variety and freshness excellent and the cost very low.

Retirement visas are available and require you to have at least Bt 800.000 ( Approx A$ 32,000. ) in a  bank account or have certified income equivalent to that or a mix of the two. They are valid for one year and you must renew the Visa every year in person and also submit an address report to Immigration either  in person, by post or online every 90 days.  There are some other requirements as well but the above points are the major ones.

So in short my advice is come and have a couple of looks and see if it will suit you.
Best wishes

Soundspeed.
Chiang mai.

Ruffian Dick :

What's rent assistance? You realize that rents in Thailand are about 10% what you need in Australia? :)

You'd think they'd be happy to see you spending the $$$ in a country where it went further.

What ever you do never believe politicians are always bright...they make the rules even if they are silly. Raffity's Rules ( Could be a relation of Ruffian Dick).

If you live in Australia and receive a pension any Govt pension and you are below the assets or income threshold. The Govt will increase your payments by about $132.00 P/F to assist you to pay your rent.  When you leave Australia and you have an aged pension already granted the rent assistance stops and after 6 weeks you pension goes from $894.40 to $837.10 and then after 6 month a further reduction is made. Not that much.  You will also loose your almost free universal heath care benefits until you return to Australia i.e.. almost free prescriptions, almost free medical treatment.

The  Retiredenglishgent's post would be $894.40 pension + $133.00 rent assistance = $1027.40 as he indicates he gets which is correct.

   Living in Thailand on an Australian pension can be quite comfortable about Bht 45,000P/m (you could even save money. See some of my posts),. Having a lovely Thai girlfriend will stretch things a bit but can be done and mostly works out (Thousand of Aussie s are doing it).  If your only income which is the aged Aussie Pension of about Bht 550,000 per year you really need about an extra Bht 250.000 + in a Thai Bank (beg steal or borrow it) but there are ways in Thailand of making it all happen. Having a private talk to a Thai immigration office or even an honest(?) Thai legal firm it can make it all happen for about Bht 25,000 first time, the second year renewal a bit cheaper...wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more???   TIT

See this site for too much information about Chiang Mai. It is highly informative. I edited several of the articles.   https://chiangmaibuddy.com/

you have to live in australia 37yrs to  get the oap!! also you can live outside aus for 5yrs and still get the oap !! and that was the international centrelink dept that told me !! go to centrelink and ask them to connect you to the lnternational dept and use there phone thats what happened to me at the melb office  !! hope this helps

you have to live in australia 37yrs to  get the oap!! also you can live outside aus for 5yrs and still get the oap !! and that was the international centrelink dept that told me !! go to centrelink and ask them to connect you to the lnternational dept and use there phone thats what happened to me at the melb office  !! hope this helps

I wonder about the efficacy and legality of those recommending workarounds to circumvent the Thai Immigration Laws and regulations.  I am not convinced, wink, wink, nudge, nudge will work as a defense argument if confronted by immigration about having insufficient funds to qualify for a particular visa.

Could it be, that one reason they are so suspicious of our paperwork and excuses, is their knowledge that many expats are trying to game the system and do an end run around the rules?

retiredenglishgent :

you have to live in australia 37yrs to  get the oap!! also you can live outside aus for 5yrs and still get the oap !! and that was the international centrelink dept that told me !! go to centrelink and ask them to connect you to the lnternational dept and use there phone thats what happened to me at the melb office  !! hope this helps

If you are applying for an aged pension today you will get the full pension in you are 66 y/o and have lived in Aus for 26 years, you will get granted the pension subject to the income and assets test and when your birth date is.  A  formula has been introduced to raise the aged pension age from 65 y/o to 70 y/o over a 20 year period. Like one year delay for each 4 years above the 65 y/o mark.  if you don't turn 70 y/o until 2035 that's when you will get it.

PS... you are giving your age away if as you say you you have to wait 37 years.  You must only be 33 years old...5555

stumpy :
THuzz :

dear jane. I also intend to retire in Chiang Mai and live off Oz pension. I had no idea that there may be a problem receiving it overseas! Did you end up getting any confirmation? As far as I know, you can get the pension indefinately so long as you have lived in Australia for 25 years straight. Google Changes in Pension payments.

Regarding overseas pension payments, the last Labor Govt was looking to eventually cut all overseas pension payments by 2020 so you would have to reside in Oz to get the pension.

From what little I know, and I may be wrong, you can get it paid overseas but it looks like you have to return after 23 weeks to keep up the full payment amount. It seems that if you choose to stay away longer then the amount drops.

I have been looking into it myself as I will retire to Laos soon. I think the best plan of attack is to make and appointment with Centrelink and have a chat with them about it.

It doesn't drop by much about $55 per fortnight after 6 weeks and a little bit more after 6 months.  Centrelink will deposit you pension in any nominated bank account in the world each 4 weeks.  No charge.  Lots of Aussie Farangs do it this way in Thailand.

Even if you come for a couple months your impression will be heavily biased by the months you’re here.  October through January is far more livable than February through April for instance.   
I’ve been here for 5 years now and really hate the hot smoke season.   I prefer not living in crowded noisy Chiang Mai, rather Doi Saket or even San Khaempang.   I live in a village now in Lamphun province which lends itself to gardening, outdoor wood shop, dogs, etc.   I would seriously look at Lamang.   It is smaller than CM but much better organized. Not many farang or tourists.  CM is a clusterf***.

Janehunt:

My wife and I retired to Chiang Mai in June 2019.  Thus far it has been fine.  Things you should consider are:

1)  Air quality is poor most of the year with PM2.5 in the hazardous range.  If you have health issues connected to breathing, you should do some research on the air quality levels for the past year.
2)  Retirement Visa laws and enforcement thereof are especially confusing.  If you plan to get an O-A Visa before leaving Australia, be aware you MUST have health / medical insurance from one of the 10 or 12 companies listed on the Thailand Immigration website.  Even though the website says other insurances are acceptable if accompanied by a certificate of insurance from the insurer, DON'T BELIEVE IT !  This is causing mass confusion and problems to the point that several Expats have thrown in the towel and relocated to other countries.  One way of bypassing this issue is to get an O Visa after arriving in Thailand on a tourist or similar visa, BUT everyone is worried the government's next step will to impose the same health / medical regulations for O Visa holders.  Depending upon your age, health / medical insurance can be quite costly, even using one of the 10 ~ 12 insurers listed on the Thai Immigration Dept. website.

These are the only two issues we have with living here, but either can be a deal killer depending on the situation.

Good Luck!

Hello Jane,

I am Thai and Chiang mai is my home region ...  if I can be of any help to you please let me know... you are planing to live in Thailand? there will be lots of things that you will need to take into consideration namely retirement laws and regulations, your rights to rent or to buy a condo or an apartment etc...

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