English Ex Pat, living in Pattaya with £12.000 a year- possible?

Hi,  would like advise from any English couples living in Pattaya,  My husband and myself, want to retire to Pattaya,
We will be 50 years old, next July and September, can you please advise us on the procedure regarding visas, we have read up on it, but very confusing to us.  I understand we could  apply in England for a 90 day visa, this would allow us to go in July of next year, this would then take me to 50. Do we within that 90 days, open a Thai bank account up, I know we have to deposit monies to allow us to stay, as we will not have a pension coming in every month.  After the 90 days do we apply for a retirement visa ?  does this have to be done in Pattaya, or can we do this in England before we go ?

Also would be helpful to hear form a couple that has done this move,  we will not be working in Thailand, living from our savings,  would be helpful if you think it is realistic, and are you glad that you made the move.  How much you spend on accommodation, and what electric costs, water etc, and any other outgoings that you have to pay for, advise on Health payments, also is it easy to renew visa every year.  Would be very grateful for any advice, we have been wanting to make the move for many years, now the time has come, we are unsure if it is the right move for us both or would we struggle, our budget would be around £12.000 a year to spend on living there, do you think that is enough.  Thanks

Julie

Hi from Australia, you are asking if it is possible to live on 659474.66 baht a year.
For one I would not live in Pattaya, It is a tourist destination and would be expensive to compared to other parts of the country.
Let's do the maths. Cheap accommodation could be 5000 baht to 10000 baht a month for simple living.
Food for the year well that is up to you how you would like to live. I can eat Thai food so it is cheap for me and always fresh.
Electricity
Water
Transport
Entertainment
Health Insurance
Etc
Your 659474.66 baht a year divided by 12 gives you 54956 baht a month.   
Are you going to rent or buy?
If you had an income stream coming in from the U.K. it would mean you would not need to deposit as much in a Thai Bank Account.
- thaiconsul-uk.com

Cost of living is here : https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=439091

Everybody have a different life style, you have financial requirement for retirement visa already explained in others forums, the cost of healthcare, if you have to travel back or not in your home country, living in tourist areas will cost you more,.....

You will never live like local Thais people which earn 10,000 THB or 15,000 THB per month, because it is different culture, you are not fluent in their language, there are some prices for local and others prices for foreigners, all can be negotiable, but for a farang couple it is always more spending than for a mixed couple ( Thai- foreigner ), if you eat European food it will cost you a fortune, as everything imported have high import duty taxes...

If you go out a lot, drink beer, go to restaurant, etc... living like tourist, yes it will cost you a lot, if you plan to buy a new car it will cost you also a lot,...

jesterjeffs :

Hi,  would like advise from any English couples living in Pattaya,  My husband and myself, want to retire to Pattaya,
We will be 50 years old, next July and September, can you please advise us on the procedure regarding visas, we have read up on it, but very confusing to us.  I understand we could  apply in England for a 90 day visa, this would allow us to go in July of next year, this would then take me to 50. Do we within that 90 days, open a Thai bank account up, I know we have to deposit monies to allow us to stay, as we will not have a pension coming in every month.  After the 90 days do we apply for a retirement visa ?  does this have to be done in Pattaya, or can we do this in England before we go ?

Also would be helpful to hear form a couple that has done this move,  we will not be working in Thailand, living from our savings,  would be helpful if you think it is realistic, and are you glad that you made the move.  How much you spend on accommodation, and what electric costs, water etc, and any other outgoings that you have to pay for, advise on Health payments, also is it easy to renew visa every year.  Would be very grateful for any advice, we have been wanting to make the move for many years, now the time has come, we are unsure if it is the right move for us both or would we struggle, our budget would be around £12.000 a year to spend on living there, do you think that is enough.  Thanks

Julie

Hi Julie

First the Visa. There are a few options but quite complex to explain. 50 is the magic age for retirement extensions here, notice I said EXTENSION not VISA. You enter on a valid Visa(or even visa exempt) then extend it for one year at a time via Thai Immigration in Thailand. Providing you hit the financials.

Once you are both 50 you may well be required to have separate extensions of stay, prior to that the younger person can stay as a dependant of the older person. Some immigration offices appear to allow dependents to continue after they reach retirement age without a separate extension.

Separate extensions means having to each provide the financial evidence, 800,000 Baht in the bank or 65,000 Baht monthly income or a combination of the two.

There are some alternatives to the retirement extension route.

In November this year a new 6 month tourist visa will be available. You could also research the O-A Visa(could get you up to 2 years here) although there are financial requirements on these imposed by the issuing embassy or consulate just as there are financial requirements for the issue of an O visa. Check out the Royal Thai Embassy web site in London.

Also check out the Thailand Elite card.

BTW You would apply for an extension of stay at the Immigration office serving the province you live in.

Cost of Living!

To be honest £12,000 for a couple is a bit low in my opinion for a foreign couple especially in a touristy area like Pattaya,  it's only around 54,000 Baht a month. It's doable but a lot depends on what hit you take for the rent and some health insurance(if you need it). My wife and I, she is Thai, live on around 40,000 Baht a month BUT not in a tourist area and she as a retired teacher gets health perks which I can also use. Rent up here costs us 3500 Baht a month for a two bedroomed detached house and garden, again don't expect anything like that in Pattaya.

Basically Western stuff(imported) is expensive, while much Thai produced stuff is cheaper, but the difference between UK prices and Thai prices is narrowing. Of course there are some great bargains here, NO council Tax, lower rates of VAT, cheap fresh local produce, cheap public transport(outside Bangkok), petrol/diesel to name but a few.

Almost forgot. Thai bank.
Banks and separate branches of the same bank take different approaches to foreigners and bank accounts. Requirements vary too from a work permit to just your passport, proof of address and a passport.  You should have no problem setting one up on an O visa or even a tourist visa but you might have to ask around a bit first. By the way the Bangkok Bank has an office in London. Check out their website.
Hope this helps.

I would wait till one of you is over 50 and can obtain O-A visa in the UK before making the move.  Upon arrival get the bank account opened in name of person holding O-A visa.  The other person would travel in on tourist visa and could then extend as dependent of spouse provided financial requirements are met by person holding O-A visa.

Cost of living will depend on type of residence you want and lifestyle you desire.  You also need to think about healthcare cost, utility cost and transportation.

Your budget would currently give you a bit over 54k baht a month but exchange rates vary.  There was a two year period from 2011-2013 that 1k pounds would have given you only 47k-49k baht a month and in 2013 for a short period only 44k baht a month.  You must factor in currency exchange rates and inflation before making a decision.

Thank you for your advice ..

Hello Julie.

I think it would be worth your while Julie to contact me by email as I think I have some answers for you which you will not find elsewhere. I am an expat from Australia and been living in Thailand for four years and have been through the rental scene. We have developed a different approach to living in Thailand and have many answers to your queries. My email address: xxx. My personal telephone number is xxx
Cheers John Eglington

Moderated by Bhavna 4 years ago
Reason : Please exchange contact details via private messaging.
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Hi Julie
I agree with John.
I appreciate what John says and also be careful when renting and from whom.
I have been coming to Thailand from 2001 at least twice a year and have been living here since Jan 2014 .
As you can see l live in a small town about two hours from Pattaya and about 150 KM from BKK>
I have done careful research on my cost of living here  and am willing to share it with you as well as all the "problems"obtaining a  "retirement"Visa.
You can mail me on ****************** or Skype me on  ************  and I will send you more private info to make your life much easier here as it is a real nice country to live in.
Barry

Moderated by Priscilla 4 years ago
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security

Thank you Barry, I will email you

Hello Barry.

I will contact you by Skype later tonight as I have engagements for the next couple of hours.
I will discuss it with you then personally cheers John
Skype: *************

Moderated by Priscilla 4 years ago
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security

Why Pattaya ??? Research it more, then you might ask yourself, why Pattaya.
Many, many more economical & pleasant places to live. Pattaya IS NOT Thailand, it a human zoo. 
Just my two bob's worth.

I totally agree  with Malt
I only go there when I have to eg Chiropractor etc.
There are many more small villages along the Thai coast which have a much better and cheaper lifestyle.
Please do your research as I have requested
Barry

Thanks for your advice,  We are only 49 years young, not 90,  want to party not to be boring, we can stay in England and do that..

Hi
I am afraid that 12000 K will not be enough
You can still enjoy life in the smaller villages and party as much as you would like.
Have  great day
Barry

Thanks, Have a nice day ..

I would tend to agree with most of the above...and add ..

DO NOT HEAD FOR PATTAYA ...I am no prude and if a young single guy ..go for it ..but as a married couple !!!  ..it is the sex capitol of Asia and all that that attracts ..crime is high ..and the average tourist not really the type that you would have amongst your friends at home !

I would recommend ..the north, where I lived for a while ...or better still where I now live ..Hua Hin.  The King has a residence  here  and as such the security is good and the standard of living very good ..tends to attract a better sort of visitor and retiree.   You have the beach ..access to good shopping ..especially for western foods ..and still within 3 hours of BKK.   Plenty of good housing ..buy or rent and good hospitals if needed.

Good luck ..Thailand can be a great place to retire.

Thanks for your reply,  we probably will move around the country once we have been there for a year, so we can take a look at other places.

I would still avoid Pattaya ..spend a weekend there ..still well ..and hope the marriage stays intact ..and move on ..it certainly isn't Greenall Whitley Land !!!  lol !!

jesterjeffs :

Thanks for your advice,  We are only 49 years young, not 90,  want to party not to be boring, we can stay in England and do that..

Why do some people try to push their life style preference on other people.  Living in Pattaya does not mean your forced to go out and indulge in the naughty life.  If you want to live in Pattaya then I say do it and enjoy.

In my opinion 12,000 GBP is not enough if you are expecting a nightly party life.  If you only want to go out one or two night a week then it might be enough unless you are big spenders.

Thank you for your good comment, as you say I know we cannot party every night, we do like Pattaya, and everything is there for you to have a good time and if you are sensible I think you will enjoy your life..

A thought or two.

Some places, Pattaya being a prime example, have  reps as party towns.
That essentially means tourists (Or anyone who looks like they're a tourist) will get treated as a tourist.
The highest price for everything, and being dogged by every tuk tuk driver you have the misfortune to meet into trips to the nearest precious stone merchant.
I can see how a week in such a place would appeal to some, but a holiday and a life are different things.
I pop to tourist areas from time to time, and I get exactly the same thing, even when I reply in a local language, telling them I live here.

My opinion is as clear as it is unimportant to you, but I would suggest you consider the thoughts in this post before you decide.

Hi, Thanks for reply,  the main reason for going to Pattaya, is being we have been going there now for over 10 years, 2/3 times a year, Yes, as you say only as a tourist, spending 2-3 weeks at a time,  anyway, the reason is we know the place and we will be bringing over my pet dog, we thought it would be easier for us to go to a place which we know, may be stay there for 1 year and if it gets too much for us, travel around,  we would like to rent a house but not too far out from Central Pattaya,   Can anyone suggest an area?  Thanks

Jesterjeffs its difficult to suggest area to find house without knowing your plans for transport around city.  I strongly suggest you locate a cheap room to stay the first month and during that month survey the town checking different area's.  If you like an area you will need to look for places yourself because the best deals are not listed with agent they will have a for rent sign with phone number posted on the house.  The houses listed by agents generally have higher rents.

When you find a place make sure you pay government rates for electric and water and pay direct to utility company not through owner.

Hi
I just checked my electricity bill for the month
Used 601 Units cost was 2628THB ie 4.37 per unit including VAT
I have an aircon on 24/7  Inverter Mitsubishi 12000BTU as well as the normal fridge, kettle, Washing Machine Microwave,deep freeze, two roof fans and two electrical Geysers of 6000 watt each (Shower water heaters)
I live in Prachin Buri
My water is just over 5 thb per unit it is 1 Kilo liter
The cost this month was 140 THB due to the rainfall and less watering of the garden
Hope this assists you on costs
I agree with Straydog when it comes to rental to ensure you pay Government rates for utilities.

Thanks for your reply

Thanks,

You need to apply for either a multi-entry Non-immigrant O Visa in the UK (of single entry, if local Thai Embassy not grant multi-entry). Once you arrive you must open a Thai bank account and the usual conditions of retirement, which change regularly especially now the Army are running the country. For a retirement visa application, you used to have to be 52 years old, but some say this is now 50. Please check online. Then you need to deposit 800,000 baht into a Thai account, or have the equivalent in several accounts which you need proof of by bank latter/statement (up to date) This amount has to be left in untouched for a duration of 2-3 months depends where you apply. You can apply for a retirement non-imm O while inside Thailand for a small cost if you fulfill these requirements. Obviously if you were retired with a pension it would be easier.
So the original multi or single entry Non-immigrant O visa of 3 months can be extended inside Thailand at Pattaya, Phuket or any other Thai consul for a further 12 months which give you 15 months. However, please remember that if you wish to leave the country for any reason, you must obtain an exit visa which allows you to re-enter on original retirement visa, if you do not obtain one and leave Thailand, your visa will be void upon return
One thing to note is that the 800,000 Thai baht can be made up of savings or part-time earnings, pension, etc so long as you fulfill the specific amount Thai Authorities state you need to survive.

Regarding budget of 12,000 UK pounds - this will depend on how much rent you will pay for place to stay, transport (car/motorbike, etc) Also sensible to get good health insurance. So depends on foreign exchange rates 12k is approx 650,000 = 54,000Thai baht per month. For me that is do-able but a little on the low side unless you are used to living on low wage. Plenty of Thais would live like Kings on that amount, but foreigners have certain needs that they want to keep up, and home comforts, but if you are so determined to move soon, then do not be put off as you will enjoy it here even on low budget. I for one like to have a beer and also eat British food some times which always costs more even if you cook it yourself.

Well good luck with the move but please check online regularly because visa requirements do change from time to time. Also please do some homework before moving as to where you wish to live as costs differ considerably for accommodation, etc Also remember that you both need the required visa requirements, funds etc.

An excellent reply by NTPT
It also depends sometimes on the immigration office
Barry

Pattaya is more then bar and nightlife.
Move a little away from it, and Pattaya is like others city in Thailand.
It is up to where one to settle down.

A good idea is to find out how much a Health and accident insurance cost for you 2 per year, Then you know how much money you have left to use per month.

If it was me, i start in a condo with some furniture. So you can relax and make you plans.
Go around and look for place to live, Go there early morning, midday, evening and night time, to check for your self.
Some place look great in day time, but a evening and night time when bar might start playing music it can get very noise.
Even if the bar is 1-2 km away.

Then decide what you want, condo / house with furniture's, or without furniture's.
If without furniture's, remember cost for furniture's.

When you first come and maybe start in a condo for rent (6 month or so)
Write down every baht your using and on what, That way you can see how much money you use and on what.
Make it easy, when you have to plan, place to live, how much for rent, power, water, food and so on.

We (My Thai wife) still write every thing down we use to keep a eye on every thing.

After we move into our house, we use 28.000 - 40.000 baht per month for us 2.
My Thai wife have the Thailand health program to cover her, she pay 100 baht per month, government pay 150 baht month, I think it is. I know we pay 1200 baht per year for my wife, Rest from government.
That way she cover health and free dentist care.

As i can´t get a health insurance because previous illnesses i have, or i need to pay way to much.
I have 2 accident insurance, one from both my bank, Come with my account.
And i save up all the money we don´t use to cover if something serious happened to us.
All the "normal" stuff at hospital is so cheap here.

It is very cheap to live in Thailand compare to my home country.
Back home as single i use around 95% of my pension to live.
Here for 2 people i use around 50-60% of my pension.

Thank you for your advice, I hope that the retirement age has not gone up, and is still 50 years old, do not want to wait another 2 years..

No It is still 50
People love to confuse people
Cheers
Barry

Thank you for your reply,  the Health Insurance is looking like it will be our biggest expense a month, we do not want to chance not having the cover, I want to know that if we needed to go to hospital, we are both covered for everything we need, I have been looking at ex pat insurance, the monthly cost seems okay, but you are only covered for a certain amount a day if you go to hospital, all is added up for a day stay,  bed, food, nurse, newspaper, if you go over that you have to find the difference in cost,  seems a lot of work to add all that up for your stay,  Can anyone suggest any Health Insurers that you are covered upto a certain amount, but not broke down daily?

Thanks Barry,

Hi
I have found that AA insurance in Hua Hin can give good advice and very good service
I have my car,accident as well as home insurance with them
I have a policy that covers me for any accident in Thailand that is very reasonable
My South African medical insurance covers fully me for three months after my return to Thailand every time as well as the interim on a global average
As this includes the States etc which are expensive I am covered for all major emergency surgery,heart attacks etc
If I require for example a hip replacement,cancer etc I need to return to SA for treatment which I will anyhow do due to the excellent Drs there.

My SA insurance fully covered costs me 90 USD a month. I am 72
I also have an emergency fund here invested in Unit trusts which I can en-cash in 4 days
My research has indicated that the normal hospital costs are cheaper than most countries
My problem here are the Ambulances which take forever to arrive where I live out in the sticks and a stroke or heart attack dont wait when they hit you

Thanks Barry

What's with all the secrecy regarding people's renting techniques, is there some things going on that can't be told to the other users on here without having to send private emails? Come on share your secrets for one and all!!'

b4bmm :

What's with all the secrecy regarding people's renting techniques, is there some things going on that can't be told to the other users on here without having to send private emails? Come on share your secrets for one and all!!'

Advertising is forbidden on this forum, there is Housing section in this expat website to find rental in Thailand, you can find also others websites with your search engine.

After you can have sharks sending emails to you and you need to be careful.

There are things legal which can be shared on this website but in Thailand there are also many things not legal in daily life and this can NOT be shared here, as in any forums there are rules to respect

b4bmm :

What's with all the secrecy regarding people's renting techniques, is there some things going on that can't be told to the other users on here without having to send private emails? Come on share your secrets for one and all!!'

The open section of the forum is not set up for advertising so it is not allowed. The are sections of the forum where ads can be placed.

On an open forum placing any personal contact details can cause security problems. 

The forum is the place for free exchange of information and advice about whatever topic the thread is about, not the exchange of private details. It is not a chat line either.

There is a code of conduct that all members need to read and be conversant with.

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