Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

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What do YOU want to do (expat or not)? Read below before voting. Post your comments

Poll ended at Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:46 am

1. I plan to leave Thailand
0
No votes
2. I plan to stay in Thailand
5
56%
3. I'm not an expat, but I plan to become one in Thailand
1
11%
4. I plan to stick to holidays in Thailand, but don't plan to live there
2
22%
5. Undecided
1
11%
6. Other (please specify)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 9

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Gaybutton
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Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Gaybutton »

Majority of ASEAN NOW expat viewers want to remain in Thailand

by Michael Bridge

June 16, 2022

We have had an enormous response from a topic we ran on June 8th entitled Is Thailand likely to see a mass exodus of Expats?

The article highlighted that every year from April to June many Europeans leave Thailand to fly back to enjoy the summer months back home.

We posed the big question…. How many of them will return in 2022?

We had over 7,800 views and 205 replies.

Shifting through the responses it would seem that the majority stated that they were staying put in Thailand.

Although a few stated they may consider returning home.

Here is a cross-section of some of your comments.

I think it is just the opposite more want and will come here.

It is literally 4 to 5 times more expensive to live in my home country now than here.

If a person has a fully paid off house or can stay for free with family back home, then I guess they can consider returning. Otherwise, most of the living expenses listed are way way up in western countries now compared to here.

I am very happy remaining here thanks, go back once a year for a month to visit family that is more than enough.

One reason I like being here now is no gas bill no mortgage no HP no council tax it makes up for other shortfalls.

Why would anyone leave? Great weather here, living costs 30% of the West, young female company.

A friend of mine uses a foreign lawyer in Bangkok, who is one of the top attorneys around. He said his office cannot find enough hours in the day to meet with expats who are leaving, with their Thai spouse or family, and dealing with the legal aspects and wills for their remaining Thai families, properties, etc. He said he has never seen anything like it, in the 30 years he has been in practice here.

Many expats from Europe have already returned permanently, those who remain will make it more difficult to move to another country as they have families in Thailand, so they will resist the rise in prices in Thailand because prices in Europe are also rising.

For the most part, the migratory birds of the six months have already found more hospitable places in the southern European countries and Arab countries.

I am very happy remaining here thanks, go back once a year for a month to visit family that is more than enough.

One reason I like being here now is no gas bill, no mortgage, no HP, and no council tax. It makes up for other shortfalls.

Why would anyone leave? Great weather here, living costs 30% of the West, young female company.
I know a few who have left already, mainly for financial reasons due to Covid ruining their business.

Personally, I like it. It's not perfect but you learn to mostly avoid the bad things and focus on the good things. The only bad thing I cannot avoid are the roads. Incredibly dangerous and I do at least a couple of thousand km per month.

Too many disadvantages to returning to USA, mostly financial. Too lazy to think about going elsewhere. 67 years old and rooted, with adult daughter. Especially now, as just finished a house build, and picking up the adjacent lot, to that build today.

I can talk to my son any time I want by DUO or ZOOM in Australia.

I haven't been back to Australia during COVID, can't be bothered with the hoops to jump through at either end. Apart from the price of gasoline, I can't say there has been any increase in my cost of living, which would be a lot more in Australia and a lot of other countries. Lay that squarely on the Russian doorstep.

I don't know what the masses will do, but I'm seriously considering pulling the plug. As an American, it is much cheaper and much less bother for me to spend 6-12 months in Mexico rather than Thailand. I'll admit part of that decision will be because I speak Spanish quite well but even after 4 years of really trying, I can't manage to speak any more than the very simplest survival Thai.

I would only return if the Government decided that "Retirement Extensions" must include a requirement of a 1 month "at home" period, like the financial you can use 400K of your 800k for 7 months of the year requirements. Can't see that happening.

I am starting to see expats living 10+ years in Thailand leaving this place in the last 2 years, same in China, in particular Shanghai where it's an absolute nightmare.
This is what happens when you let authoritarian governments micro-manage your life

The only expats I know who have returned had to because of financial or health reasons. There in other reasonable to return to broken Britain or a fractured Europe. As for friendly Arab countries: Dubai welcomes millionaires and Russian Oligarchs ejected at last from the UK.


I think the majority have burned there bridges back home and have very limited funds at hand now.
So, all they will do is reduce their standard of living until they pass, very few will leave.

Thank you for all your comments.

https://aseannow.com/topic/1262960-majo ... -thailand/

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Gaybutton »

I certainly plan to stay in Thailand , if Thailand will have me, for the rest of my life. Even if something unforeseen happens and I am forced to leave, that doesn't necessarily mean I would return to the USA. I don't know where I would go, but on my list of choices, returning to the USA would be way down at the bottom.

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by BKKDreamer »

Dear all,

I hope to be a new expat addition, as a retiree, in Jomtien from September.
I am shutting down my life here in Europe - Hungary so that I can make the eventual move.
I have reached out to Mots, N.A. Services, and KeyVisaThailand - but none of them reply to my emails. Perhaps they are too long winded.
I guess I just need to be on the ground and go into one of their offices after I arrive.

Therefore, would you allow me to ask some of the questions that I asked them here ?

1.) I want to do the non-immigrant O long term visa - as a retiree. I would arrive as a tourist with 30 days that can be extended another 60 days. I would imagine that one of the above agents will help me to open a bank account so that I can move the 800.000 baht into said account. The rules seem to imply that this 800.000 baht needs to be on deposit for 3 months prior to requesting the non-immigrant O long term visa. So, my first question is, how do I accomplish this if my 90 day tourist visa will expire before the 3 months ?

2.) an address is required for the non-immigrant O long term visa. I plan to go condo apartment hunting in the Jomtien area (preferably within walking distance of Dongtan beach and SuperTown). So, for the first month or 2 I would be in an AirBnB or hotel - would I use that temporary address for the non-immigrant O long term visa filing ?

I have many more questions - but they are less important and I can bombard the agent with them after I arrive.

Many thanks for your words of wisdom and permission to post these questions. If they are not allowed - then please delete my post.

Thanks,

Martin

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Jun »

I would suggest the visa question is for a different thread, since in that case the decision is already made and it's about how to execute it.

Regarding what people want to do, as the poll includes questions for people not yet living in Thailand, I voted "Undecided".
I'm undecided between becoming an expat and continuing with holidays.
The next step is longer holidays, although a longer holiday is likely to include visits to other countries. I've already increased from 1 month to almost 3 months since taking early retirement. The last trip would have been over 3 months, had Thai immigration offered some reasonable options.

I'm not quite sure what to do with UK property.

When actually living in the UK, the current detached house with garden works quite well most of the time. Until the heating system develops a problem when I'm away on holiday.
If living in the UK and increasing the proportion of time in Thailand, switching to an apartment in the UK is attractive, since it shouldn't require much maintenance or heating and I could just lock the door and leave. One obvious problem is that apartments mostly seem to be built with tiny mailboxes, about the size of a shoe box, so that would fill up. My ideal apartment has a mailbox that takes 12 months mail.

If moving to Thailand, selling all UK property is attractive from a convenience perspective. However, that could make it more difficult to return. Keeping open the option of returning seems sensible, in case of medical costs in Thailand becoming unsustainable or possible political actions taken to discourage retirees in future, such as drastically increasing fees for retirement visas.

I'd like to know what expats think about keeping property in your home country.

As for the comments extracted from ASEAN now, I'm not entirely convinced about the comments saying Thailand is cheaper.
OK, they avoid the heating and council tax in Thailand, as mentioned.
But there are still energy costs for aircon. Then, add in medical insurance costs, which people who say Thailand is cheaper do not mention.
Although for me, once I can afford it, which is cheapest isn't a consideration.

The factors I do consider are (i) where do I want to live, (ii) what about my parents and (iii) can I afford Thailand long term, including medical cover and a big safety margin for exchange rate fluctuation etc ? With the first two questions being the most important for now.

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Gaybutton »

BKKDreamer wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 3:10 pm
Therefore, would you allow me to ask some of the questions that I asked them here ?
I will try to answer your two questions here, but if you have more questions, please start a new topic and we will be happy to try to help you. On this topic, let's stick to the subject.

The best advice I can give you is to start everything with Mots Services. In my opinion, and others may disagree, they are the best and well worth the money. Actually, other than opening a Thai bank account, you can do almost all of what is necessary yourself, without an agent. But as long as the agent is competent and charges reasonable prices, I think it is worth going through an agent the first time to save yourself worry and uncertainty.

As for the 800,000 baht, immigration knows that people applying for a first time retirement visa will be doing so long before the three months. That rule applies after you have obtained your first retirement visa.

As for an address, give them what you have. Make sure you have paperwork to show you are renting at that address. When you change that address to a new location, you need to immediately go to immigration to report your new address.

Mots can help you with all of this. This is what they do - all day, every day. Don't worry. As long as you have 800,000 baht, that is what immigration is looking for more than everything else.

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 3:55 pm
I'd like to know what expats think about keeping property in your home country.
In my case, I bought and paid for my house in Thailand before retiring. When I left the USA I sold everything and closed out my life there. I have no reason to keep property that I intend never to occupy again.

I have never regretted my decision and I would do the same thing tomorrow.

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by BKKDreamer »

Dear Gaybutton,

Many thanks for your invaluable advice - as you truly helped to reduce my retirement transition anxiety.
I will follow your guidance and once I hit the ground in Jomtien I will make a visit to Mots Services.

Once I am settled, I hope that I can personally meet you - dinner and drinks on me and also to any other members who reside in Pattaya/Jomtien - as I would like to make new friends and to learn from you seasoned veterans on the dos and don'ts of living and surviving as a retiree in Thailand.

Cheers and all the best,

Martin

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 5:14 pm
In my case, I bought and paid for my house in Thailand before retiring. When I left the USA I sold everything and closed out my life there. I have no reason to keep property that I intend never to occupy again.
Whilst you don't intend to return home, what about the downside risks ? For me the one I don't understand well enough is medical insurance.
What about premiums escalating as you age and in particular, rising if you develop conditions which are expensive to treat ?
(Whilst the US isn't exactly known for low medical costs, I gather over 65s qualify for some kind of state coverage)

Gaybutton wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 5:14 pm
I have never regretted my decision and I would do the same thing tomorrow.
Glad to hear it.
I don't recall reading of many expats on the forums packing up their bags and returning home. A few might complain, but they still don't seem to leave.

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Gaybutton »

BKKDreamer wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 5:50 pm
I hope that I can personally meet you
I'm always happy to meet people who want to meet. There will be plenty of people to help you.

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Re: Expat farang - do they want to leave or do they want to stay in Thailand?

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:27 pm
Whilst you don't intend to return home, what about the downside risks ? For me the one I don't understand well enough is medical insurance.
What about premiums escalating as you age and in particular, rising if you develop conditions which are expensive to treat ?
Just make sure you have good insurance that covers you for everything beyond your deductible. I always recommend Cigna Global. They offer several different plans, several different deductible choices, and several different payment options. Their rates do go up each year, but not by an unaffordable amount. One of the best things about Cigna is they pay the hospital directly. You don't have to lay out the money first and then wait to be reimbursed. They take care of all of it. The only money you have to pay out-of-pocket is the deductible.

In other words, I'm not worried about medical insurance.

I can't think of any downside risks at all. I'm much better off here than I would be in the USA, which is just one of the many reasons I will stay in Thailand.

"I'm all fixed as far as I'm concerned. I'll have three meals a day - five if I want 'em - a roof over my head and a drink every now and then to warm me up . . . Yeah, I'm all fixed for the rest of my natural life."
- Walter Huston (Howard), 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'

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