“Would you like to retire to Chiang Mai, Thailand ?”
Thats a question that an increasing number of foreigners are asking themselves usually following their 1st visit to this lovely area.
As the excessive demands of modern day living both through the workingenvironment & in general continue to increase, more & more people are starting to plan their retirements (or merely their desire to escape) at younger ages & as such Lifestyle After 50 is becoming more & more of a concern!.
Chiang Mai is a great option for those seeking a marvelous climate, affordable yet comfortable living, without compromising on natural beauty, entertainment and of course great food.
Friends of mine Roger & Helen from the U.K. following just a short visit to the area made the decision that Chiang Mai was their ideal Retirement location, please click the link to find out how they did it!.
Thailand as a country has it all !, from breathtaking islands and peninsulas to stunning plateaus and mountains. To top it all off, the country is also home to some of the world’s most hospitable people, making it a perfect place to retire.
Amongst the most popular desinations for retirement living are Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya,Hua Hin & Koh Samui ,the latter four places are all coastal resorts / islands, primarily geared to tourism, and have costs of living accordingly.
On the other hand Chiang Mai,which is completely land-locked sits resplendent up in the far north of Thailand on a plataeu, surrounded by breathtaking mountains & beautiful scenery, and a cost of living that would make most westerners choke over their Cornflakes !!.
This is no longer the best kept secret in Thailand, Chiang Mai now boasts over 20,000 Asian & Westerners who call the city their home!.
Whether it is because of the superb year-round climate,that particularly suits people who do no want either too hot,too cold or too wet.
Whether its the peaceful and laid back way of life, its a city, but without the feel of a big city.
You might think you would be taking a huge risk by Retiring to Chiang Mai, but you do not have to give up any luxuries that you currently have, and 20,000 people before you (and growing) can’t be wrong !.
Along with the traditional Thai lifestyle you will also find lots of international restaurants, fine supermarkets, cable TV, Hi-Speed Internet and financial services all at a fraction of the cost you would pay in your home country!.
Chiang Mai is served by an International Airport which has direct air services to many major destinations within Asia as well as multiple flights per day to Bangkok, a major “hub” for flights worldwide.
So you see you get ALL THE BENEFITS of living in your home country, but with none of the drawbacks.
I have listed below my personal “Top 10” reasons for moving here a couple of years ago, your “ideals” might be slightly different in name or merit, but I guarantee that if you agree on only five of them, the other five will win you over once you are here.
1/ The cost of living here is on average around 35%-40% of what you would pay back at home, and a minimum of 20% cheaper than the coastal & island resorts of Thailand.
2/ Extremely friendly people – they are incredibly genuine, in the traditional Thai way, rather than the “tourism Thai” way.
3/ Outstanding food – whether you want spicy Thai dishes or traditional Western fayre, this place has a wealth of both.
4/ Exceptional year-round climate, even including some “cool mornings” in January when temperatures go below +20C !.
5/ Very low crime rate, its safe to walk anywhere, anytime here.
6/ Excellent food markets all around the city including the famous “walking street Sunday market” & Night Bazaar.
7/ Modern & affordable medical services & dental facilities.
8/ A host of leisure acivities to suit ALL, whether it be hiking, trekking,extreme sports, long hill walks, cycling, or just ambling around, Chiang Mai has it all. 9/ Excellent infrastructure , good roads, airport, shopping, local transport, schools,communications etc.
10/ A wide & diverse range of cultural pursuits & annual festivals, including Expat & church groups.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and could have been at least twice as long, and is not in any order of importance, these were just the “benefits” I immediately saw before deciding to move to Chiang Mai.
To give you a much better feel for the likely costs involved, I have built the chart below to show you “estimated costs”.
These are based upon my own living expenses, a family of 3, living in our own 3 bedroomed house, driving a standard SUV(4WD).
I have also provided a best estimate for renting rather than owning, as this may be a better option if you want to live here for a few months before finally committing (I rented for 6 months before buying).
If you were going to purchase a similar sized house to mine & buy a similar car outright it would cost in the region of 6.5m thb.
SO, based upon all the sums below:
* If you wanted to go down the purchase route including house & car you would need 6.5m thb and an income stream (or sustainable savings) of 43,000thb/month.
**If you went down just the rental route, your monthly outgoings would be approx 86,000thb,and as above you would need to be able to match it with either income stream or sustainable savings.
“Yes, I hear you say it can be done cheaper than the amounts I have quoted above”, IT CAN, but I am matching Western Standards to the same standards in Chiang Mai, Thailand. You could quite possibly reduce the outgoings by maybe 10,000thb/15,000thb/month, but you would also be living a completely different lifestyle.
If there are queries or questions you have about ANY ASPECT of this information, please email me using the “Contact Us” form you will find on our website.
Likewise there are several other points I have touched on in this article, that I have covered in more depth elsewhere on our website, Please see the links below.
|Item of Expense(Monthly Costs)||Own||Rent|
|Food & Groceries||20,000thb||20,000thb|
|Telephone/Mobile(depends on usage)||1,000thb||1,000thb|
|Bottled Gas (cooking)||300thb||300thb|
|Total Monthly Costs||32,250thb||82,250thb|
|Item of Expense(Annual Costs)||Own||Rent|
|House(service charges,insurance & general repairs)||35,000thb||0thb|
|Health(insurance & care)||50,000thb||50,000thb|
|Total Annual Costs||130,000thb||50,000thb|