First Steps as an Expat Retiree in Thailand

For starters, we’d like to congratulate you on your choice of choosing Thailand as the place in which you’ll be retiring to. The Kingdom is a very beautiful land, full of equally beautiful people, and plenty of opportunities for foreign expatriates like you!

Everyone, of course, has to start at the very beginning. After all, retiring abroad is like moving to a new home. When you move to a new home, you’ll have to fix everything that you need before you can consider yourself fully adjusted.

Now, as an expatriate in the Kingdom, what can you do as your first steps in making Thailand your new home? Here are some steps that you might want to think about.

Get a Local Bank Account

 Money makes the world move, after all. You will want to establish a local bank account, and course your money through that instead of using your foreign currency bank account. Having a local bank account in Thai Baht has a lot of advantages. First off, when transferring foreign currency into your local bank account, the money is automatically converted to Baht with minimal fees.

It saves you a lot of effort too. With a Thai Baht account, you can use it to pay for your purchases with a debit card.

 Find a Suitable Investment

 Retiring in Thailand will definitely require you to invest some or most of your money into a suitable investment vehicle. This is to ensure that the money will grow and give you a steady source of income to sustain your retirement in Thailand.

There are plenty of investments that you can make in Thailand. For instance, you can invest in a condominium unit. You might want to live in it, but you can also use it as a cash cow, so to speak. If you own a condo unit, you could put it up for leasing by other foreign expatriates. Leases are long-term agreements, so you can earn income without having to lift a finger for a considerable amount of time.

Bear in mind that foreign ownership of units in a condo project is limited. Only 40% of the units available are put up for sale for foreign owners. If that is used up, you couldn’t purchase any more. However, if a unit is up for lease, you can go that route as well. Just make sure to enter into a sub-lease agreement, because you can only lease out a leased condo unit to other foreigners when you have a clause in your lease agreement with the original owner.

On the other hand, you can get together with other foreign expatriates and some local partners. You could then start a company and engage in business. You’d need legal advice, however, when doing that. Find yourself a qualified lawyer before doing anything business-related in Thailand – you’ll need somebody who can converse with you in the legal advice, but who is also fluent in Thai as they’ll have to explain Thai law to you.

Retirement is exciting, as it is a new phase in your life. Just make sure you do things right so it won’t become a disaster, and be sure to listen to every advice you can get!

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Photo credit :Matthew Buchanan

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