More and more people are looking abroad for their retirement. The cost of living in Western countries has increased in recent years. As you get older you want to slow down and enjoy life more.

Thailand has proven to be a haven for Westerners of all nationalities to retire and spend their golden years. Thailand is one of the top ten countries to retire abroad.

You should visit first and spend some time in various locations to see which one is the best fit for you.

Where To Live

Thailand has lots of lots of places where you can settle. It is going to depend on what you need to lead a satisfying life.

Many choose tourist areas, like Phuket and Pattaya. Not only are they located in highly desirable environments, you are more likely to encounter the use of English or other foreign languages. You will find a greater variety of Western themed activities. There are broader choices of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. These combined with beautiful beaches and weather prompt many to settle there.

Bangkok is a thriving international city. If you enjoy the constant activity and vibe of city life, Bangkok is a great choice. It is more expensive and it can be time-consuming to get around, but many Westerners prefer the hustle and bustle.

Isaan is a rural agricultural area. If you are the type that is happy with their own company and are looking for a quiet life, you will feel right at home. Be aware, that English is rare, and your entertainment choices will be limited. That being said there are lots of foreigners living on out-of-the-way farms in Isaan.

Once you’ve decided to move to Thailand you need to find a good moving company in Bangkok. A local Thai moving company is more in tune with Thai customs and regulations.

Retirement Visa

You can enter the country on a tourist visa and then apply for a retirement visa at your local Thai Immigration Office.

Thai immigration law requires you to report every 90 days, but this can often be done online. Otherwise, it can be a quick visit to the local immigration office. In tourist areas like Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket the immigration offices can get crowded.

The easiest way to deal with immigration is through the use of a visa agent. They can help secure your visa, and even deal with your 90-day check-in.

Driving In Thailand

Driving in Thailand can be an adventure. Drive slowly, be aware of what’s going on around you, and you should be okay. You aren’t going to change the way Thai drivers drive, so it’s best to drive defensively and adapt your driving to the conditions.

Getting a Thai driver’s license is pretty straightforward. Visit the local Dept. of Land Transport and present your home country’s driving license. You will have to take some tests, and maybe watch a short safety video. Once that’s done, get your picture taken, pay the fee, and you will have your license.

Thailand is a wonderful place to retire. Filled with generous people and a rich heritage, it truly is the Land of Smiles.