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What about us? Furious retirees/expats in Thailand slam proposals to attract wealthy foreigners


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The fact that the government are going after wealthy foreigners is a stab in the back to those who moved to a dirt cheap country on the understanding it would remain so.

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Bangkok was Bangkok because Bangkok was extraordinarily cheap and just by the very nature that you came from a Western country, where your pittance was enough to live like a king here, means that it should have remained this way

Not sure if the quoted post was satire, but it's a viewpoint that I see expressed around here from time to time.

 

There's, dare I say, quite a degree of entitlement in expecting that things will always be as they were and then blaming nefarious externalities when they turn out not to be.

 

Thailand's trying to attract skills and capital - who isn't these days? - and to move beyond their seedy image. They might succeed or they might not, but can you blame them for trying?

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They are trotting out this hoary old chestnut more and more frequently now as desperation sets in.  The wealthy will not come to live in a place where there is no rule of law; no police force; dangero

If a Thai retiree wants to live in the USA, he must invest 16,000,000 baht, yet USA retirees here moan about just SHOWING 800,000 baht ONCE a year at immigration.  Foreigners who work here, and g

The reality is that people who have money will always comes first in Thailand, no matter who you are or where you come from. And that includes Thai people.          

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5 minutes ago, mommysboy said:

For heaven's sake, most reasonable people will understand that it was a simple metaphor not a complete analogy- the basic point is that they care more about attracting new customers, rather than looking after old ones. I thought it was very good.

And in my initial post I was simply disagreeing with his point. I don't consider it is at all like a bank (or Tesco or Lazada) sales promotion. 

I considered there was no comparison between a pie in the sky visa program ignoring the needs of long term expats of good standing, in favour of attempting to attract new wealthy people into the country. 

He continued to promote his analogy and I responded, for heaven's sake! 

"Most reasonable people" would have reconsidered.

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1 hour ago, Bkk Brian said:

No your point was clear: "Don't all countries try to attract the richest tourists?"

No they don't, they do try to attract skilled people at low costs or rich migrants, but those are not tourists remember.

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1 minute ago, Neeranam said:

I agree, but the cost and weather make up for that. 

I plan to retire in the UK for the summer, and other countries around the world, staying here for about 4 months per year. 

 The bitter people in the OP probably don't have the funds to move around and yet feel entitled to longer visas or citizens' rights. 

Not all like to live a nomadic life . What makes you think that people with little funds stay in one place ? Naive statement

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1 hour ago, smedly said:

I recently looked at retirement options in the Med, countries like Spain Greece Portugal - they are quite inviting

You will have to pay taxes in those places eventually.  Also, those European tax regimes typically do not accord any special tax status to American IRA or Roth Ira accounts, which would therefore be taxed like ordinary brokerage accounts.  In some jurisdictions, such as Denmark, tax is due even on unrealized gains, a form of taxation that will not be endearing to Americans.

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2 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

Fantastic. Spectacular coast, brilliant Adriatic waters, nice people, interesting food, alot to see. And close to so many great areas. Dubrovnik is a bit overrun with tourism, at least it was before the apocalypse. But it is a gorgeous city, with amazing architecture and alot of history. Thailand offers nothing to rival it. Nothing. There is alot to see over there. 

I was thinking of going there since watching Game of Thrones. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

I agree, but the cost and weather make up for that. 

I plan to retire in the UK for the summer, and other countries around the world, staying here for about 4 months per year. 

 The bitter people in the OP probably don't have the funds to move around and yet feel entitled to longer visas or citizens' rights. 

I agree that Thailand can be cheaper than the UK, however I find now that my monthly shop in Makro (stocking up on steaks, frozen berries, lamb etc, not cheap produce) costs less than what was my typical night out in Bangkok back in day. I don't live in Bangkok anymore but when a night out is costing 20k baht, when the same night out used to cost 5k back when I moved here - and that was the main reason I moved here, cheap, not just cheap living, cheap entertainment, entertainment came first for me, Thailand can't be classed as a cheap destination for fun at all anymore. The people who are here stay here due to commitments, the people who move here now don't know how it used to be. I don't know anyone who lived here pre around 2008 and like it more now.

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Just now, Boarn said:

I agree that Thailand can be cheaper than the UK, however I find now that my monthly shop in Makro (stocking up on steaks, frozen berries, lamb etc, not cheap produce) costs less than what was my typical night out in Bangkok back in day. I don't live in Bangkok anymore but when a night out is costing 20k baht, when the same night out used to cost 5k back when I moved here - and that was the main reason I moved here, cheap, not just cheap living, cheap entertainment, entertainment came first for me, Thailand can't be classed as a cheap destination for fun at all anymore. The people who are here stay here due to commitments, the people who move here now don't know how it used to be. I don't know anyone who lived here pre around 2008 and like it more now.

My Bangkok nights our were usually under 1000 baht, helped by drinking 3 large bottles of Chang before leaving apartment, and the odd one outside Foddland in Pat Pong. 

My monthly Macro bill is around 10,000 baht. 

 

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8 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

Fantastic. Spectacular coast, brilliant Adriatic waters, nice people, interesting food, alot to see. And close to so many great areas. Dubrovnik is a bit overrun with tourism, at least it was before the apocalypse. But it is a gorgeous city, with amazing architecture and alot of history. Thailand offers nothing to rival it. Nothing. There is alot to see over there. 

Sure, hoping to get there next year. Was due to go to SPLIT last June, but then the world ended.

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6 minutes ago, Neeranam said:

I agree, but the cost and weather make up for that. 

I plan to retire in the UK for the summer, and other countries around the world, staying here for about 4 months per year. 

 The bitter people in the OP probably don't have the funds to move around and yet feel entitled to longer visas or citizens' rights. 

Being able to divide one's time between different spots, weather dependent on timing of the year, is a truly ideal lifestyle. I would avoid the hot season here, and stay during the rains, or in December, January. Then, off to different horizons and goodbye Thailand, for awhile. And you are likely correct in assuming most of the ex-pat community here cannot afford such a lifestyle. Me included!

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10 minutes ago, spidermike007 said:

Fantastic. Spectacular coast, brilliant Adriatic waters, nice people, interesting food, alot to see. And close to so many great areas. Dubrovnik is a bit overrun with tourism, at least it was before the apocalypse. But it is a gorgeous city, with amazing architecture and alot of history. Thailand offers nothing to rival it. Nothing. There is alot to see over there. 

Albania is the new up and coming retirement destination along the Adriatic coast. Cheaper than Croatia. 

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1 minute ago, Neeranam said:

My Bangkok nights our were usually under 1000 baht, helped by drinking 3 large bottles of Chang before leaving apartment, and the odd one outside Foddland in Pat Pong. 

My monthly Macro bill is around 10,000 baht. 

 

Nice, however I could never do that. At the time 5k baht was only 60 odd pounds so could go all in most nights of the week, trying to scrimp and save was not essential and would have limited the enjoyment.

 

Maybe I am just bitter because I can't do what I used to do. Or to word it better, I can do what I used to do but it doesn't have the same thrill when things aren't dirt cheap haha!

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Just now, mokwit said:

....and not nearly as repressive as Romania.

Not repressive at all now they've gotten rid of their communist dictator and opened up to the world.

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16 minutes ago, cmarshall said:

You will have to pay taxes in those places eventually.  Also, those European tax regimes typically do not accord any special tax status to American IRA or Roth Ira accounts, which would therefore be taxed like ordinary brokerage accounts.  In some jurisdictions, such as Denmark, tax is due even on unrealized gains, a form of taxation that will not be endearing to Americans.

From what I am told you get a retirement type visa and claim to be retired, with no income other than savings and investment income, which is the bare minimum for a visa. And you use the ATM's to pull out alot of your monthly cash. No income tax ever needs to be paid. Have friends doing exactly that. Why would you want to pay income tax, if you do not have to? Always do anything you can to defy the authorities, to whatever extent possible. It is so much fun. 

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20 minutes ago, Smithson said:

A friend married a bar girl, took her to Australia. It was about ten years ago. She now has a Australian passport, her Thai son stayed a few years and got permanent residency or possibly citizenship.

 

Meanwhile people who have been here decades, have wife and kids, have set up businesses still have to report 90 days and go through annual extension requiring photos in pyjamas on the bed.

 

It's got worse over the years, in the future they may want vids.

 

It's not just farang, what about Thai families who can never have a sense of security about family members who are usually bread winners too.

There is no question Thailand has been moving in a backwards, regressive direction for a long, long time now. As much as I like to rant about Cha Cha, this trend started long before his toxicity and rot came along. The place is moving towards lower income, African nation status and will likely be surpassed by Malaysia and Vietnam in the next couple of decades. Amazing Thailand. 

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1 hour ago, Pravda said:

I wonder how  that will be "enforced" ? Pre covid Bali was almost a weekender and school holiday destination for Australians especially  from Perth who for the most part could be considered back packers. The proliferation of both budget and high end hotels will be cause for some resentment. Bali is specifically tourism dependent and moving the inbound criteria to the high end will result in a huge sector being disenfranchised in any recovery.

 

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My reaction after reading the Daily News OP and a bunch of the member postings:

 

- The 65K baht per month extension of stay works fine if you actually DO bring in a legit 65K per month

- The 90 day can be done online-- if not Immigration for is abut a 20 minute 100cc Honda Wave ride away. Once a year visit for extension most years.

- I don't want to own land or a house in my name.

- I don't want to work, start a business, or hire any Thai citizen employees.

- I am conversationally fluent in Thai as long as the conversation is not about solving simultaneous quadratic equations.

- I became reasonably familiar with Thai bureaucracy working (unofficially) for several years for a large Thai NGO.

- I don't worry abut brown envelopes -- the only ones I have ever seen are the ones that the hospital gives you with your medical records (although I prefer the term 'manila envelope')

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3 minutes ago, Kadilo said:

For some the immigration office can be a couple of hours away and if then get turned away on a technicality can build up frustration. 
 

I guess that is why many turn to “helpers” 

Your choice. Helpers? Never met any. 1900 baht per year is more my style.

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3 minutes ago, jerrymahoney said:

My reaction after reading the Daily News OP and a bunch of the member postings:

 

- The 65K baht per month extension of stay works fine if you actually DO bring in a legit 65K per month

- The 90 day can be done online-- if not Immigration for is abut a 20 minute 100cc Honda Wave ride away. Once a year visit for extension most years.

- I don't want to own land or a house in my name.

- I don't want to work, start a business, or hire any Thai citizen employees.

- I am conversationally fluent in Thai as long as the conversation is not about solving simultaneous quadratic equations.

- I became reasonably familiar with Thai bureaucracy working (unofficially) for several years for a large Thai NGO.

- I don't worry abut brown envelopes -- the only ones I have ever seen are the ones that the hospital gives you with your medical records (although I prefer the term 'manila envelope')

Thanks for letting us know how it affects you, not all of us are the same, many work here. The unwillingness of the govt to give security to Thais with expat family is a big issue for them, often these expats are breadwinners. Attracting rich foreigners will do little to help Thais on the lower echelons and these are the ones hurting most at the moment.

 

When you worked unofficially for a large NGO did you have a work permit? They are required even for volunteers. Making employing farang easier, especially teachers, would help the country. They are not taking Thai jobs.

 

 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Djayz summed it up well with: "What about those foreigners who have lived here for years, have families, jobs, cars, houses, stay out of trouble, support the local community and are here long term, not just to move money about, invest then (leave) as things get ugly?"

Metaphorically, this pretty much sums it up.

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