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when did you know you were ready to retire financially and leave farangland?


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I want to talk about retirement and when you actually made that decision to retire out of farangland whether that be Australia,UK,USA etc and move to Thailand....well i guess i can add too phillipines,vietnam etc now its a Asia forum

So obvoisly the first decision is financial ,do you have enough etc ,thats probaly the most important i guess,but let me give you some background.

im over 60 and really want to retire ,but.....im scared to leave  secure job plus what is enough ?

but im so bored and disinterested in my job ,i work for a major hospital and i dont enjoy it although its shift work and good money ,im too old now for shift work ,i feel like im in a constant state of tiredness,one week morning starts ,next week afternoon,week after nightshift etc just too much.

If i leave that financial security of a job its a big decision but i want to enjoy life before i drop dead,there is people at my work in their 70's why i dont know they will never enjoy life

 

I went to see a financial planner here in Australia ,he had no idea of retiremet to Thailand or any Asian country but he said a good way to work out financially is to work out you will die in all probality between 78 and 84yo so u need to work that out,so i would have around 20 to 25 years left.he was only a young bloke in his 20's got to see him free thru the bank,

 

I wont go into my financial business except to say i own my own apartment ,something i dont know WHEN would be the RIGHT TIME to sell off because lets face it i dont want the hassle of tenants renting it out plus putting tax returns in each year etc........BUT if i sell it means if i get sick or things go haywire in thaiilad/Asia then i have no house to come back to....BUT if i rent it out to tenants after real estate expenses,council rates ,strata body corp fees,taxes, etc,  i worked out i would receive around25,000 to  30,000 thai baht clear per month rental,say 25k to be safe 

 

i have approx1  3- 14 million thai baht ($600,000 australian)  i would recieve in superanuation/retirement funds i could get now if i retire fully .....but.....i cant get the age pension until 67 and probaly unlikely i will qualify plus australia has a stupid policy that you must of stayed in australia 2 years before applying,im not going to sit here between 65 and 67 just to qualify

 

i dont drink much nor smoke but do you think this will be enough to last at least 20 -25 years ,i wont sell the apartment though ,i could get a extra 15 million baht from that if i sell up,which one day i would want to .

 

please give me your rough age, area or part of asia you live in and approx month budget 

im tossing up between thailand and phillipines to live,i dont like cambodia 

 

i know say Pattaya would be more expensive than say udon thani ,but what about you guys who live in cambodia ,vietnam etc ,what is your ideal yearly retirement wage 

AND did you sell off your main residence in farangland ???

 

 

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I'm 51, been retired in Pattaya for a couple years, prior to that was coming for 3-6 months for a few years.   It all hangs on how much you will spend, talking to my friends most spend much

Just a viewpoint.   Some people focus far too much on the future and some will  never get there.No one knows what the future holds so enjoy your life whilst you have your health and are able

 I never would personally as enjoy Spring/Summer in the UK

 

As regards staying the other 6 months a year in Thailand I'm free to do it now if I wanted to. The advent of the internet changed everything for investors

London or Pattaya makes no difference

 

I think what helps some people to make the leap more easily is if they are "used" to spending fairly frugally back home not because they're being tight but for example in my case I cant remember the last time I went to a pub or restaurant in the UK (funeral lol) out of choice

 

If you replicate that in Thailand than your costs are very very low frankly

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

Just a viewpoint.

 

Some people focus far too much on the future and some will  never get there.No one knows what the future holds so enjoy your life whilst you have your health and are able.

 

Yes, of course make some provision etc but dont let it be your reason for living. You go to work to live, not live to go to work.

I have been self employed in one way or another from age 10, it became my way of life and dont see that stopping until my heart does.i cam to Thailand age 48, closed all connections etc to old country in 2016, way of life and country I knew no longer exists there anyway, except in memories.

 

But you paid taxes there ....arent you interested in getting the old age pension from there? thats your entitlement unless your a multi millionaire then you dont qualify.

What about keeping a house there just in case ?

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I just saw this on another website ,it really brings home the need to budget

 

his is a longish and sad tale. I have a horrible feeling it will end very badly.

For 15 years or so I had two western neighbours in the double-sized apartment next to mine. They had retired and decided Bangkok would be a good option. Neither is a bar hopper. In fact, I don't believe they have ever been into a gogo bar. They also do not read any chat rooms. Why two guys needed a three bedroom apartment with a huge living room I never asked. Not my business. Occasionally wed meet in the corridor, chat and a few times dropped in on each other for a glass of wine. Five years ago they sold their apartment which had been on the market for probably around 3 years. I know they got a lot less for it than they hoped. They then moved into a nearby rented apartment that I believe was almost as big.

Last November one called and asked if it might be possible to borrow some money for a couple of weeks until his pension payment arrived. I was reluctant because we were not especially friendly. But I did lend them a few thousand Baht. I then learned from another friend that their landlord was owed several months rent and had switched off the electricity in their apartment. They later confirmed this was true. As of today I think they have had no power at all for at least 4 months. A couple of weeks after providing the loan, I dropped off three bottles of wine. Soon after that I had another request for cash. I told them I was not in a good financial position myself and it would be difficult. Then they told me they had nothing to eat and the loan was only for another couple of weeks. 

After thinking about it and knowing both were in their early 80s, I gave them another few thousand baht. When I delivered it it was clear both were very thin. But I had to tell them I simply could not be their banker of last resort and this would have to be the last 'loan'. In the meantime I was told the landlord had taken them to court. The judge had given them a month to get out. That was about 2 months ago. How they are still there I have no idea.

About 4 weeks ago I had another call. They were down to one tomato. Could I possibly lend them just a little more. I said I could not. But I would try and get some food as I was going to the supermarket that day. I got some nice sandwiches, soups in special containers, ham, cheese, bread and a little fruit and veg. They were overjoyed when I took it round. Then a few days later I was asked if I could possibly get a little more food. I talked to several friends about this. With their agreement and great reluctance, I had to say I could not continue to help them.

They obviously have huge problems. No electricity for months and many months in rental arrears. They say they have no other friends here. Although this may seem ridiculous, I recall I never once saw them with any others when they lived next door to me. When they told me about being given a month to get out of the apartment, I asked what they would do. They would return to Europe where friends/relatives would put them up. With no cash, the Embassy had said it would provide air fares to be repaid at a later date. On later asking them how it was that they had not left, they told me their accommodation arrangements overseas had fallen through. The Embassy would only provide air fares if it had proof of such accommodation.

I do know that the pensions they receive from overseas are very small, certainly too small even to provide basic food for a month. Yet, despite their financial woes, they still take a taxi to a shopping centre nearby almost every day to buy simple food at the supermarket. When I queried why they waste about 600 - 700 baht a week on taxis, they told me they also need to put a small charge into their mobile phone. I pointed out that there are 2 convenience stores within 50 meters of their condo. 100 baht could perhaps buy enough basic food for 2 for a day. It will also heat up some of the food they buy. Their condo also has a pool and gym which must have electricity outlets for topping up a phone. I got no reasonable answer.

Eventually their landlord will surely evict them, and they have nowhere to go. Soon Immigration will surely realise they do not have anything like enough for their retirement visas (assuming they are on retirement visas). What happens then, goodness only knows. I feel guilty but all my friends say I have done my bit and the 'loans' have never been repaid (but then I did not expect them to be repaid). I just do not know if I can do any more.

Lastly, I know they are not conning me. They really are in a dreadful position. There are perhaps a few details they have left out, but I have no doubt what they have told me is the truth.

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I had to wait until I reached pensionable age (65).  Matters got delayed by a cancer diagnosis but I eventually made it out here 2 years later.

I am fortunate in that my pensions are all final salary schemes and I was not forced to purchase an annuity.  If that had been the case then I am not sure whether I would continued to press ahead.   

I worked on the basis of using my pensions to live on and my savings as a reserve for medical emergencies. 

The biggest gamble for me has been cutting myself off from free health care (NHS). My previous history of cancer makes worthwhile insurance very difficult to obtain.

Everyone's circumstances will be slightly different. You alone can decide how much weight you put on the present and the future and what is important to you. 

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2 hours ago, georgegeorgia said:

I just saw this on another website ,it really brings home the need to budget

 

his is a longish and sad tale. I have a horrible feeling it will end very badly.

For 15 years or so I had two western neighbours in the double-sized apartment next to mine. They had retired and decided Bangkok would be a good option. Neither is a bar hopper. In fact, I don't believe they have ever been into a gogo bar. They also do not read any chat rooms. Why two guys needed a three bedroom apartment with a huge living room I never asked. Not my business. Occasionally wed meet in the corridor, chat and a few times dropped in on each other for a glass of wine. Five years ago they sold their apartment which had been on the market for probably around 3 years. I know they got a lot less for it than they hoped. They then moved into a nearby rented apartment that I believe was almost as big.

Last November one called and asked if it might be possible to borrow some money for a couple of weeks until his pension payment arrived. I was reluctant because we were not especially friendly. But I did lend them a few thousand Baht. I then learned from another friend that their landlord was owed several months rent and had switched off the electricity in their apartment. They later confirmed this was true. As of today I think they have had no power at all for at least 4 months. A couple of weeks after providing the loan, I dropped off three bottles of wine. Soon after that I had another request for cash. I told them I was not in a good financial position myself and it would be difficult. Then they told me they had nothing to eat and the loan was only for another couple of weeks. 

After thinking about it and knowing both were in their early 80s, I gave them another few thousand baht. When I delivered it it was clear both were very thin. But I had to tell them I simply could not be their banker of last resort and this would have to be the last 'loan'. In the meantime I was told the landlord had taken them to court. The judge had given them a month to get out. That was about 2 months ago. How they are still there I have no idea.

About 4 weeks ago I had another call. They were down to one tomato. Could I possibly lend them just a little more. I said I could not. But I would try and get some food as I was going to the supermarket that day. I got some nice sandwiches, soups in special containers, ham, cheese, bread and a little fruit and veg. They were overjoyed when I took it round. Then a few days later I was asked if I could possibly get a little more food. I talked to several friends about this. With their agreement and great reluctance, I had to say I could not continue to help them.

They obviously have huge problems. No electricity for months and many months in rental arrears. They say they have no other friends here. Although this may seem ridiculous, I recall I never once saw them with any others when they lived next door to me. When they told me about being given a month to get out of the apartment, I asked what they would do. They would return to Europe where friends/relatives would put them up. With no cash, the Embassy had said it would provide air fares to be repaid at a later date. On later asking them how it was that they had not left, they told me their accommodation arrangements overseas had fallen through. The Embassy would only provide air fares if it had proof of such accommodation.

I do know that the pensions they receive from overseas are very small, certainly too small even to provide basic food for a month. Yet, despite their financial woes, they still take a taxi to a shopping centre nearby almost every day to buy simple food at the supermarket. When I queried why they waste about 600 - 700 baht a week on taxis, they told me they also need to put a small charge into their mobile phone. I pointed out that there are 2 convenience stores within 50 meters of their condo. 100 baht could perhaps buy enough basic food for 2 for a day. It will also heat up some of the food they buy. Their condo also has a pool and gym which must have electricity outlets for topping up a phone. I got no reasonable answer.

Eventually their landlord will surely evict them, and they have nowhere to go. Soon Immigration will surely realise they do not have anything like enough for their retirement visas (assuming they are on retirement visas). What happens then, goodness only knows. I feel guilty but all my friends say I have done my bit and the 'loans' have never been repaid (but then I did not expect them to be repaid). I just do not know if I can do any more.

Lastly, I know they are not conning me. They really are in a dreadful position. There are perhaps a few details they have left out, but I have no doubt what they have told me is the truth.

i recall that story, not sure what happened in the end but is a reminder to be very careful with your finances

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19 hours ago, LogicThai said:

Another approach would be to use a website like expatistan.com (https://www.expatistan.com/)

A similar site (& the one I used when I was doing my retirement budget planning) is Numbeo https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Bangkok 

 

I retired (for the 3rd & final time) in December 2019 (I was 53 at the time) when I decided I had enough money to live on until I hit 60 & my final salary scheme pension kicks in. 

 

I had it easier than most as I was working in Singapore at the time & from the middle of 2018 was alternating between 10 days working in SG & 5 days in a condo I'd set-up in Bangkok, so already knew exactly how much budget I needed & had a place to live sorted. 

 

I made the final move on 19th Feb 2020 & when I look back on my spends last year it averaged out at about 100k pm, this included:-

  • Paying for a condo in Singapore & Bangkok for the 1st 2 months,
  • 2 week holiday in Singapore with my GF to say goodbye to friends
  • 3 x 3 week holidays in Thailand
  • Numerous weekends away

The budget I'd set for myself was 120K pm so I was happy about this, even more so when I worked out that favourable FX rate changes & a couple of trades on the UK Stock market meant I'd spent less than 50K pm from my actual budget.    

 

Have recently left Bangkok & moved into a more expensive condo in Wongamat so my monthly budget is now:-

  • 28K - Rent
  • 5K - Electricity, Water, Internet, Mobile, Netflix etc... 
  • 25K - Groceries (I know this is twice what a lot of guys spend but it is what I spend)
  • 20K - Stipend for GF (10K for her to spend on what she wants & 10K into a saving pot)
  • 1.5K - Travel (I don't have a car or a motorcycle so use Bolt Taxis when going into central Pattaya)
  • 2.5K - Health Insurance (Pacific Cross "Visa Friendly" policy at approx 28k pa) 
  • 1K - Visa Costs (I use an agent for convenience)

... total of 83k "Fixed" expenses so have 17K available for spending on things like evenings out, weekends away, new clothes etc...   

 

I rent out my house in the UK (am seriously considering selling it as I would never return to live there) but any income from it stays in the UK to pay for trips back (I wish, still sat on flight vouchers from May 2020) or any large purchases that comes up (new laptop, phone etc...). 

 

I would say that with the 13-14Million, 25K pm from rent (or another 15Million if you sell) and a pension coming in < 7 years you're in a strong financial position to retire, my only advice would be to give as much thought about what you will do with your life/time once you're retired as you do to the financial side of things.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.  

 

 

 

Edited by Mike Teavee
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As a line the great Clint Eastwood memorably delivered in "Absolute Power", "Tomorrow is promised to no one"!

 

To the OP, do it while you can, and don't hang around!

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If you decide to take the plunge, I'd suggest a couple of things.

 

Before you leave find a real estate agent, in the future you may want to rent / sell your house so having someone you know will make it easier to do from Thailand. I sold my house while living in Singapore and it was hassle free.

 

Don't ditch your health cover, suspend it.  Your probably aware, but (at least when I did it) my health fund categorised me as "non active" for 2 years, so if I returned to Australia I could rejoin and not have waiting periods etc.  Costs you nothing but well worth it if you decide you don't like it here and return to Oz.

 

If you live in Thailand your main Australian residence will only be tax free if you sell it for 7 years, so if you keep your house more than 7 years you'll have capital gains tax to pay.

 

Get some tax advice. In my case my accountant informed the ATO that this would be my last tax return and I would be a non resident for tax purposes. My bank accounts automatically take 10% tax from interest. Any capital gains I make in the stock market are tax free.  Housing / rent is taxable even as a non resident.

 

Things may have changed.  I retired at 50 and have been here 8 years, so best to check. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On my 55th Birthday now 70 best thing I ever did , however Thailand no longer appealing after 16 years it’s time to move on and fulfil   other things on my bucket list before the man upstairs calls me home 

 

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For two or three years before I retired at 62, I carefully tracked my expenses using a financial app. I literally added every expense from a Starbucks coffee to holiday expenses. I needed a good understanding of what I was spending. I also knew that some expenses (e.g., travel) would increase when I wasn't working since I would have much more free time, but others (e.g., work clothes, gas for the car) would go down.

 

I was in a fortunate position since I spent the last 3 years of my career working in Thailand. That allowed me to more easily estimate my likely expenses (which turned out to be wrong since Covid stopped almost all of my travels). I realize that will be much more difficult for you. Yet, without making a realistic estimate of your future expenses (including additional medical expenses as you age), it's impossible to know if you can afford to stop working and retire here. 

 

The other side of the equation is figuring out how much money you have or will have and how much you can afford to spend per year without depleting it too soon.  While the financial planner estimated you would die "between 78 and 84", what if you remain healthy, active, and live until you're 90?

 

I'd encourage you to take the time to, as realistically as possible, calculate your income and expense numbers. While being bored and disinterested in your job sounds bad, running out of money to live would be a lot worse. 

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I got to the stage where I couldn't increase my pensions much and work was becoming unbearable.  I was living between trips here and having no real life in the UK.  So, bit the bullet, sold up, and moved at 61.  4 years down the line, not regretting it yet.

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If you had the 600,000 in hand you could invest 300,000 of it in QYLD.  It pays a monthly dividend.  300,000 would give you about another 2,500 to spend each month.  I wouldn't put all of my money into it.  Just an option to consider.

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As a very rough guide, you will need about 50% of your working income to maintain a similar lifestyle (to what you had in Australia) here in Thailand.

 

So if you do your sums, and can manage it, go for it.

 

If you can only manage 35% or less, it will be a big drop and you might need to keep working.

 

While it would be prudent to keep your apartment in Australia, you might need to sell it if you're stretched. An Allocated Pension is a good retirement option in Australia as the income generated is tax free. You can also withdraw the capital any time you want (tax free).

 

I have a few sources of income. For example, I started with an Allocated Pension of $400,000 when I retired in 2014. I have withdrawn $1,000 a month since then. I also typically withdraw an extra $5,000 - $10,000 each year. Despite this, the capital has still expanded and is now just under $500,000. All the money is tax free (assuming the Allocated Pension is funded from Super Money).

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1 hour ago, Taxi said:

If you decide to take the plunge, I'd suggest a couple of things.

 

Before you leave find a real estate agent, in the future you may want to rent / sell your house so having someone you know will make it easier to do from Thailand. I sold my house while living in Singapore and it was hassle free.

 

Don't ditch your health cover, suspend it.  Your probably aware, but (at least when I did it) my health fund categorised me as "non active" for 2 years, so if I returned to Australia I could rejoin and not have waiting periods etc.  Costs you nothing but well worth it if you decide you don't like it here and return to Oz.

 

If you live in Thailand your main Australian residence will only be tax free if you sell it for 7 years, so if you keep your house more than 7 years you'll have capital gains tax to pay.

 

Get some tax advice. In my case my accountant informed the ATO that this would be my last tax return and I would be a non resident for tax purposes. My bank accounts automatically take 10% tax from interest. Any capital gains I make in the stock market are tax free.  Housing / rent is taxable even as a non resident.

 

Things may have changed.  I retired at 50 and have been here 8 years, so best to check. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The health insurance thing is annoying. If I retire in Thailand and Australia , it would be good to be able to be treated as if you had continuous cover if you get rid of the Australian policy and buy a policy in Thailand. Maybe suspension is the answer. 

Just to clarify on the capital gains there are 2 rules that are similar. I think I have it correct. 

One is the ability to treat your home as a main residence for 6 years from the date you left the residence if you are an Australian tax resident. This might still apply to people who are back and forth. It does not apply to non residents. 

The other is the exemption for foreign residents such that if you pass the life event test, i.e. 6 years or less as a continuous non-resident and a further special condition,  you can get the exemption. The special condition, e.g. selling the property due to a separation or death in the family, is not so easy to meet so most non-residents get no exemption. Harsh if you spent a life time in Australia and your latter years in a different country. 

 

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