When it comes to emigrating to Thailand, probably the most written about money needed to live is on the Internet. Is it nevertheless surely for many also the Pudels core, if it concerns the feasibility of the own life dream? Thailand is cheap, but if it is really the case that you can’t afford it, you should accept it. Should, should many, but these do not believe in objective facts and prefer to live a nightmare.
My name is Matt Abold and I live since 2009 as a white foreigner in the Baan Metawi, in Chumphon, Thailand. I write about Emigrate and Winterize and often combine my posts with social and economic policy issues comparing Thailand with Germany and Europe in my column: Zeitgeist criticism.
Estimated reading time for this article: 10 minutes
Do not suppress financial realities
I would like to point out to you that meanwhile not at all few Germans, more or less without money, live penniless in the quite still favorable Thailand. Most reports on this I read or hear from Pattaya, numerically also most Germans live there. As a foreigner, you are not entitled to any kind of governmental assistance from Thai authorities. It is not possible to join the Thai health care system as a pensioner. Always keep the possibility open, for possible unexpected larger expenses, to be able to get money quickly.
They have less than ca. € 1.000 pension and no significant assets in Thailand, then I advise you not to emigrate. The negative reports of experience far outweigh the positive ones. Swiss and Austrians this concerns hardly, since their respective governments feel actually the well-being of the citizen obligated and not the well-being of the corporation. Many Germans do not even get € 1 for a working life.000 a month. The post: Cost of living in Thailand gives you already a good overview, how much you have to reckon with.
I feel it is a tragedy for German pensioners. It explains nevertheless very plausibly the complete failure of our political, like also economic elite over decades. A life in old age as a pensioner in Thailand is no longer possible for many German pensioners due to lack of money. If it were not so sad, it would almost be unintentionally funny again. Here you can see all too clearly what distinguishes a professionalized politician from German amateur politicians.
Do not sew on edge
The Thai legislation naturally favors Thai citizens and not foreigners. The report: "Thais have advantages of not being foreigners in Thailand" deals with it more.
Foreigners, especially Europeans, can live a paradisiacal life in Thailand very cheap, with little money. Without the necessary financial means, this is but probably only for lifestylers to create. However, make those then the requirements for an appropriate visa to create. My report "Which visa suits me", should help a little further.
Quality of life is cheap, but also costs money in Thailand
Even if newspaper or TV reports tell you something different; you will hardly be able or want to live a life like a normal Thai worker. In addition, every Thai is already health insured. Expectations of a home are also fundamentally different.
No one wants to give up going out, not spending the whole day in your apartment, and hobbies, especially since Thailand is a year-round country for outdoors and not indoors. Eating out often and traveling around Thailand, although much cheaper than in Europe, will cost a lot of money over time.
Are you a pensioner, then the contributions could:
- Emigrate to Thailand for retirees
- Bank, pension and taxes abroad, not unimportant for emigration
- The deregistration certificate, important for successful emigration to Thailand
- Schaffe Schaffe Hausle build
Without money, no long term visa in Thailand
Sooner or later you want to buy a moped or even a car. All this is difficult in Thailand with € 1.000 per month and without money on the high edge to manage. Not to mention that you can’t get a 1 year visa. Savings of at least 800.000 Baht or more than 65.000 Baht monthly pension are the requirements; see "Which visa suits me". This means for you, every 3 months leave the country. At the latest after almost 15 months you have to apply for a new visa in your home country; this all costs much more money. For married couples (neither is Thai), this post is also interesting: Various visa matters for Thailand
There is a strong increase of negative news in Thailand about tourists/emigrants from supposedly rich countries. You will be noticed especially because of unpaid hospital bills and begging on the street. This has already led to authorities applying existing laws far more strictly than a few years ago. In some circumstances, this may mean that when you enter Thailand, you will have to show money in the amount of THB 20.000, no matter what currency, when entering Thailand. This is solely in the hands of the publican who controls you.
Possibly try it first on a "trial basis" by staying over winter, cf Checklist for wintering, Start.
How much money do I need to live in Thailand?
Thailand is cheap, but depends a lot on where you live in Thailand and what your minimum requirements are. Also a significant factor often forgotten is the currency fluctuation. The following articles go into detail:
- Change money, but change it right
- Cost of living in Thailand
- Cheap Thailand and expensive Germany, just why?
- Solo self-employment, Thailand’s miracle weapon against unemployment
- Schaffe Schaffe Hausle bauen
First you need a health insurance. This is not obligatory, but it can be quite expensive under certain circumstances. Especially for private hospitals there are no real price controls and the bills can be horrendous.
Depending on your age and policy, you can already afford to stay in Thailand for ca. € 43 per month with the ADAC international health insurance LONG TERM for max. 2 years and for approx. € 59 per month with the foreign health insurance "Basic Package" of Hanse Merkur for max. 5 years insure. Very important: for both companies, the contract and the total amount must be concluded and paid before the start of the trip for the planned duration of the trip.
Do not choose cheap over quality
But if you have found your new home here, 5 years will pass quickly. Then you currently have to calculate as a 60-year-old with a good € 250 per month for a good protection. Forget about most Thai companies for this, they are cheap but just not cheap. You always have a maximum amount per illness; usually also a maximum amount for a lifetime, exclude many illnesses and can actually always cancel if an insured event has occurred. Especially in the case of chronic illnesses, this will happen very quickly and will then go into the money for you.
You can choose a high personal contribution without any problems and possibly also waive outpatient cost coverage. Thailand is indeed very cheap for outpatients and really good. The price difference between a state hospital and a private hospital is hardly regulated by law, and 20 times the cost in a private hospital is not an isolated case. Government hospitals vary greatly in equipment and services from province to province.
In Chumphon I have from my own experience and from family members a very high opinion of the provincial state hospital and feel as an absolute layman that it is very well equipped and incredibly cheap.
Read more in the blog post: Checklist for emigration
Further examples of costs
- The main cost block will probably also be the rent here. Upwards there are no limits but downwards almost not either. Read more: "Where do you want to live in Thailand?"
- Do you want to lose money, it is best to buy a property, see: Buy real estate in Thailand, forget it!
- Utilities are kept in check and the main item here is likely to be the electricity used for the air conditioning: Air conditioning in Thailand, progress through technology
- Thailand is not a dairy country, d.h. Prices for milk, cheese and other dairy products are similar to ours. Variety, as in Europe you may not expect.
- Alcohol is more expensive than in Germany, a bottle of beer (0.62 liters) costs about €1.50
- If you value imported western goods, they are of course more expensive than in Europe. However, there are also many Western goods that are produced in Thailand, for example German sausages or even baked goods. Prices are okay, but not always available in areas without tourists. Have a look yourself at the websites of two Thai supermarkets that sell many western goods. Foodland and VillaMarket.
- Clothing is extremely cheap and best suited for a tropical climate. Even international brands are often 30 to 50 % cheaper in Thailand.
- Cosmetic items are much cheaper. AttentionCreams, even international brands, are often only available with whitener. You may like to this: White skin, the Asian beauty craze and Me Too and do-gooders
- If you want to cook yourself, ingredients such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, etc. much cheaper. Many products, especially fruit and fish, are even available in far greater variety than in Europe.
- Dishes from snack stands and traveling vendors can be had for around € 1. There is a large selection and usually tastes great.
- Prices in fresh markets are much cheaper than in air-conditioned supermarkets, see article: Market day in Chumphon, every time an experience. Nevertheless supermarket prices are very cheap for us
- Simple restaurants in Chumphon are only a little more expensive than snack bars. In tourist centers at least twice as high. If there are then still beautiful tablecloths, then the triple is a bargain. Read also the contributions to this:
Prices for mobility
- For train, flight, buses and minibuses you need little money in Thailand and it is really cheap.
- Imported cars are usually much more expensive than in Germany, because some kind of luxury tax is added to it. Cars made in Thailand are similar in price to ours. There are many car factories in Thailand. Even less taxes or. none at all for electric cars and of course for pickups. For this I recommend the contributions: "Thailand’s egg-laying willow sow" and Buying a car in Thailand
- Mopeds are very easy and cheap to rent. AttentionForeigners are often involved in accidents due to lack of driving experience! Overestimation of oneself, ignorance of the local driving and alcohol contribute the rest, see also: Road traffic in Thailand = orderly chaos
- The Thai driver’s license should make them in any case.
Your money in Thailand will rejoice in services
- Services are probably much cheaper in all areas and at all levels.
- Men’s haircut at the barber for less than € 2, manicure/pedicure similar.
- A health promoting Thai massage costs € 3 to € 4 in Chumphon, in tourist areas at least double, in a 5 star hotel € 200.
- Hotel accommodations from simple to absolutely luxurious are usually very cheap. Especially in the low season between May to early December. Quite often a night in a 5 star hotel for about 80 euros is then possible.
- A reliable full time housekeeper costs at least € 250 per month.
- A trained full-time nurse costs around € 600 per month
- A visit to a specialist is usually possible for under € 10.
- Professional dental treatments are extremely cheap and good.
- Everything ambulatory is much cheaper and more often available, no need to make an appointment.
- You can find an even more detailed list in the article: Cost of living in Thailand
Cost of living for my family
We currently live on less than € 1.400 per month. This means, a meanwhile family of 5, frequent visits to restaurants and snack bars and occasional short trips. Furthermore the salary of our housekeeper, additional expenses, internet, gasoline, school fees and uniforms for 3 kids. Electricity for 4 air conditioners and a pool pump are also included. All insurance, as well as my voluntary health insurance as a foreigner, are included. The rest of the family is automatically insured under the Thai health insurance scheme. In the article: From the Pacific to the Indian Ocean is also about the very low prices.
Payments for debt interest or rent do not exist. We pay for all purchases (car, house, pool, big trips, etc).) without borrowing. The money for this comes out of our savings respectively. from rental income. Bake yourself into happiness deals a little more with it.
My wife also rents fully furnished apartments on our property, Baan Metawi, for emigrants and overwinterers. The price includes a very comprehensive service package. The tenants’ expenses over the years, with everything, were mostly between € 1.000 and € 1.500 per month without health insurance. There are also big differences because of currency fluctuations. For this I strongly recommend the report: "Changing money, but the right way"
Living in Thailand
Without question, Thailand can offer a money-saving life. However, if you have a small pension, I can only strongly recommend everyone to invest at least 1 million baht, ca. € 27.000 than to deposit savings and money for all cases in a bank account in your name in Thailand. Alone the thereby gained Facilitation for your visa it is worth.
Only after I no longer gave money top priority, life in Thailand became paradisiacal for me. The Thais themselves contribute significantly. The following posts take on this topic more: