This Is A Real-Life Novel – A True Story Of Our Exciting Retirement Project In Thailand

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The Exciting History Of Buying Land, Designing And Building Our Retirement House In Thailand

Do you want to follow our exciting journey to retiring in Thailand right from beginning to the present day and see what decisions we made, what we did right, what we did wrong, what happened good, what happened bad and everything else in between?

I have been recording our journey on posts on this website from the beginning and sending emails to subscribers to the Announcement List every time I added something to the website.

All Those Announcement List Emails Are Now On The Wesite And You Can Access Them From Here

I am placing the emails in date order top-to bottom, first at the top, latest at the bottom.

The logic for putting the emails in this order is because people rarely delve deep into website archives to find the early history. But that’s where a lot of the excitement is.

It’s also where we are venturing into the unknown. Finding an Architect, looking for land and Wow what an exhilarating moment when we actually bought the land!

Look, you don’t read a novel from back to front do you? And that’s what the posts referred to in these emails is. A real-life novel – our life from start to present day as we continue our adventure of retiring in Thailand.

A Note On The Format Of The Emails

Just a few comments on the way the emails are presented.

  • I, Alan, am on the Announcement List and I am posting the emails sent to myself, that’s why they are addressed to Alan.
  • After the first email I have dropped off the signatures at the end of the emails to avoid too much repetition.
  • 10 Emails per page.

Announcement List Emails - No Spam Here!

I know that people are wary of joining email lists because they have had a bad experience with unwanted email sent by unscrupulous and/or insensitive website owners.

I don’t send rubbish emails and I’m proving that on this web page because here I am posting every single email I have sent to the Announcement List. Please check them out because not only will you find that there is no junk but also you will see the progress on our retirement plan acted out in real time.

So follow the links below to get the emails:-

Announcement List Emails Navigation

Click on the links below to go to the next page of emails.

Announcement List Emails Page 1

Announcement List Emails Page 2

Announcement List Emails Page 3

Announcement List Emails Page 4

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11 Responses to “Announcement List Emails”

  • Patch Yong:

    Discover your website this evening 3/4/11. Find it very interesting  eventhough I have already built my house in Pakchong early this year. I did it with very little knowledge.

    I’m 56 yrs old Singaporean. Like You I intend to spend part of my retirement time  in Pakchong. Hope to meet up with you one day.

    Welcome to Pakchong.
    Yong Patch


    admin Reply:

    Hi Patch and thanks for the comment.

    Indeed I look forward to meeting you in Pakchong. I’ll be there for a couple of weeks from 22 April 2011.

    Any chance of sending some photos of your retirement house for people to see?

    Best Regards



  • Joe Corey:

    I an 71 and living on Social Security in California but  I am planning to return to my profession of video production.  I have met a Thai woman from Pak Chong and we are communicating through Skype.  I am now considering moving to Pak Chong.  Can I make it on $1400. per month and what should I expect?


    admin Reply:

    Hi Joe,

    Sorry to have taken so long to reply but your question is so important that I didn’t just want to reply quickly without giving you the accurate information that you need.

    I had to go out and gather in some information for you and in fact made a whole new web page about Thai visas, types of Thai retirement visas and how much money you need to qualify for a Thai retirement visa. this web page simply has to be the definitive guide to Thai visas for people wanting to retire to Thailand.

    Now let’s get on with answering you question which is “Can I make it (retiring in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand on $1,400 per month and what should I expect?”

    The Short Answer To How Much Money You Need To Retire In Thailand

    The short answer to your question is that if you live like the Thais – with $1,400 a month you can live like a king.

    I am planning to retire to Thailand in the next couple of years and my pension will be around $1,500 a month – similar to yours. I expect to live decently but I do (or will) own my own house in Thailand. I also own a one year old pickup truck. So no major capital cost expenditures for me.

    But if you want to live like a Westerner and have steak and red wine every day and travel all over Thailand in your own car staying in decent hotels then forget it.

    There are other ‘Buts’ too.

    Like where will you live? Will you need to rent a place to live?

    How is your health? Will you need to pay for medical care?

    And a big question is: How will you deal with the Thai government requirements to be granted a long stay visa, which requires you to have an income of 65,000 Baht a month or a bank balance of 800,000?

    How To Live In Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, On 30,000 Baht per Month.

    First, let’s translate that 30,000 Baht into two common Western currencies:-

    30,000 Baht = $1,000 at the current rate of 30 Baht/$
    30,000 Baht = £600 at the current rate of 50 Baht/£

    Now look at this email I just received in answer to putting your question to an American friend of mine who is building a retirement house in Pakchong (Pak Chong):-


    I don’t know about the visa, but I would say he can live on the 30K (Baht/month), the question is if his wife / girlfriend can.

    His being 71, I would imagine he would not get out much.

    Does his girlfriend have a house or will he have to rent one. That would make a big difference.

    Will he need a car or not another large expense.

    Other than those two cost of living, i.e. food and clothes should be no issue to live on 30K

    I send my wife 30K to take care of our house and I would expect we have much more expenses then he would incur.

    We have two cars, which need fuel, insurance, have Satellite TV. My wife has Internet on her phone and call me in Singapore everyday, we pay for the workers at the farm and subsidise it, etc.



    At current exchange rates your $1,400 x 30 = 42,000 Baht, so you have 12,000 a month left over – nearly 30%.

    Some Examples Of Cost Of Living In Pakchong (Pak Chong) Thailand

    My wife, Kanyah, stays in The Mansion, Pakchong (Pak Chong). She has a single (large) room with double bed, wardrobes, a bathroom and balcony. It is modern and clean, but there are no cooking facilities. It costs her around 5,000 Baht/month including electricity and water.

    A typical Thai meal at a roadside or market stall say noodle soup or fried rice will cost you around 40 Baht. (Just over a dollar)

    At the same kind of establishment of in a supermarket local Thai beer will cost around 45 Baht for a large 500 ml bottle.

    A bottle of cheapest Thai wine from a supermarket is around 500 Baht a bottle. (Not at all cheap). Imported wine is far more expensive. Forget that.

    If you travel to the tourist areas like Hua Hin or Phuket etc the prices skyrocket.

    Seafood lunch on the beach at Hua Hin 26 April 2011 for three people including beers:- 1,490 Baht.

    Diesel Fuel Costs In Thailand

    I have an invoice here dated 27 April, 2011, for Diesel at 30.25 Baht/Litre. Compare that to costs in your own country.

    Proof of Income or Capital Requirements to Qualify For Thai Retirement Visas

    The Thai government have imposed quite onerous requirements on foreigners wishing to live in Thailand to demonstrate that they have adequate finances to support themselves.

    To qualify for a long-term visa to stay in Thailand you have to prove that you have an income of 65,000 Baht a month or a bank balance of 800,000. This is explained in great detail on the “Thai Retirement Visa Requirements” web page.

    The Big Ticket Items

    So you can live like a king on $1,400 (42,000 Baht) a month or less in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, considering daily living expenses.

    But there are other potential expenses that you may need to budget for and these are Big Ticket Items. Like:-

    If you need to fly back to USA. Could be for family or health reasons, or to maintain your home back there if you have one.

    If you need to leave Thailand to renew your visa. (Quite common)

    If you fall ill and have to pay for medical treatment.

    Sorting out financial problems that your Thai partner’s family have got themselves into.

    Do You Really Want To Retire to Thailand?

    I am always asking myself this question, even though I am building a retirement home in Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand, at great expense and worry.

    If you have read my article “Don’t Retire To Thailand” you’ll see some of the challenges that you will face. If you haven’t read it then do so now before you go any further.

    That’s all for now, Joe.

    I have tried to answer your question accurately and with the best information. I have created a new web page on the requirements for Thai retirement visas and provided you with links to further information.

    I hope you are satisfied that i have done my best to answer your question but I do realise that after you have read through this reply you will have many more questions to ask.

    If so, don’t worry, just ask away and I will do my very best to find the answers for you.

    It’s this kind of information that people need and it keeps the website alive.

    All the Best



  • steve:



  • John:

    Hi Alan,
    Excellent website with up to date info.
    What would be your advice on teaching in a volunteer basis?
    I am retirement age with a view on doing this as a pastime.
    Have been in contact with where the info provided is very interesting.
    Look forward to your thoughts.
    Kind regards.


    admin Reply:

    John thanks for you kind comments about the website.

    I had never thought of volunteering in Thailand before but having briefly looked at the website you refrred to I can see tremendous advantages for the volunteers and of course for the Thais.

    I don’t know if there’s anything in the engineering field that I could volunteer for, but I’ll take a look. I was thinking of doing some small scale local teaching of youngsters to get them interested in engineering through my model engineering workshop. But doing it through properly set-up organisation is something else.

    One thing I that is really appealing – apart form doing something interesting and contributing to the Thai nation- is that the visa situation suddenly becomes easier.

    Also there is the benefit of improving (or learning) the Thai language through your regular interaction with the Thais.

    In short I think it’s a great idea.

    I’m definitely of the view that ‘retirement’ means sudden death and that to survive after work and in particular to live and enjoy Thailand you have to have something to do.

    That is why I am building my model engineering workshop and planning to make my team engines. And if I can involve the local youngsters in that then so much the better.

    Volunteering seems such a good idea that – now you have introduced me to the idea – I’m going to look into it properly and perhaps make a section of the website dedicated to volunteering.

    Your information and story would be a useful way to get started.

    Tell, me John, do you have a particular discipline that you are an expert it? Or would you do English language teaching?

    Thanks again for posting your comment and giving everyone such a good idea.

    Please keep us informed with your volunteering in Thailand project.

    I’ll let you know any further thoughts after I have studied the volunteering in Thailand website a bit more.

    Best Regards



  • John:

    Hi Alan,

    Glad you found the idea of volunteering in Thailand an interesting topic.
    Like you my background was engineering. I had an excellent airframe apprenticeship with the R.A.F. After purchase discharge from the R.A.F. I worked at Heathrow for a few years then moved back to Scotland but left the trade. I then moved from job to job (just over broke) for about 40 years. Tempus Fugit. One of the lads who enlisted with me has lived in Thailand for approx. 25 years.So with him asking me to pay a visit and my brother holidaying out there twice a year I’m very tempted.  
    Look forward to your thoughts on volunteering.

    kind regards.



  • Jim George:

    Hi Guys ,

    I am Retired. sort of.  I get (With my wife who is a dual citizen of USA and Cambodia) a pension of $1900 per month.  I have Apartment buildings with a profit of about $1000 per month for
     the next 5 years and $2000 per month after that.  I have a job earning $1600 per month working 4 days a week as an independent  currier.  I work 6 months in the USA and then live on my other income in Cambodia for 6 months. I fly back and forth to Bangkok and  on by train to Cambodia.  I am going Mar. 29 thru Jun. 21 this year and then Dec. 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013.
    This will be my fifth trip to Cambodia and/or Thailand.
    I built a house in a little village Prusnup in Cambodia and will buy a Korean car
    this trip.
    I have some small income from some farms we own in Cambodia that I lease by the year. About $7000 BT per year.  We also have our own rice and some fruit trees.
    I will use a Tourist Visa this trip.  On my next trip I think I can do a Six months Work Visa.
    My hobbies are Tai Chi, Chi Qong : Travel and Reading.
    I do not have time ( or talent) for a web site. I will answer any questions that I can.
    I believe you all need a fall back plan in anything you do in life! So 6 mo. USA and 6 months Cambodia gives me a choice I like.
    Jim George  E-Mail


  • Jim George:

    I forgot to add that last year I spent 4 weeks studying to teach English to Thai’s in
    Chiang Mai. I studied with John Quinn ( from England married to a Thai lady) at the SEE TEFL ( Siam Educational Experience ) institute in Chiang Mai.  This school is good because it is accredited by the Thai Ministry of Education.  Also you get to practice teaching in local Thai schools.
     I plan on teaching or setting up a small school in the small village in Cambodia where Sam ( My wife ) and I live.
    If you Google “SEE TEFL Thailand” John’s school is listed in Chiang Mai. 

    Good Luck,  Jim 


  • retiringinthailand:

    Many thanks for the comments. I really appreciate your notes on the cost of retiring in Thailand and I’m sure P will too.


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