In 2006 my wife and I made the life-changing decision to up roots and move to Thailand, the year before I had just turned 50 and the thought of working for another 15 or more years in the UK before I could retire really did not appeal to me. I had a friend who used to spend 6 months of the year in Hua Hin so we had visited him on a few occasions and I really fell in love with Hua Hin and Thailand in general. As anyone who lives here will always tell you the same things: the people are lovely, the weather is great, the food is fantastic, the beaches, cost of living etc. etc. and it is all true as we would tell you the exact same things.
I sold my business and my house in the South of England and we literally got off the plane carrying suitcases and for the first time since I was 17 years old I was out of work. I learnt how to play golf as Hua Hin has 9 golf courses, bought myself a motorbike and we have done many tours around Thailand, which confirmed to me that Hua Hin was the best place to actually live in Thailand. We bought a house with a swimming pool and an electric gate and it made me remember when I was growing up that the thought of owning a property with a swimming pool and an electric gate was only for millionaires and it still gives
me a buzz today.
At that time we sold our 3 bedroom semi-detached house in the UK for just under 300,000 Pounds and we paid 160,000 pounds for a brand new 4 bedroom detached property, fully furnished, landscaped, with swimming pool on a plot size of 1,300 Sqm, the same type of property in the UK at that time would have cost around 800,000 pounds.
The other great bonus was that my monthly outgoings (excluding food, shopping etc.) a maid one day a week, a gardener one day a week, electric, water, TV and internet was actually less than our monthly council rates. (There are no council rates in Thailand). So with the money that we got for the sale of my business and the extra money we made from selling our property in the UK and buying one in Hua Hin, along with some savings, I actually managed to retire at 50 and next year I will be eligible for my pension which will help to cover my costs to some degree.
It seems that Thailand has been very lucky in respect to the corona virus with a lot less cases and deaths than many places around the world, especially in Europe, the UK and the USA. The thought of having to self-isolate in my old property in the UK absolutely horrifies me. In our property in Thailand we have a lovely big garden with a swimming pool and perfect weather almost every day of the year, so we have BBQ’s around the pool with the compulsory Beer Chaing / Singha and gin and tonics.
We can still take the dog for walk as we live in a quiet area close to the mountains so we rarely meet one else on our walks at this time and if we do we just give them a wide berth.
One thing that I will point out, is that you cannot leave your brain at Bangkok airport when you move here, do not think that your money will last forever and make sure that you budget as it’s all too easy to start living above your means especially when you consider what has happened with the exchange rate. You just need to be a little more careful.
Also take care when purchasing a property, take good independent legal advice and if buying on a development use the internet to research the development and the builder.
This type of blog will always attract the Thailand haters, saying that Thai people always rip you off, you can’t buy land so you are stupid to buy a property, or that property is too expensive etc. etc. The list will go on and on but all I can say is that in our experience and the experience of all of the friends that we have made in Hua Hin, If you plan carefully, take care with any property purchase, be respectful to Thai people and Thai culture, (as you should being a guest in
their country) then the lifestyle living here in Hua Hin is fantastic and laid back. I don’t know if it is a true fact or not but I remember reading a fact that those people who retire at 50 will on average live 10 years longer than those retiring at 65, I just hope that’s true.
Martin 65 From Hertfordshire