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Correcting Pre-Retirement Mistakes

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I am almost seventy-two years old and probably spent more time than most on selecting my retirement location. I spent hundreds of hours finding suitable locations that I could comfortably live in on what I knew would be my retirement income budget.

I quickly confirmed that I could not comfortably live in southern California on just my retired Army income and social security checks, even though all four of my kids, two grandkids, and great-grandson live there (they all make more money than I do, but still almost all live month-to-month on $68,000 family incomes.

Fortunately, because of my life’s work in the military years and while working for McDonnell Douglas as a Personal Administrator in “garden spots,” I lived in Saudi Arabia (for five years) and other locations in post-military second careers. I lived in, worked in, or visited thirty-nine countries and all fifty United States. This gave me the opportunity to visit several countries that one can live in on limited income.

After years of planning and decision-making, I decided in 2005 to finally retire in Thailand. I’d made thirty trips to Thailand before marrying my present wife, who is from Chiayaphum (1995), some five hours north of Bangkok. I built a house there and lived in that home for some twenty months before also obtaining an apartment in Bangkok. I retired full time in Thailand on our thirty-sixth trip.

I now can split my time between Chiayaphum and Bangkok, which allows me to enjoy all the shopping malls, wonderful restaurants, etc. in this vibrant city and still “get away” to the countryside and visit with my wife’s family in Isaan whenever I want.

I’d like to suggest that any person who finds they might be struggling to find a retirement location that they can afford visit Thailand if only for a month, and check out what it has to offer. One can live rather comfortably here for less than $30,000 per year, and well on just a few thousands more.


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