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Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy golden years Thailand named top international nation for retirees

unnamed (9)Thailand has just been named as one of the world’s most popular countries around the world to retire to, according to a recent article “The World’s 7 Most Retiree-Friendly Nations” published by The Huffington Post, an American online news aggregator and blog.


The popular online news-site’s article looked at countries, which have legislation in place to make it easy for non-native pensioners to apply for; such as, Malaysia, Ecuador and Panama as an ideal retirement destination that offered formal retiree visas with low monthly financial requirements.

Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Thailand has long been a popular destination for retirees, thanks to advantageous exchange rates that ensure pensions and savings have always gone a lot further here than in more expensive nations.”

Thailand’s is regarded as a welcoming country for people to retire on a long-term basis, and the retirement visa does not stipulate an annual minimum stay. In addition, retirees are eligible for visas at the relatively young age of 50 and there are no additional financial requirements for their dependents.

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Retirement visas are issued when applicants offer proof of income which currently stands at around 65,000 Thai Baht (around US$2,100) a month.

To encourage more arrivals, Thailand is taking a bold step to offering a three-month tourist visa fee waiver for holders of Holders of Chinese and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) passports from 9 August – 8 November, 2014. The nation also allows a 30-day extension of stay for visitors from 48 countries and one territory. In addition, international tourists visiting Thailand can now avail of a special online insurance coverage scheme known as the “Thailand Travel Shield” set up by TAT in cooperation with four reputed Thai insurance companies at http://www.tourismthailand.org/ThailandTravelShield/.

Mr. Thawatchaisaid, “People are also discovering that Thailand offers other advantages to people coming to spend their golden years in the kingdom. As well as the deep seated respect that Thai people have for senior citizens, the nation can boast great round-year warm weather, easy access to international luxuries, a welcoming culture and a range of easily accessible accommodation.”

There is already a large community of expat retirees in Thailand, mostly found in the kingdom’s large coastal towns and islands; such as, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket or Samui. Chiang Mai is also a popular spot and boasts a range of accommodation to suit people retiring here. Most retired residents come to enjoy the warm weather, as well as the blend of traditional culture and modern luxuries.

In 2013, Thailand welcomed a total of 26,546,725 visitor arrivals, representing a 18.76 per cent increase over 2012. Tourists spent an average of US$150.23 per day in 2013, contributing a total of US$39,282.32 million tourism receipts to Thailand. In 2014, the kingdom welcomed 13,626,929 visitors during January-July.

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