Ten Reasons Retiring in Thailand May Not Be the Right Choice For You


Thailand has been cited as one of the best places for retirees to live out the rest of their lives because of the relatively low cost of living, and the beautiful scenery. Nevertheless it is not for everyone, and because of personal habits, weather, cultural differences, etc., that you may have a tough time getting accustomed to,it may not be recommended for all. This post’s aim is to point out a number of reasons this may not be a good idea for some people, leaving it to you to figure out if you’re one of those who should not plan on a retirement there.

Terms of Address

If you can’t tolerate being called a farang, or foreigner, everywhere you go–then Thailand may not be the place for you. According to the Pattaya.com website, this is just the way they refer to white people in their country. They do not mean anything offensive by it, they refer to most foreigners in the same manner. This is balanced by the way they attempt to treat everyone there. They are known as very warm, hospitable people, as a matter of fact.

Anger Issues

If you are given to fits of rage, then you should find some other place to retire than Thailand. Expressions of anger are frowned upon there. People there are expected to have an even temper. Staying calm is the norm, according to the Destination Tips website. So if you are not the type of person who can take being cut off in traffic and still have a big smile on your face, it may be time to realize that Thailand is not the place to spend your sunset years.

Health Issues

The CDC recommends that you get routine vaccinations for numerous diseases, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever. However, if you have an already weak immune system, or a disease that affects your immune system, such as lupus or leukemia, then you should probably think twice before going to Thailand to live.

Personal Safety

For the most part Thailand is safe. But if you’re unwilling to live with a risk of being pursesnatched, pickpocketed, or scammed, and prepared to prevent it, then you may have to count that among the ten reasons retiring in Thailand might not be the right choice for you. But if you are a basically responsible person who is adept at keeping an eye out for unsavory people who abound everywhere, then you are likely to do well in this part of the world.

Weather Issues

If you have issues with a hot living environment where the temperature has been known to hot 100 degrees easily each day, then don’t go to Thailand to retire. You will NOT experience the change of seasons here. A white Christmas is unknown here. In fact, it is highly unlikely you will ever see a flake of snow in this country. Also, if you don’t like places with rainy seasons, then retirement in Thailand is something you may wish to consider avoiding. For it happens every June, July, and August–without fail.

Cultural Issues

If you have a problem adjusting to new unwritten rules, don’t settle in Thailand. For example, you will offend a lot of people in Thailand if you are given to shaking hands with people, keeping your shoes on in public places, as well as people’s homes–and public displays of affection. Tongue touching, at least in public, is frowned upon here. Also, it tends to be quite conservative here when it comes to taking one’s clothes off. Additionally, if you can’t remember that pointing your feet towards anything Thailand considers an object of respect–such as Buddhist monks–is considered a serious faux pas in that part of the world, for, as the Destination Tips website points out–the Thais consider the feet to be the “dirtiest part of the body.”

Drug Addiction

If you have had a history of addiction to illegal drugs throughout your career life, you might want to think twice before retiring to Thailand. As the Real Life Thailand blog states, the penalties for drugs there are stiff. For example, if it’s discovered you have Class A drugs in your possession with intent to distribute–and the authorities will be the judge of whether that was your intent or not–then you could be executed. Even a finding of mere usage could cause you to be legally required to go to a drug counseling session. Thus, a history of drug addiction may exclude you from a successful retirement life in this part of the world. All that said, remember that their court system is different from ours in one key way–there is no jury like we have in the States. So the opinion of one judge could lead you to being deported, forced to pay a fine, or jailed for a long time.


If you’re given to gambling, the prospect of a retirement in Thailand may not be for you. For it’s illegal to even own playing cards in that country. The Online Betting website cites a 1943 law–the Playing Cards Act of 1943–as making it illegal not only to own, but to make or sell them. There are hefty fines involved, and as a Farang (foreigner) you could be deported for it. Foreigners have been deported for participating in poker, as the website says.

Not Meeting the Thai Visa Requirements

The Thai Retirement Visa is required for retirement in Thailand. It is good for a year, but it requires a deposit of 800,000 THB into a Thai bank account at least 2 months prior to application for the visa, according to the Siam Legal Website. That is equal to $22,385 United States dollars. So if you are planning for a retirement in Thailand, it’s best to start saving for it early in your career.

Lack of Assimilation

If you want to feel part of the Thai society, that may never fully happen. On some level you will always be made to feel like a farang. The language is not the easiest to master, because like Chinese and Japanese, it’s character based instead of alphabetically based. Also, as warm and welcoming as the people seem in Thailand, chances are you will never meet anyone who will really treat you like you belong, like family. If you object to being an outsider, and are not able to cope, living in Thailand may not be for you.