I can’t afford to retire in the US – but I can retire early in Thailand

I can’t afford to retire in the US – but I can retire early in Thailand

I have come to the realization that I can’t afford to retire in the US. Let me rephrase that. I can’t afford to retire and keep living the same lifestyle I am living now. But I am an optimist, and I have always felt there is a solution to every problem. And that is why I will be moving to Thailand to retire. Maybe I don’t have enough money to retire here in the US, but I have plenty saved up if I chose to be an expat and live someplace else.

Why can’t I afford to retire here in the US – it’s because of my house payments

Let’s face it – it’s not getting any easier to retire. Housing costs are way up, and I just recently bought my house. This means I am at the beginning of a 30 year loan, and unfortunately my house won’t be paid off until I am just about 80 years old. I’d like my debts to be at zero when I retire. To be financially successful in our retirement, we need to eliminate our debt.

There’s a silver lining to owning a house. Luckily for us, we have a whole lot of equity in our home. We didn’t know it at the time, but buying our house has been a fantastic investment. We have seen the value of our home increase by almost $200K in just 2 short years. This equity has allowed me to plan on retiring early to Thailand. My plan is to retire at the age of 55. My wife and I will sell our house and we can use all of that $200K in equity to retire early in Thailand.

Why Thailand? – It’s mostly because I love the people and their culture.

My wife is from Thailand and she is homesick. I’ve traveled to Thailand countless of times when we were dating, and I don’t blame her one bit for missing her culture. I adore my wife. She goes out of her way to be nice and sweet to everyone she meets. Actually, most of the Thai people I met have this same quality. And this is why we both want to retire there.

If you have never been to Thailand, you should go. I knew the moment I fell in love with my wife and met all of her friends, I wanted to retire there. Everyone we have met is very friendly and talkative. One trip to Thailand, and you will see why I love it here as much as I do.

The cost of living is super cheap

The low cost of living is another compelling reason why my wife and I want to retire in Thailand. We can find a fairly nice apartment for around $300-400 USD a month inside of Bangkok. My wife lived in Bangkok for 13 years and she loved it. She knows the most of the good and bad areas to live, so we should find a nice apartment in a nice area fairly easily. If you are looking for places to live online, a really good place to start would be the 9Apartment website. The site is written in Thai, but you can use the translate button if you want to view it in English. We plan on living close to my wife’s old job near Victory Monument. She has lots of friends in that area, and she’s thinking about going back to work at the hospital so she won’t get bored. The Victory Monument area is a great location. My wife and I love all of restaurants within walking distance and we can easily catch a ride on the BTS train.

My wife and I have done our homework, and we figure our rent, food, and entertainment costs will be at around 50,000 baht per month ($1,500 USD per month). We could get our costs down even lower, but we want to live in a nice condo.

Struggle for Retirement in the US or…Retire Well in Thailand

And there you have it. Are you looking at struggling in your retirement? Are you up for a sense of adventure? I know I am. I can’t wait for this next journey in my life.






Gary is one of the founders of RetireBook, and is the site engineer and also one of its writers. He has been working in IT for over 25 years, is a world traveler, and enjoys everything about living in the Pacific Northwest. He is full of energy, loves the outdoors, climbed several mountains, volunteers in his community, and has been saving his whole life for an early retirement that will be coming up in just a few short years.