After 6 years in Asia I can see the advantages and disadvantages of retiring in Asia. As many people who have moved to Thailand discovered a steady pension or regular income makes this a a great location to retire and experience new things.

One of the things I have found as have others who move to Thailand or other parts of Asia is they need to become familiar with local life.

Many people come here and really struggle to develop new friends and also adapt to local diets. Because one of the most expensive things for expats often becomes the food as many will not adapt but simply rely on imports. The problem with imports is they are relatively expensive especially compared to local produce.

But being here for over 6 years now I have realized that if you take the time to adapt to a different menu and simply avoid the bad from both foreign and local diets you can eat pretty healthy. Spending time finding where to get the best ingredients and herbs are also important as “microwave meals” haven’t hit Asia. At least not in most locations where people are looking to retire!

You are going to have to cook from basic ingredients or hire a cook. One of the advantages living here is that staff are relatively cheap. They can also be live-in or live-out. Generally hiring live-in is cheaper because you normally find they are provincial. Where hiring someone locally can cost a lot more because they have the city life cost of living. Still not a lot but can be 50% cheaper if hiring provincial staff.

Dental care is also extremely good and cheap, I recently had my front teeth capped to repair two damaged teeth. Ended up having three repaired for less than £350.

If you are seriously thinking about moving to Asia I advise you visit first. Come and visit here for a few months not weeks. One of the biggest headaches is immigration and getting things processed. Not that its impossible but getting used to the problems of life without being in holiday mode is important.

Rent something locally and just get a feel for the country. I like traveling around as every town seems a little different and normally has something it is particularly good at. E.g. seamstresses, shoe making, traditional crafts, etc.