Killing off retirement alternatives in Thailand – OPINION


Quite clearly the Government has simply not thought through the impact of the insurance provisions imposed by the Thailand Pass on “budget tourists” and likewise on present and potential retirees in Thailand.
The sobering actuality is that it is properly nigh impossible for individuals, 70 years and above, to acquire medical insurance apart from at exorbitant charges. The insurance coverage requirements, USD 50k (1.6m THB), whereas rational on the floor, will undoubtedly block the backpacker/budget vacationer cohort and concurrently devastate those long-term aged Non-Resident Visa holding retirees, a lot of whom live on mounted pensions and have been attracted to remain in Thailand as a pleasant low value haven.
A dollar and a pound go a lot further in Thailand as everyone knows and, as all retirees know, we contribute on a every day basis to local households and the local economies. We appear to turn into de-facto ATM’s for those in our households…….that in turn sustain us.
At present to gain a Retirement Visa one should negotiate a bureaucratic maze, “aka” the Immigration Department, and individuals such as myself, should deposit 800k baht in a “dead” Thai checking account earning say 1% or less in curiosity which is then taxed. Ninety-day stories and the prices of a visa are “manageable”.
But the sluggish death of Kao San Road is now assured as “budget tourists” and retirees alike, who collectively sustain avenue vendors, meals stalls tuk-tuk drivers and a variety of other service suppliers are locked out of the financial system to make method for these who stay in luxury resorts and villas and sweep previous the Sois of their chauffeur driven limousines.
Try before you buy wish to emphasise that I am a very contented seventy three 12 months previous retiree residing on a hard and fast pension in the NE of Thailand and up to this time have had completely no hesitation in inviting household and friends to come to visit, and even to quiet down and retire in what was the “Land of Smiles”.
Yet it now appears that the Government has set a course to ensure that its borderline impoverished residents, both within the cities and in the provinces, stay and can turn out to be much more impoverished as the money move from “backpackers” and retirees alike is obliterated.
For the good of the country I urge the bureaucrats to suppose, after which to suppose again, within the interests not only of those that come to go to but also for all those Thai residents who benefit, every day, from the money we happily contribute to the native financial system.
Philip H Nicholls


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