For many baby boomers, retiring in Thailand is the perfect fantasy. After all, there are few places in the world that you can live comfortably on less than $2,000 a month.

In addition, with its rich culture, beautiful weather and unparalleled vistas, Thailand is the perfect place to reinvent yourself. Or is it?

If you search the Internet for information on Thailand, you will find hundreds of articles outlining the cost of living in Thailand, what it takes to get a visa and which part of the country to live in. But, to get a real understanding of what is like in Thailand, you need to talk to someone who has already retired there. This is why I was so excited to have the opportunity interview Perley-Ann Friedman.

 
 

After a successful 30-year career in the IT industry, Perley-Ann knew that it was time for a change. So, after doing her research, she packed her bags and headed to the remote island of Koh Lanta in Thailand.

Over the last 13 years, she has learned so much about what makes this country an amazing retirement destination. At the same time, she has encountered all of the small inconveniences and larger difficulties associated with living in this part of the world.

I hope that you enjoy my latest interview with Perley-Ann. If you do, please share this article to keep the conversation going.

 

What is Retirement Life Really Like in Thailand?

Perley-Ann’s first piece of advice is to visit Thailand for an extended period of time before deciding whether to move there. Everyone has an emotional reaction when they first move to a new location. After a few weeks, you start to see things as they really are.

As with any location, you should take the time to research the local culture, weather and political environment. For example, in Thailand, will you be comfortable in a more laid-back environment where people are more likely to say “yes,” than no?

Over the last 3 years, she has lived through weather emergencies and a political coup. As a westerner, being ordered to obey a strict curfew was difficult. Actually, that’s probably an understatement. If I was asked to sit inside for months, I would be like a tiger in a box.

In any case, Perley-Ann said that her understanding of the local culture, gained over more than a decade of living in the country, helped her to stay calm and not disagree publically with the authorities.

Another important reason to visit Thailand before moving there is to see if you can deal with the local infrastructure. The first time you have to wait several minutes for hot water to get to your shower, you will be forced to ask yourself how many of your creature comforts you can live without. On the other hand, when you consider how much further your pension will go, all of the (usually small) inconveniences may fade into the background.

Can a Single Woman Really Retire in Thailand?

Perley-Ann is living proof that it is possible to thrive as a woman in Thailand. That said, she points out that women with certain character traits are likely to adapt the best.

First and foremost, she says that living in Thailand requires you to be flexible. You have to learn to roll with the punches and let any small inconveniences go.

Next, Perley-Ann says that you need to build your self-confidence to succeed in Thailand. For example, getting to the mainland can be a challenge. You have to be confident enough to use public transportation, talk with the locals and deal with unexpected situations as they arise. Of course, some areas are more expat friendly than others. Koh Lanta, in particular, may be an easy place to get set up.

Finally, she says that women need to be realistic about what life in Thailand is really like. Life in Thailand can be amazing. At the same time, it won’t be all sunsets and Mai Thais. You will have to put up with delays, long lines, leaky taps and plenty of other small problems. As with anywhere, you just need to take the good with the bad.

What is a Typical Day Like in Thailand?

During our interview, Perley-Ann described a typical day on her island paradise. Her morning starts with a cup of local coffee and play time with her cats. Then, she does yoga with a local instructor. She often has lunch on the beach with her friends. After lunch, she relaxes for a while and then works on one of her paid writing projects. After writing, she goes for a 10K run, which she follows, assuming the water is running, with a nice cool shower. Finally, she has a drink with her local expat friends.

If this sounds like an amazing lifestyle, Thailand may be for you!

Are you thinking about retiring in Thailand? What questions do you have for Perley-Ann about what life in Thailand is really like? Please join the conversation!

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