The advantages of living or retiring in Thailand, Thai cost of living, climate, excellent health care plans, world renown hospitals and Dental treatment at a faction of the cost of the western world, plus you dont have to wait weeks for an appointment, in most cases they attend to you the same day.

If you are thinking of living or retiring in Thailand? The chances are that you are no stranger to Thailand, Thai people, their customs and culture, there is still much to take in consideration, the first year living in any new country is not easy, Thailand is no exception.

Thai laws and regulations, are very different from western law, you need to have a basic understanding of them, a golden rule, do as Thais do, dont rush into anything, take time to evaluate situations before making a decision, much can be learned by visiting the expats forums on Thailand, the following points can be taken as a guide line.

1) Thai Lawyer:

Often over looked, living long term in Thailand, its important that you have your own independent Thai lawyer, on no account should you use the vendors lawyer when entering into a legal transaction.

2) Thai Visa Requirements:

If you are 50 or over you can apply for a Thai retirement visa, conditions apply, and it has to be renewed annually, details can be attained from the Thai Immigration Bureaus website Bangkok, application forms can be downloaded.

3) Health Care:

Its recommended that you take out one of the various health care insurance plans that are available in Thailand, choose a plan that suits your requirements and take your time to evaluate whats on offer, health care should be your number one priority if you are thinking of living, working or retiring in Thailand.

4) Location:

Making your home in Thailand is not a vacation, sure you have got access to all the amenities the country as to offer, but you cant holiday 365 days of the year every year.

Depending on your individual requirements Chiang Mia in the north, Thailands second city, is a great retreat with plenty to do, good accommodation and restaurants, also there are plenty of expats living there, those of you that want sun, sea and surf, Phuket and Pattaya are idea retirement locations.

Pattaya, less expensive than Phuket, and offers good value for money with all the amenities of modern day living, an idea location if you want to take the full advantage of living in Asia, close to Bangkoks Suvarnabhumi Airport, accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, good international restaurants, excellent seafood, plenty of sporting activities and entertainment.

Most cities and islands in Thailand have an expat community, Pattaya City in the Chonburi province, probably the largest, information can be attained by reading expats forums, on Thailand.

5) Rent or Buy:

Thinking of buying or renting, if you have the funds available to purchase a Property in Thailand it reduces your monthly outgoings but there are some disadvantages, it is much easier to buy property in Thailand than to sell it, should you decide to rent it, return is low compared to many western counties.

Condos or apartments are a much better investment than houses you also have the advantage that you can own them in your own name which adds to the value, a studio condo will cost between one and two million baht, price will depend on size and location and amenities on offer, on the high side of the market you can pay over twenty million for a three bedroom luxury apartment in a top location.

There are plenty of one bedroom apartments on offer between four and five million baht, again price depends on standard and location, if you are serous about owning your own property in Thailand, buy new off plan, in your own name, invest no more than you can afford.

When you take into consideration what value get for your money in locations like Phuket, Samui, similar property can be purchased for less money in Pattaya or Chiang Mai its all about location, my advise rent first, understand the formalities enjoy Thailand, wait a year or two until the right property becomes available in a location of you choice.

For many renting is a better alternative, by paying six months or a years rent in advance its possible to rent a studio condo for six to eight thousand baht a month, an two bedroom town house or two bedroom bungalow from ten to fifteen thousand baht a month.

Details of the different types of visas available for Non Thai Citizens can be attained from the Thai Immigration Bureau website application forms can be downloaded and posted or taken to your counties Thai Embassy or one of their Consulates.

Forums are a useful resource of information Pattaya Expats Club has a very good one, likewise Chiang Mai Expats Club provides much info on northern Thailand, they both are worth a visit if your thinking about living or retiring in Thailand.