The REAL COST OF LIVING & RETIRING in Thailand



There’s no magic number for the cost of living or retiring in Thailand because everyone is different. Everyone comes from a different background, has different tastes, has different spending habits and different budgets with different life styles.

Personally, as a single guy in my late 20’s, I traveled to Thailand and spent over ฿100,000 baht ($3000+ USD) per month, and I also spent under ฿15,000 baht per month ($500 USD). So I know the costs because I stayed at luxury hotels and ate at expensive restaurants all over Bangkok, Rayong, Jomtein, Ubon, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.

However I also enjoy eating cheap street food and stayed at some of the tiniest studio apartments. It is really hard to come up with the actual cost of living in Thailand. The real answer will entirely be up to you, your needs, your standard of living, your lifestyle, and your budget.

What is the cost of living in Thailand?

A) ฿10,000 baht per/month ($300 USD)
B) ฿15,000 baht per/month ($500 USD)
C) ฿30,000 baht per/month ($1000 USD)
D) ฿50,000 baht per/month ($1500 USD)
E) Over ฿60,000 baht per/month ($2000 USD and above)

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Comments

  • what language is he speaking?

    HELLO PITTICHAN May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • 1500 Dollar would be really the absolut minimum. In 1-2 years you might need 2-2500

    M. C May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Please tell me I am 69 a widowed single with a SS check every month 1500 usd per month can I get by on there living there and what catprgory would I fall under many Thanks Augustiino Patti apattijr@gmail.com Please inform me please

    Augustino Patti May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • I spend 6 months a year in Thailand. I usually spend around 55k/mo. I think the min I'd move on is 44k. That would basically give me 1k a day in the pocket after fixed expenses. PS, just found your channel and subscribed today.

    Win Duncan May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • these amounts seem crazy low…Its easy to spend 50k a week in Bangkok.

    node May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Finally, one of the makes a serious costing, and not just flat-rate claims you could live with 1000 .- $ super …

    zeus9931 May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • For 2000-4000 usd u can live anyplace in the world???

    Mike S May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • I know an expat who is a millionaire in Chiang Mai, who could live off 10,000 baht per month. Buys his clothes from charity shops, cuts his own hair…too tight to go to the barbers, etc. Watch rip off videos…saving money is his hobby!

    Oldfogey Oldfogey May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Get involved with a woman, you’ll soon find out that living within a budget is impossible!

    Oldfogey Oldfogey May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • We stopped going two years ago it must be one of the most expensive places to go now since the exchange rate crashed for English people anyway we just go elsewhere now and spend less than a third of what we did in Thailand last time

    David Smith May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Living in Miami on $2000.00 is like living in Thailand on #2 budget or less. You won't be doing too much partying.

    Tony V May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • I’m trying to live in Pattaya, Thailand in September 2020. I would be living in Category 2. Budget as a single man and I want to live off $1,000.00 USD at max.I’ve been to Thailand multiple times thru my military navy days and personal vacations. Now I’m currently saving to move there next year. By the time I arrive I will have $10,000.00 USD in my bank account. All I’m asking is can you help me get my dental insurance so I can get my lingual braces done there. I will be on a tourist visa so I will be leaving every 60 days going to Laos and returning back in. Can you help me step by step to get Dental Insurance & Health Insurance???

    VIGO SACE May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Need to have a separate column for "girl budget" that can easily be $30,000 THB a month 😏😉

    Way2sublime May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Thank you.

    I've been saying for a long time that most vloggers get this wrong.

    It's the most commonly asked question and there are hundreds of videos that try to answer it…..but they almost all are answering the wrong question.

    It's not "CAN I live in Thailand on $X per month"…..it's "HOW would I live in Thailand on $X per month".

    You CAN live in Thailand on $0 per month. HOW? It's called being a homeless beggar.
    You CAN live in Thailand on 100,000+ baht a month. HOW? Easily (see below).

    A couple of points…..
    I think you are probably understating the food budget a little. Most ex-pats aren't eating at tiny little Thai restaurants hidden away in back streets where you can get a meal for 50 baht.
    I eat a fair bit of Thai food and unless it's street food or food court food you are genarally looking at 100-150 baht for a meal and drink. Western food is at least double that.
    Times that by 2-3 meals per day and you are looking at 8000-15000 baht a month easily. I average at least 500 baht a day on food and rarely eat at the more expensive restaurants or eat western food (outside of KFC and the occasional McDonalds).
    Also, I think you are understating entertainment costs in a BIG way. 1000 baht a week is 2 beers a day! It doesn't include movies, cigarettes, bar-fines, bowling, visiting tourist spots, lady drinks etc, etc, etc. The "Western Comfort" budget for entertainment would be more like 15,000 a month……or 30,000 a month easily if you like the girls!

    An example of my expenses…….single guy, under 50, no visa, go out almost every night……

    RENT – 18,000 baht per month (includes a cleaner once a week).
    I rent a modern one bedroom apartment in the middle of Pattaya on a high floor with spectacular sea views. There are two pools, saunas and a gym.
    The same apartment on a lower floor and with lesser views can be had for 14,000 baht a month easy

    UTILITIES – 2500 baht per month.
    I run the air-con 16 hours a day and have two big screen computer monitors running 10 hours a day. I have a large fridge and an electric stove top that I use 4-5 times a week at least. I have a 30GB speed unlimited internet package in my condo and pay 399 baht a month for mobile 4G internet (3GB).

    FOOD – 15,000 baht per month.
    I generally only eat twice a day. Occasionally I will "splurge" on Shabushi (419 baht) or a steak dinner (400 baht) but generally my food costs are as below….
    Lunch is 100 baht (Thai) – 200 baht (Western). Dinner is 150 baht (Thai) – 350 baht (Western)………on AVERAGE.
    PLUS….add tips.

    TRANSPORTATION – 2000 baht per month.
    Most people living here "long term" will buy a scooter. I actually have two bikes. I spend less than 80 baht a week on petrol and repairs and registration/insurance would cost less than 100 baht a week. The baht bus costs me 10 baht………and a scooter taxi is 50-80 baht tops.

    ENTERTAINMENT – 60,000 baht a month.
    Admittedly, I go out almost every day and night. 3-4 beers a day ranging from 60-160 baht depending on the venue. I rarely barfine girls…..but I do buy occasional lady drinks and will occasionally have a big night where I can spend 5000 baht easy (just on drinks/partying). I go to the movies regularly and bowling on occasion. I've visited all the main tourist attractions at least once.

    SUNDRIES – Varies
    You still have to buy shoes, clothing, furniture, bedding, linen, sunglasses, elctronics, mobile phone accessories/repairs, go to the doctor/chemist etc, etc.
    That can be anything from 0 baht one month to 10,000 baht the next.

    TOTAL BUDGET PER MONTH – 100,000+ baht per month (excluding visa, travel, health insurance).

    N.B. re VISA COSTS – Because I have to fly out/in regularly I have significant costs associated with that. My only real option would be the Elite Visa which is 500,000 for 5 years. That's 100,000 per year which sounds like a lot……..but it would actually save me money on travel expenses incurred due to visa runs.

    Mark Pattaya May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Excellent video! I lived in Thailand for almost a year in 2015, mostly in Chiang Mai. I lived just fine on $1,000/month, although the VISA renewals were an unpredictable expense with the constantly changing requirements. I also spent too much on food and coffee.
    I rented a room for 5,000 baht (then $143) monthly in a perfect location (Ban Mae Tongmourn) where I had a/c, hot water, great Internet included, water included, and with complimentary maid service/linen/towels/soap/2 bottles of water weekly. If you get a fan-only room there, all electricity is included, yet I paid as much as 3,000 baht (then $86) a month running the a/c only at night and for a daily one hour afternoon nap. I rented a used scooter for 3,000 baht a month, with about $15 a month of gasoline. I got water from the reverse osmosis machines at about 1 baht/liter.
    My non-a/c gym was 900 baht a month. I am not a drinker, yet may have had a few glasses of wine a month at just under $3/glass usually (decent South African white). I went on more tours when I first arrived, yet usually averaged two monthly thereafter (zip-line, ATV, white water rafting, etc.). My laundry was done by my guesthouse for around $15 or less monthly. Again, I spent too much on espresso coffee from cafes. Starbucks is more expensive than in the US. A double espresso elsewhere in Chiang Mai is usually the cost of a good Thai meal (usually $2 or so). I had espresso for usually $1 at a place in the south portion of the old town. I would now bring my own espresso machine for future trips for at least my first morning cup.
    I would eat pre-cut fruit from the market (10 baht small tray), a market meal for $2 as my breakfast (usually chicken/vegetables), a chicken salad lunch at The Salad Concept for usually $3, a fish dinner at the UN Pub for usually $5 (expensive), and another snack of cereal/milk or a can of tuna and some yogurt ( around $1.50 for either). I eat more than the average person because of my fitness regime of heavy cardio and strength training. If I returned, I ‘d have a daily protein shake made in my guesthouse with local bananas, organic powdered non-fat milk powder and quality protein powder from home.

    jimmytmccabe May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • I rented a 200 sqm house without electricity and water costs for 8000 bath in bkk! totally cost with wife and child (school costs) lives with 1000 euro great life !!

    Guenther Ehmayr May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • I dont drink alcohol daily. Perhaps a few beers a week. I seldom visits restaurants. Cooks for myself. I dont visit bars or nightclubs or any kind of setting where it costs money on a regular basis – no movies, sportsvenues etc. either. Prefer to read and meditate. I dont pay for sex. Im also MGTOW so I have no expenses related to women in general. Basicly, I need very little money to live. So little, that I can live stressfree in the west, and dont have to "escape" to tropical climates for anything else than the experience in itself. Travelling.

    kjemma May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • I have never been to Thailand but would like to travel to Thailand but I have seen some videos in youtube where thai beats some tourists in different places in Thailand, it is true that if you have a problem with a thai, every other thai people beats you at the same time?

    Chef recipes for beginners May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • How is the quality of life in these parts of the world ? I know that's a pretty vague question however i hear a lot of Americans living in Countries such as Indonesia/Spain/Hong Kong/Malaysia etc seem to be happy and can live off $1,000 a month rent/food etc. No way that would be possible in the USA What do they do for work? Majority of them life off savings? Jobs are not easy to come across i always use to hear about retired people doing this they are on a fixed income social security etc but more and more young people 20-40 year old's are leaving the USA and living in these areas.

    Shawn Afshar May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Everything under 1500$ a month is surviving, not living!

    ekim andersom May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Thanks for the great info! I was wondering the cost you quoted prices in Bangkok? And would cost be lower in southern parts of Thailand, like Pattaya or Pathum Wan? I am looking to retire there.

    George L May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Would like more info on medical insurance in Thailand please.

    Carmine NYC May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Your narrative is good, but sexist, heterosexist and male-centered. Yes, single women will move to Thailand. Yes, GLBT people will move to Thailand. It's 2018.

    Mary D May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Wait wait, 800,000 bhat is approx 24K USD. Is that the fee one has to pay to obtain the retirement visa or they would just like you to open a local bank account and dump 800,000 bhat in there? Pardon my ignorance on the subject.

    Dennis Chen May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • You must like to party a lot. $800 or more for a single man per month in Thailand seems WAY too extravagant to me. I bet I could live very comfortably for under $600 per month. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't drink coffee and I don't party. Just give me a decent place to live with AC, internet and tons of restaurants within walking distance and I'm set.

    T baz May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • 50000 baht for me

    Spiritual Franz Awakening of the Soul May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Great work breaking down costs. I've been passively looking at places to retire outside of the USA. This presentation is by far the best I've seen yet.

    Monte M May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • Wow! VIP in Thailand is too easy. Retired Military, and Contract worker for over 34 years, I have over 6800 a month to spend. Something to think about.

    John Call May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • My budget is 50000 baht per month… on bar girls…

    [-_-;] May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply
  • So glad Thailand is tightening the rules on foreigners staying in the Kingdom. Will be nice to get rid of the people who can't afford it and end up on the street, or begbacking.

    Let's face it, BKK is NOT a cheap city anymore. If you want western standards, you are going to pay western prices.

    IMHO, if you don't have at least 100,000 TB (~3k US) to blow per month, BKK shouldn't be on you list. Sure, you can exist for less, but to live and enjoy yourself, budget a minimum of 100,000. Or move to Issan lol.

    Clive Bixby May 16, 2020 4:29 pm Reply

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