More and more I hear the phrase, “work to live, not live to work”.
For years I worked in the UK, initially in the Armed Forces, then latterly as a Tax Advisor with a Bank in Scotland. My passion each year was escaping away from the Scottish Weather, usually around October, to head to a sunnier climate. Initially this started off as Florida, where Sun and Fun went hand in hand, and although the prospect of purchasing a property in the USA did appeal to me it would always have been as a two week break away a couple of times per year.
After several trips abroad I became more aware that fun parks could only keep you busy and entertained for so long, so started looking further afield. I have done the Canaries and Far East (Hong Kong) and even some time in the Arabic countries, but once I came to Thailand I knew that I had found my ideal place.
Pattaya, for all it’s bad press, offers what I believe the best balance of work and life experience. The infrastructure means getting around is simple and the abundance of nightlife, shopping and entertainment available never leaves you bored.
Four years ago, I purchased a property here, my initial intentions, to come 2 or 3 times per year, with retirement in about 6 to 8 years time. Three years ago, I made the decision to move to Thailand early, I was sick of working long hours and then having high taxes, community charges, and utilities eating into everything and allowing me a mediocre lifestyle, not one that was in line with my actual earnings.
So here I am, fully settled into my new lifestyle, with mad traffic, a 24hr environment with some of the best people I have ever met. Being an Expat brings people together; there is a better community spirit, with likeminded people enjoying life to the full. Is life better? In the main yes, I now have very little in the way of taxes and community charges. Gasoline, which accounted for almost 20% of my income before, is next to nothing. Dining out is a regular occurrence, not just a treat. The only real issue here is generating income in a tourist market, especially in the middle of a Global downturn in the worldwide economic market.
The guys who seem to have the best of both worlds here are the ones who relocated but kept their income streams coming from their home countries. In the main the only occupation that allows you this ability to have large amounts of time off, is the Oil & Gas Sector. Most of the Oil & Gas workers I meet here work a minimum of 4 weeks on & 4 weeks off, I’m not saying that 2 and 2 won’t work, just that times in excess of that seem to offer a better balance.
Weigh up the benefits for yourself.
- If your contract is outside of the UK, and you now are an Expat, your tax status could be very different from where you are now.
- Employing staff here, to maintain your property and look after you when you are home is very affordable. A driver/gardener could be employed for much less than a UK Council Tax charge.
- The Weather, well I am from Scotland, so pretty much anything else is better, but here there is a constant heat and when it does rain, it is not the end of the world.
- Lifestyle, if you have not tried it, you do not know what you are missing. I do not mean booking into a five* hotel for two weeks. I mean becoming involved locally, getting to know people and experiencing all that Thailand has to offer. From Beaches, Dining, Golf & world travel on your doorstep.
- With flight prices dropping and International travel being so easy getting back to your home country is generally straightforward and quick.
- Thailand is great for families, stunning properties with private pools, 1st class International Schooling, great medical care (do you really rely on the NHS back home) are just some of the many benefits.
Recently I had to return to the UK, my first time in 3 years, my thoughts whilst travelling is that once I got back to Scotland my heart would pine for more. I could not have been further from the truth. I realized that the move I made was the right one, nearly everything costs more in the UK. People seemed so busy, trying to make ends meet. At night the town seemed like a Ghost town, only coming to life at the weekends and even then people only headed to the hot spots late at night, because heading out early cost too much. Here I cant remember the last time I paid to get in anywhere, business’s are aware that to get customers in early they have to attract them. One local nightspot (probably the busiest of them) offers bottled imported beers for 39 Baht (about 80p) up to 10pm.
A five star meal can still be had for under £10, about the same price as a takeaway Fish and Chips back home, whilst a Thai meal can easily be purchased for £1. A day at the beach, with food, drinks and beach loungers can cost you less than £10 (2 people) whilst at the same time being able to enjoy a massage and fresh fruit from the beach vendors.
Properties can be purchased, either a Villa for just over £60,000 complete with a pool, or a Condominium offering hotel style facilities between £20,000 & £40,000
If you want to look at changing your lifestyle and taking the step to living an Expats life, why not drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and let me show you what your lifestyle could be like.