Glen Rutherford’s thinking about moving to Thailand. Here’s his ‘moving to Thailand’ letter: I’ve just finished reading two of your e-books: Making Money in Thailand and How to Retire in Thailand and Double Your Income. They offer a fantastic insight into how Thai’s think differently to us. I’m drawn to Thailand because of the friendly attitude that Thai’s have and their inclusive/communal approach to others. In regards to the questions at the end of your books:
What is the biggest obstacle to your retiring overseas?
At the moment it is creating a passive or online income. I’m currently employed as an electrical engineer in Australia. My wife is a stay at home Mum but our youngest boy will be starting kindergarten next year and she will be offering Photoshop services and custom phone/stubby holders online then. I am starting work on how to create websites and generating income through them. Thanks for the link to Building a Niche Site Empire. I’m currently working my way through that. I will also do the TEFL training in Thailand and teach English when we first arrive. I’m also keen to do the Thai language course so that we can become part of the community.
Our children are currently three and four years old and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the school they are going to here has a school in Chiang Mai too (Grace International). This looks like it will be our biggest expense at $4000/year/child.
So the biggest obstacle is making a living. We are planning to build up our joint income to $60 000/year before we move. This includes $2000/month living in Thailand (two adults, two children), $8000/year for school fees, personal insurance (which I should be able to reduce from its current level) and renting out our house which will cover most of the mortgage. I need to make our budget more accurate but this is approximately what we need.
What is the strongest attraction for you to retire abroad?
Even though I have been earning a good income, I value more the experiences I have had in my life, especially travel. I’m not a consumer type looking to shackle myself to a big house and car/boat loans. I’m looking to simplify my life. And because I did not get in on the real estate boom in Australia in recent years, my retirement date is a distant dream of another 30 years of work (I’m 36 now) with no guarantee of a reasonably comfortable life.
The cost of everything has gone up so much in Australia (I live in Western Australia where the benefits of the mining boom have made housing and day to day cost of living extremely high). I also don’t like the attitudes of the average Australian, they are very selfish and consumer driven. The generation Y attitude of me me me and no discipline or respect for others really concerns me. There is a lot of violence in pubs now – being attacked by a large group or being stabbed with a bottle are commonplace and did not happen when I was around 20 years old. I don’t want my children growing up in this culture and I can see great benefits for them growing up in Thailand where they will be exposed to more opportunities for their futures in the Asian Century. We were looking at moving to Brasil (my wife is Brasilian) but the economic boom there has caused real estate and other prices to be inflated – so it is no longer a cheap place to retire. Crime, pollution and the crumbling infrastructure are also major problems in Brasil. The last time we went back (Christmas and New Year just gone) my wife was looking forward to coming back to Australia, which I never thought I would hear her say!
From what you have described in your books, a lot of how Thai’s are, really resonates with me. Some of their ways will take time to adjust to but like you explain in your books, if you are aware of it and accept it, then you won’t get upset.
What is your first goal towards retiring overseas?
To make $2500/month from online sources.
What’s your pet peeve when it comes to your retirement planning?
That I can’t see how I can retire even with another 30 years of work!
What made you decide to buy the book?
I went to a seminar that my financial advisor put on recently and I met another of his clients there who has retired to Thailand and comes back to Australia every three years for about six months or so. I thought, what an amazing life and that is what I want! So I started researching on the net and came across your books via a Google search.
Expats’ Experience Abroad
The Best Places in the World to Retire just polled 389 expats from the United States and Canada and asked why they wanted to retire abroad and what it’s been like. Here’s a summary:
- The striking number of expats who left home for quality-of-life issues, such as a more meaningful and less stressful life.
- Many expats said they were seeking to live a life like they remembered, or believed it to be, growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
- Most thought that by moving abroad they’d achieve a
- lower cost of living (87%),
- a simpler, less stressful life (82%) and
- better weather (74%).
- 84% said they achieved a lower cost of living and 74% got better weather.
- Only 71% are living a simpler, less stressful life, compared to the 82% who were hoping for it.
- While 56% thought they’d achieve “a less materialistic, or more meaningful life” (their #4 reason for retiring abroad), an impressive 61% say they’ve found more meaning.
- Two thirds of women said they achieved a less materialistic, or more meaningful life, but only 56% of men did.
- 85% are happier living abroad than they were before.
- 56% said they’re much happier and 28% said they’re somewhat happier. Only 5% are less happy now and 11% said they’re about as happy as before they moved.
- 64% said they enjoy life abroad much more than their former lives.
- 42% of the expats never plan to go back to the U.S. and
- 37% aren’t sure;
- 16% expect to return to America when they’re old or sick,
- 4% said “as soon as possible” and
- 3% anticipate moving back within five years.
- If they had to do it all over again, 79% said ‘yes’ and another 12% said they ‘probably’; 3% either wouldn’t or probably wouldn’t.