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Finding the best retirement destination for yourself is no simple matter as we all have our individual tastes, needs, and budgets and what one retiree deems to be vital in everyday life is of no concern to another retiree.

Single men often want the ability to meet an attractive Asian lady be it for long term friendship or marriage in the city where they decide to retire to.

Single ladies need a safer environment than the men and families often require international schools that are affordable and high calibre.

And we all want a safe place to live that can provide us prompt afforable healthcare.

Let's look at the most important criteria for retiree's and decide which is best for each.

Thailand's most popular retirement city is Chiang Mai. Over 24,000 foreign retiree's living in Chiang Mai and happily. Most people do not realize that Chiang Mai is the most popular retirement destination in Thailand and in all of S.E. Asia for that matter. While more tourists may visit some other cities in Thailand there are more retiree's living here and for good reason.

It is cooler here than the southern Thai cities, and costs are lower, less traffic and we feel that there is more to do here whether you are a child, teenager, adult, male or female.

For the single male there are plenty of attractive Thai ladies, for the families there are sufficient International Schools for their children, for the ladies there is a large expat community where one can meet others.

After living in Chiang Mai for over 6 years I can attest to the fact that it was near impossible impossible to find a foreigner who was retired here who wanted to leave.

But that was then and now things are changing.

Retiree's are now facing more political demonstrations and which can get very violent as in the case of Bangkok separate yellow shirt and red shirt rallies which closed the main airport and burned down part of the largest city mall and caused deaths in voilent clashes and many injuries.

Retiree's accepted the fact that their money was wanted here but that they were never felt like the Thai Government wanted them here. Visa information and requirements and moving here information was not complete or accurate per Government websites and no incentives for normal foreigners who are reasonably or very affluent and without criminal records to re-locate here. The retiree's did the best they could to try to sort out visa requirements and what they needed to do to come here to live be it children's schooling, bringing family pets, bringing essential to cherised household items and vehicles.

The retiree's managed to make the move here and made some mistakes which cost them money and some found the process frustrating and not accommodating for retiree's from outside of Thailand.

During the past 6 years I personally have not found it any better now in terms of availability of information, or acceptance by the Thai Government. And yet more and more people move here to retire.

Philippines on the other hand is more inviting for retiree's provided they have adequate financial means or worth. If you do not want to put the money for SSRV and pay the outrageous fee of $1500 US for the SSRV then moving there and staying there long term is a pain as one has to regularly extend one's visa and pay a fee each time and also leave the country at regular intervals and opening a bank account is very difficult of impossible for some.

Although some of the pristine beaches look great and not all beaches there are pristine it looks great from that perspective and the low living costs were evident also but now things have changed in the Philippines to where power outages are Common, electricity costs are among the highest in the world, water supply cannot be relied on, and it is neither safe or clean according to our clients who have lived there.

IF you have a small fortune you can live in a private gated community and have your own generator, a maid, driver and not worry about safety, power outages. But how many retiree's are in that financial position?

So that is why we have to look at things from the perspective of the average foreigner who is retiring. Yes, we have some savings and some of us have pensions but we are not looking at retiring somewhere and spending $2-4,000 US a month to live off.

We have rated Chiang Mai as the # 1 retirement city in the world for someone of average means understanding that we all need a safe place to live, an affordable place to live, prompt access to high calibre healthcare, and a place that offer us an agreable climate, things to do, and where we can meet other foreigners who are retiree's, and even Thai ladies for single males.

Cebu we considered to be a close second if one has reasonable financial resources and not a retirement destination to be considered if one has to worry about finances.

Things are changing and we have discovered a new retirement destination that most people would not be aware of and that is Cambodia.

Why Cambodia?

No typhoons, no hurricanes, no political demonstrations, more reliable power, low cost of living, safer than Philippines, and infrastructure that is new from roads, apartments, hotels, restaurants, bridges.

And add in the fact that one can easily obtain a long term visa for a reasonable fee, that one can work here without going thru the read tape and hassle of Thailand or Philippines, and that locals and Government want you here and yes you are wanted here because of them monies you bring to the country but at least you feel more welcome here compared to Thailand or Philippines.

The living costs in Cambodia, Thailand and Philippines are similar and all have a low or very low cost of living compared to Western countries. We show people how they can retire comfortably on $550 US a month for a single person in Thailand, $750 a month US in Philippines (higher power costs and higher accommodations costs account for the difference) and how they can retire comfortably on $650 US a month in Cambodia.

Website visitors ask if the US $550 a month is still doable with rising costs worldwide and our reply is... YES, a single person can live here in Thailand and comfortably on $550 US a month and that covers furnished accommodations, utilities, cable tv, internet, meals, and normal day to day living costs.

And we can even show you how to live here on less than the above amounts with cable tv, internet, western toilet with hot shower, eating well, and enjoying your retirement life.

When I was in Canada deciding where to retire and checking out house prices etc. I knew very little about living here even after months of intensive research. That is the truth. Do Not Waste your time looking at buying a house here and at real estate. Do Not Waste your time looking at buying a car or pick up or at living exactly the same here as you did in your home country.

You will likely not need a vehicle other than a motorbike here when you arrive, you cannot own a house or land in your name in Thailand, and you do not need to spend on auto insurance, car washes, property taxes, house insurance etc. which run into tens of thousands of dollars each year.

A car here in Chiang Mai is a burden and not a convenience. It is easier and faster and much cheaper to get around by city transport or motorbike as compared to a car. And car ownership and costs of home ownership are some of the major living costs in North America and outside of Thailand.

Believe me when I say you will be much happier, healthier and financially stable if you forget about house ownership, car ownership and learn how to live here in Thailand or Philippines or Camboda.

We have had hundreds of clients and their thinking is similar and takes time to change and when they learn and accept that things are different here and realize how to live here then they have the peace of mind regarding adequacy of their savings and pension income being able to support them fully thru their retirement years and that they can be much happier as well.

No place in the world is perfect for retiremnt.

For the average foreigner without a fortune in savings or huge pension we recommend Cambodia as the top pick for the single male or female, Chiang Mai and Cambodia as the top picks for the family, Cambodia as the top pick for couples and Cebu as the top pick if one has at least $2,000 US a month as a monthly living budget and needs a beach setting.


In both Thailand and Philippines and Cambodia the key to happiness for the single male retiree is a nice girlfriend. An attractive and sincere local girlfriend is what brings many foreigners to Thailand and Philippines and Cambodia to retire and when one finds the right girlfriend, then it is what keeps them here.





related pages

Best Place in Cambodia to retire to


Best Place in the World to retire to




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