Sign In


Thailand: Your Ultimate Retirement Destination

Cost of Living in Thailand – Example Table of Expenses in 2023

You can live well in Thailand for just under $2,000 per month. Where you decide to settle will have a large impact on your monthly expenses. Thailand is home to sandy beaches, gentle waves, and swaying coconut trees. Imagine waking up to the sound of the ocean and feeling the sun’s warmth on your skin as you stroll along the shore watching the local fishermen taking their longtail boats out to sea. Thailand is not only an affordable place to retire but also a country that offers a diverse range of lifestyles to suit many budgets. You don’t even have to get sand on your feet to fall in love with ways of life in ‘the land of smiles.’

From the giant metropolis of Bangkok to the rice fields and Lanna culture of Northern Thailand, this culturally rich and colorful country has something to offer everyone. Whether you want to spend your days lounging on the beach, exploring ancient temples, or trekking through the mountains, Thailand has it all and more!

Not only is Thailand an appealing place to retire, but it’s also an exciting country to travel. The unique flavors of culture can be found all over the country, from the islands of the south to the mountain tops of the North. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Thailand has everything you need for an unforgettable experience.

With its affordable cost of living, stunning scenery, and friendly people, Thailand is the perfect place to start your next chapter in life or begin a whole new life in itself!

Choosing a lifestyle can be the biggest challenge as housing is so affordable across this tropical landscape. The exchange rate favors American currency, so the dollar goes a long way when changed into Thai Baht. An unlimited data internet sim card will cost $11 a month, your water bill will be around $6 a month. The cost of an average, yet flavorsome meal in Thailand is approximately $6, but if you want it delivered, be prepared to pay one dollar to the price. People on a modest budget can find a lifestyle in Thailand and still feel like they live extravagantly.


There are a few factors to consider when considering affordable housing in Thailand. If you plan to cook, you may need to look for a place with a Western kitchen (although many expats don’t feel the need). Also consider storage, many expats tend to be minimalists as they also like to travel, but some like to bring more trinkets from home.

For those dreaming of an island retirement there are condos and houses available. A one-bed condo within a mile of the beach begins at $500 per month, and would include a western toilet, shower, small kitchenette, and possibly a balcony.

Although if you long for a life spent relaxing by the beach, you could rent a resort-style one-bed house close to the beach at Koh Samui for as little as $1200 per month, including a swimming pool, tropical garden, and regular pool boy/house cleaner. Koh Samui expat Sharon Lane loves living close to the beach:

“I spend early mornings wandering along the shore. The sound of the waves soothes my soul as I sip my coffee from a beachside café. Life on Samui is good.”

If you prefer the buzz of a large city, a one-bedroom condo in a vibrant area of Bangkok, like Sukhumvit, would set you back $1800. Such condos generally include a king-size bed, kitchenette, pool, gym, and an expansive view of the endless city. They’re usually based close to oversized shopping plazas, active nightlife with pulsating crowds, and markets and fiery street food. Many expats prefer to live in condos as opposed to houses in Bangkok simply because the condos employ security guards that work 24/7.

Of course, if opulence is what you’re dreaming about, luxury condos are available in Bangkok, where the décor is more lavish. Renting one of these could set you back $3000 per month as a starting point. These types of residences include delights such as infinity pools, sky decks for sunset lounging, and spacious gyms.

For those who are adventurous and like the idea of living close to nature, the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai is well known for its complete affordability. There are many condo residences to choose from, some close to the Ping River and some closer to the old city. Some expats decide to live further out from the city, amongst the quaint rice fields and clear views of the mountains.

On the cheaper scale, studio condos with a kitchenette begin at $300 some of those will have a swimming pool and gym. However, if you are looking for more space, a three-bedroom townhouse close to the old city can range between $450 to $600 a month.

Some expats like the idea of living outside of the city in suburbs like Hang Dong and San Kamphaeng. There are many gated communities within thirty minutes’ drive from Chiang Mai. Renting a three-bedroom house in a gated community or Moo Baan could range between $600 to $890 per month.

For some expats, settling down in one place just isn’t an option. They yearn for adventure and crave the excitement of exploring new regions in Thailand. That’s why many of them choose to rent out a place for just a year to experience everything this beautiful country has to offer. By hopping from one region to another, these intrepid expats get to live like locals and fully immerse themselves in the unique cultures that each area has to offer. It’s an exciting and fulfilling way of life that many are eager to embrace.


Thailand is a gastronomic haven, a country that embraces so many flavors and textures in every dish. Local Thai street food is a delight for the senses. Street food, or smaller ‘street food-esq’, restaurants are perfect to explore if you wish to embark on a culinary adventure. Plus, food bills will be extremely cheap if you’re prepared to live like the locals.

Generally, street food will cost around $3, and paired with a small local beer—your bill will be around $5. Street foods vary but are most often noodle dishes but the warm roti with banana and sweetened condensed milk is a popular treat on the street for $2.

Food in Southern Thailand has strong Malay, Indian and Chinese cuisine. If you prefer to sit at a restaurant with fans or air-conditioning, you may expect to pay around $5 for a rich Massaman curry with pork, turmeric, nuts, and cumin. If you’re prepared to live like the locals your food bills will be extremely cheap.

Northern Thailand offers a different blend of aromatic food choices which often revolve around lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, and garlic. A spicy papaya salad for $1.70 is a perfect light lunch packed with flavor and goodness.

Thailand also has a busy western smorgasbord. You will find 10-inch pizzas for $6, hamburgers and fries for $5.90 and lasagna for $10. If you are looking at a beef steak, it will be expensive, as all beef is imported and taxed. A T-bone steak may cost $12 to $15, while a pork steak will cost half the price.

There are also a multitude of fine dining opportunities in Thailand and many restaurants have been awarded a Michelin star and many more restaurants mentioned in the Michelin Guide. Many of the top resorts and hotels offer a more sophisticated dining experience, with average prices ranging between $15 to $40.

You can still visit large shopping plazas with imported food, refrigerated items and shopping trolleys just like at home. All imported food attracts a tax, so it often works out to be a little more expensive than at home. The way I look at it, I am paying so little for meat, I’m happy to pay more for a few food items from home.

A small tub of butter will set you back $3.50 and two pounds of flour is $5. Cheese is also a luxury item here so it can get pricey too. Half a pound of cheese will set you back $6.60 yet eggs, locally produced are only $1.70 a ten-pack. It is a bit of a mixed bag. There are good chances you decided not to cook, as there are so many cheap local options. Most Thai people eat out, and together every night. It certainly became the new normal for my family.


One of Thailand’s unexpected delights is the country’s efficient and affordable transport system. The train network in Bangkok is reliable and convenient, providing a cost-effective option for travel to destinations like Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. And with well-maintained roads and car rentals starting at just $20 a day, you can easily explore further afield.

Take a leisurely drive on the safe highways to ancient ruins in Ayutthaya or venture north to the town of Mae Sai, where you can cross the border into Myanmar. Even local taxi rides are a steal at just $10 for a 40-minute trip. And for thrill seekers, consider the freedom of a brand-new Honda motor scooter, available for a steal at around $1600. With so many affordable and accessible transportation options, the wonders of Thailand are at your fingertips.


Thailand is renowned for its exceptional healthcare system, drawing health tourists from around the world seeking quality and value-for-money medical care. The country’s hospitals and health services are of a high quality, with English-speaking specialists who have often received training in western states.

Bangkok Hospital, which has multiple locations throughout Thailand, even offers expat-friendly deals for annual health check-ups. With an initial consultation fee of just $16, seeing a specialist won’t break the bank. And Bangkok Hospital’s facilities are reminiscent of a luxury hotel, complete with sparkling tiled floors, tasteful artwork, and cutting-edge medical technology. On the other end of the spectrum, a night in intensive care in Northern Thailand will only set you back around $3000. A typical physiotherapy visit only costs $17.80 for the hour’s therapy.

Dental care is equally impressive in Thailand, with fillings starting at just $30 and root canal treatments costing less than $200. Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, Thailand’s world-class healthcare options will give you peace of mind and exceptional care.

Health insurance seems to be a very personalized matter for expats. Some retired expats use health insurance that is linked to their last workplace. Some expats buy health insurance in Thailand as there are many plans but they begin at about $400 per year for a relatively healthy person. Some keep a lump sum in their savings to use in an emergency.

Sample Monthly Budget for Living in Thailand

Rent (Two-bedroom home)$600
Electricity (two aircons)$90
Household help (three times per week)$27
Pay TV (Thai Netflix for four people)$12
Health care (two people)$400
Monthly Total:$1689

One expense that is popular with expats that has not been mentioned is small holidays and ‘stay-cations.’ We like to get away every now and then whether it is a road trip or booking in for the night at a local resort, just for the fun of it. These fun indulgences usually cost us around $400 per month.Top of Form

The truth is that Thailand is an extremely affordable country to live in. Its flora and cultural architecture remind you that you are truly living in an exotic tropical paradise yet it has all the infrastructure that any modern civilization has. Bottom of Form

There are plenty of cheap rentals here in Thailand ready and waiting for you to come and try the Land of Smiles as your retirement destination.

Ref :

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *