Bali vs Thailand - Which one is better?

One of our favorite places in Asia is Bali. But Bali's new retirement visa will require you to keep a bank deposit of $200,000 USD in an Indonesian bank, or in property you own in Indonesia. Here's why it's still more affordable to retire in Thailand. (We still love Bali - but only for shorter stays now).

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Retiring in Thailand can be more affordable than retiring in Bali, especially since Bali now requires a bank deposit of 200,000 USD. There are a few key factors that contribute to the lower cost of living in Thailand compared to Bali.

One reason why Thailand may be more affordable is that the cost of living is generally lower in Thailand than it is in Bali. This includes the cost of housing, food, and other necessities. For example, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center in Thailand can cost around 300-500 USD per month, while rent for a similar apartment in Bali can cost around 500-800 USD per month. Similarly, the cost of groceries and dining out is generally lower in Thailand than it is in Bali.

Another factor that can make Thailand more affordable for retirees is the lower cost of healthcare. Healthcare in Thailand is generally of a high quality, and it is often more affordable than healthcare in other countries, including Bali. For example, a doctor's visit in Thailand can cost around 30-50 USD, while a doctor's visit in Bali can cost around 50-100 USD. In addition, prescription medications are often cheaper in Thailand than they are in Bali.

In addition to the lower cost of living and healthcare, Thailand also offers a range of retirement options for expats. These options include retirement visas, which allow individuals to stay in Thailand for an extended period of time, and long-term rentals, which can be a more affordable option than buying property.

One option for retirees in Thailand is the "Non-Immigrant O-A" visa, also known as the "retirement visa." This visa allows individuals who are over the age of 50 to stay in Thailand for up to one year at a time. To qualify for this visa, individuals must have a monthly income of at least 65,000 THB (around 2,100 USD) or a combination of a bank deposit and a monthly income of at least 800,000 THB (around 25,600 USD). This is significantly lower than the required bank deposit of 200,000 USD in Bali.

Another option for retirees in Thailand is to rent a property on a long-term basis. Long-term rentals can be a more affordable option than buying property, especially for those who are not planning on staying in Thailand permanently. Long-term rentals are typically available for periods of six months to one year, and the cost can range from around 500-1,000 USD per month, depending on the location and type of property.

Overall, Thailand can be a more affordable option for retirees compared to Bali, due to the lower cost of living, lower healthcare costs, and the range of retirement options available. While Bali may have some attractive features, such as a more developed tourism industry and a more established expat community, the high cost of living and the requirement for a large bank deposit may make it less appealing for some retirees.

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"Thank you Apiporn an Miss P for advising and helping me through the complete retirement visa process. They’re a friendly polite team you want to keep in your contact list to help you transition into your new Thailand life."
~ Elvy Moen
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