Saturday, July 08, 2017

Work and Retirement - Thoughts from Bangkok

Some thoughts after spending years in Bangkok......

I am lucky, or some would say sensible. But I know I am lucky.

I retired from my employment when I was about 50, the pension I receive is not huge but it allows me quite a good life in Thailand.  Prior to the crash in 2008 it gave me an excellent lifestyle for doing nothing!

During all of my working life I paid over 10% of my income towards a pension. It was difficult, especially when I was first married and had kids, but I persevered. I nearly didn't.

I was broke when I was about 25yrs old and talked things over with my boss. I wanted to stop paying into my pension to give me more disposable income.  Thankfully he convinced me not to. I thank him in my thoughts every month now :)

The sad thing is that I have met many men in Bangkok who are 50 years old or older who have no pension or any other substantial income. Many of them work here, legally, but can see themselves working forever. The UK state pension seems to be getting further away from their grasp with the increase in pensionable age, and there is also the added consequence of living here with the UK state pension not increasing for ex-pats. Living in Thailand on a UK state pension is getting harder everyday and of course the Thai Government will not help you, and why should they?

So all I can say is START  a pension plan early in life and pay as much into it as you can. The way things are going you will not be able to rely on a state pension in the years to come.

NO, I am not a financial adviser nor am I touting for business. I am just a realist

Monday, May 08, 2017

Bangkok Places To Visit - Rod Fai Market and Papaya Vintage Shop

I have been browsing the web today and came across articles about two places in Bangkok worthy of a visit if you are interested in markets selling old, peculiar, vintage and other such items. The two places are the Rod Fai Market ( Train Night Market ) and the Papaya Vintage Shop. The Rod Fai Market not only sells old retro and vintage items, it has bars and food as well. A great place for an evening out. It is situated in an old Bangkok railways station - hence the name.

Both are best travelled to by taxi (make sure the meter is on).

I will not repeat what the articles say but you may well be interested in reading them. It is funny, I lived in Bangkok for well over a decade and have only just found these hidden gems. I was probably more concerned with Soi Cowboy, Sukhumvit 22 and beer!

They are on my list of things to do when I go back for a few days.

Monday, May 01, 2017

After 15 years In Bangkok I am Out - Chaing Rai Is Now My Home Town

Its been a great 15 years or so in Bangkok, but it is time to move on. The headaches of day to day living in BKK are getting worse :)  The value of the pound is low, inflation in Bangkok is increasing, so all in all its not good for me.

But don't be put off, if you are working for a multi national in Bangkok or coming to BKK for a holiday its still a great place to be. But I have had enough....if you see what I mean.

I have moved to Chiang Rai, rented a brand new 2 bedroomed house only 10 minutes from the town centre, bought a cat and love it here. There are bars aimed at farang, about 20 of them ( normally quiet), there is a Big C and Tops supermarket, and a Central Plaza shopping mall.  Everyone in BKK said there was nothing in Chiang Rai - bullshit ! There is everything you need in Chiang Rai but unless you have a car or motorcycle its not easy to get around.The bullshitters are just scared of leaving their comfort zone.

The taxi service is good in Chiang Rai but no where like BKK, but as the way of life in Chiang Rai is slower what's the problem with calling a taxi and waiting 20 minutes for it to come. They are normally on the meter. Some drivers try it on but so do some Bangkok drivers.

This is the view from my front terrace

Our cat

The rent for the house is less than half what I was paying for my 2 bed condo in Bangkok. A change is as good as a rest.