Retire Abroad

Retire in Chiang Mai, Thailand – Interview with Godfree Roberts

Chiang Mai, Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world for it’s great balance between quality of life and low cost of living. (2016 Update – I’ve recently created a comprehensive guide on finding a Chiang Mai apartment. My favourite apartment is only about US$150 per month.) Those factors also make it a popular destination for digital nomads and other long-term travellers. In this interview, Chiang Mai retiree, Godfree Roberts shares his reasons for choosing the city and talks about the business he set up there to help others retire in Thailand.



Godfree Roberts

How long have you been living in Thailand?

Twelve months.

Why did you choose Chiang Mai?

I chose Chiang Mai for four reasons:

1. It’s small. 160,000 people in the 1 square mile old town–the hub of life here. Another 1.5 million in the surrounding area support the amenities of a real city, but are not enough to create the negatives of a big city.

2. It’s better than just laid back. Chiang Mai people put fun first. They like to start work around 10 am, go to bed around midnight, and spend as much time as possible in between hanging out, …

Live in Thailand on $500 per month

My wife and I recently spent two months in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Relative to living costs, it definitely is one of the best cities for quality of life. There are other great cities around the world, but for a similar lifestyle, you would likely pay many times more. I have already written about why Chiang Mai is such a haven for digital nomads, so in this post I am going to provide more specific details on our living expenses and lifestyle in Thailand. We didn’t quite keep our costs under the elusive $500 per month budget, but we weren’t far off.


Accommodations in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand is fantastic for short-term rentals of both guest houses and apartments. While most other countries still expect long-term contracts, Thailand is geared towards casual travelers and has accommodation for every budget and duration.

My wife and I paid $360 per month for a nice hotel style apartment ten minutes walk from the trendy Nimmanhaeman Street of Chiang Mai. Internet was included, but water and electricity were about an extra $30 per month. (2016 Update: I share our $150/month Chiang Mai Apartment in a recent post.)

Chiang Mai, Thailand - Apartment

$360 per Month Chiang Mai Apartment

Retire in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Petronas Towers - Kuala LumpurMore and more people are considering retiring overseas to make their savings go further. Great weather combined with a lower cost of living make countries like Costa Rica, Thailand and The Philippines great choices for long term stays. Bob Webb and his wife have chosen to make Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia their retirement home base. Bob offers some insights into his retirement in this interview.

Please tell us a little about your background?

We are Australians who retired after a number of years in the Public Sector. I spent 40 years with the Australian Defence Department (20 in uniform and 20 as a civilian) and my wife worked for Veterans Affairs. We retired about 2 years ago and decided to head overseas.

Why Kuala Lumpur?

We started off on our travels to Asia and then caught up with our daughters in New York. We then moved on to Las Vegas, Memphis, Cancun and finally ended up in Kuala Lumpur. We had been to Asia a number of times during our working lives, but had no ties to Asia.
English is understood by nearly everyone in Malaysia. There is a great diversity of entertainment here, including theatres, bars and clubs. Unlike some …