Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

Well, on to transportation. My means of transportation for the first six months was on the back of Wan?s motorbike. You might think it unusual but it is not uncommon here. 

Her 110 cc Honda ate up a whole $2 in diesel fuel in a week of considerable driving. Now we have a pick up truck that we use for our outings and for grocery shopping. 

The insurance for the vehicle is about a third of what I was paying back home and now that it is about time for renewal the insurance has contacted us and said the premium is being reduced 30% because we did not have any claims. 

Are they nuts? Don?t they know that you aren?t supposed to do that. Back home insurance rates are increased every year even if you have an impeccable driving record as I had. 

Park your motorbike in 1 min. or car in 15 min.

We have to cover shopping as it is something I very much enjoy and took me some time to get accustomed to the prices. Grocery shopping is done once a week at the Big C. It is similar to a Wal-Mart and grocery store combined with small vendor shops added as well.

Weekly Wan, Mommy and I go shopping to the large market. Here you can buy fruits, potatoes, fish vegetables, meat, pastries and more. The produce is all fresh and the prices are the lowest in town.

You can purchase most of these items at the local Grocery store but they are fresher here at the market and about 20-60% lower in price. You walk from one vendor to the next and pick out what you want. They put in a plastic bag weigh it, you pay and off you go to the next vendor.

The photo shows onions, potatoes, and different sized garlic. Across the street we have the fresh fish and seafood. So meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, even vendors selling snacks and pastries.

The large produce market where we stock up on locally grown produce.

In Canada I was separated from my wife and living with two cats which were adopted. Very quiet, routine, regimented life, eating too many junk foods and not exercising.

Now the four of us live together in the townhouse. Most meals are eaten together and are home cooked. I have lost weight yet I eat more now than before.

If we need clothes we do that first, and also office supplies. Then we split up. Wan buys the muffins, loaf of bread, meats, cooking oil, cooking sauces and I buy the soft drinks, fruit juices, potato chips, cookies, tuna, salad dressing, and wieners. Then we meet up transfer the groceries into one shopping cart and decide if we want anything else such as a cooked chicken, sushi, or live fish cooked there which we will take home.

The final bill comes in at between $15-20 U.S. By the way all the amounts mentioned are in U.S. dollars. We may buy an ice cream cone from KFC before we leave the store. Recently I have buying pineapples there. A large pineapple which you can have cut up nicely, placed on a Styrofoam lid and wrapped in cellophane comes to 10 baht or 25 cents U.S.

It?s noisy when the kids get back from school. They love to play soccer. The younger children do not fight but they do yell a lot. They can be sitting next to each other yelling as if they were hundreds of yards apart and could not hear one another. But that is common with all children I suppose.

Wan has her own beauty salon. It is situated in the lower level of here townhouse. She mainly cuts and dries women's hair and then the occasional cut, or color change and also manicures and pedicures.

The difference between here and Canada is that the salon opens 8 a.m. and closes 9 p.m., 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Days off and weeks off are rare with anyone with a business and they feel that they can afford the time off they make the best of it.

Their outings.. outings of Thai people for the most part are rare and when they go out they often visit family or go out in a small group to the local waterfall or hot springs where they can relax, enjoy traditional Thai foods and where their children will enjoy themselves as well.

We have regular visits by two neighbors. They are two cats that reside with their owner in a townhouse behind ours. The gentleman has 6 cats and 2 kittens. 

Wan has a beauty salon on the ground level and the one of cats relaxes on client chair 
The cats watch us eat, follow us upstairs, and groom themselves again and again. We feed them a bit of cat food, not too much though as the owner will feed them around 9 a.m.
Beauty salon in Chiang Mai 

There is a stray cat which I have since named Rusty. He was not approachable when I first saw him. He was the local bully. Fighting with Blackie or old Un every second night just as one was about to go to bed. But now that has changed. Rusty rarely fights. We feed him twice a day and he is becoming domesticated.

As a family we travel to the reservoir which is like a beach. An inner tube is rented for Mommy and plays in the water while we relax in a covered open air tent like setting next to the water. 

We bring refreshments in a cooler and also order several dishes which are served to us. The cost for gas, entrance, inner tub rental, refreshments and meals is about what you would pay for just the parking back home.

So to sum things up. It took a while. They hated the oatmeal that I prepared for breakfast. May aroy - not delicious or My kin- I am not hungry were Mommy?s comments. Mamma ate the oatmeal but admitted to Wan that she did not like it.

I ate just about everything that was cooked up and found it delicious. Everything except for the fried insects. A delicacy perhaps but I still declined. Perhaps with a blindfold.

As to communications I still do not speak Thai. mainly because Wan speaks English and there isn?t as much need. 

Mommy is being taught English at school and she picks up a few words listening to me. Mommy is 7 years old. She has a common malady, her hearing is good but she does not listen. That is why her nickname is ?Boss man?. 

Mommy has a big heart and she is great at making friends. She shares her food and treats with them and helps them if they need it. She has become an important part of my life. 

Wan and I take turns driving Mommy to school. It is a private school and expensive by Thai standards yet many people enroll their children here as it is said that if they want a good job if they get older they should go to school here.

The Thai people I have met and seen have been polite, friendly, fit, and look after their appearance. Besides that they are honest and hard working and they spoil their children. Their driving is atrocious but other than that they are to be respected for the hours they work and for the way in which they raise their children.

So I have most if not everything I had back home except the snow, and the suits and boots which I gave away. And I now have a life in a family environment with people who I love, and respect.
So Good bye from Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Remember life is what you make it. You can live here alone and spend thousands of dollars a month and be unhappy and you can live here on $550 US a month or less and be ?healthier and happier?. It?s all up to you. 

We have seen people come here to check out Chiang Mai on their own and leave thinking they did not qualify for the Retirement visa and not knowing other visa options. They told us they were looking into the Retirement visa and wanted to apply.. 
but they left without the visa. 

So far ALL of our Retire-on-550 clients have been approved for their long term stay visa's. 
We explain visa options and our recommendations. And we even help some of our clients with the application process as even opening a bank account has changed and one has to understand what is required and which banks to go to. 

Moving anywhere is a time consuming process and something we all hate to do. 
We settle in and most of us do to like Change.. 

but if you ask our clients if they did the right thing in moving here without a doubt they would say.. YES!!! 

related pages.. 

Click Here for Free Vacation in Chiang Mai

Retirement to Chiang Mai 

Retirement to Chiang Rai 

Retirement to Pattaya 

Retirement to Phuket 

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