John and Jane in Thailand

J and J have escaped the hurly-burly of life in the USA.

Why Thailand?

with one comment


Working hard, or is that hardly working?

This query has been asked of us numerous times.  John wanted to answer from his perspective:

Why  Thailand?  The answer to that question starts and ends with finances.

I had been self-employed for the last 12 years, providing financing for new and existing business equipment purchases. It was a good business and rewarding, working with business owners and managers all over the US. Things changed with the recession, banks (especially the banks who received the federal gift of TARP money) quit lending. They had some good reasons with the higher risk owners, but I saw many small previously successful companies having to quit due to the removal of their lines of credit and lack of affordable financing for equipment purchases.  The only lenders that really were providing money were at rates 3 to 4 times the current interest rates or higher.  Needless to say, my job became harder and no longer enjoyable.  I could not feel good about lending to good credit customers at 16% or higher interest rates. As I sat there with a dwindling, unsatisfying business I came to the realization it was time to pack it in and do something else with my life.

Meanwhile, with our daughter and her husband in the Peace Corps in Cambodia, we arranged a trip to meet them in Bali for a week of diving and then on to Cambodia to see where they live and teach.   Bali is beautiful!  One of the most beautiful places I had ever been.   Jane and I simultaneously came to the conclusion we could live there but, of course, it was just the stuff of dreams.  Or was it?

Back at my now depressing business, I came to the realization that we really could live in Bali. We could pack everything away, rent the house and sell my business. Retirement was POSSIBLE!  But reality set in after reviewing our medical needs, the visa requirements, and cost of living; it seemed we were not destined to retire in Bali after all.

My sister, a permanent Asia expat in Thailand, suggested why not here?  We had traveled in Thailand, the country is beautiful, the people are really friendly, and the FOOD is fantastic. Medical care is one of the best in the world in the private hospitals and quite cost-effective.  We could get a one year heath insurance policy for major issues for the both of us with worldwide coverage for just over $1000 per year (I had been paying more per month with a $7500 deductible and paying over $120 per month for prescription co-pays ).  We found we could get our prescriptions from a major hospital pharmacy for less than our co pay in the US.   Dentist cost around $30 per visit with an USA trained dentist. Other costs like rent, phone, internet and food are so very affordable.  The diving, a big bonus for us, is fantastic.   So, why not?


Written by Jane Estes

May 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I am so enjoying reading about the two of you on your great adventure. Bikes are the best. loved them as a kid and still do. Makes me want to get on mine at this very moment and pedal my bum all around town.

    sheila shannon

    June 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm

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