How to Retire in Thailand for Couples

How to Retire in Thailand for Couples

How to Retire in Thailand for Couples

Thailand has long been one of the most popular retirement spots for singles and couples alike. It is known for its year-long tropical climate, quality healthcare accessibility, and affordable living.

Despite its popularity among tourists and pensioners, retiring in Thailand is not as simple as it may seem. Several important factors should be taken into consideration to ensure a smooth stay in the kingdom.

In this article, we will discuss the visa options available for retiring couples, places to live in Thailand as a couple, and essential insurance options.

Visa Options to Retire in Thailand as a Couple

1. Retirement Visa

The Thai retirement visa or the non-immigrant OA visa is a long-term visa allowing the holder to stay in the kingdom for one year. The visa is renewable every year and can be done in Thailand.

Married non-Thai national couples looking to retire in Thailand who are both 50 years or older are eligible for the Thai retirement visa. However, the pair will be treated as individual applicants and will have to meet the financial requirements independently.

Eligibility Criteria for the Retirement Visa

  • Both non-Thai national applicants must be 50 years or older.
  • Must meet the following financial requirements: 
    • Have at least an 800,000 THB deposit for at least two months before the visa application
    • A monthly income of at least 65,000 THB
    • A combination of security deposit and annual income totaling 800,000 THB


  • The Thai retirement visa once approved allows you to stay in Thailand for one year.
  • You are not allowed to have employment while on this type of visa.
  • You must report to Immigration every 90 days to verify your current address.

2. Long-term Resident Visa (LTR)

Unlike the non-immigrant OA visa, the Long-Term Resident Visa comes with attractive perks but also has higher financial qualifications.


  • A 10-year renewable residence visa
  • Fast track lane in the airport
  • Can work in Thailand and get a digital work permit
  • Immigration registration once a year instead of 90 days
  • Personal Income Tax benefits
  • No requirement to hire 1:4 foreigners per Thai national

Eligibility Criteria for the Long-term Resident Visa 

  • Applicants must be 50 years or older.
  • Financial Requirement: 
    • The applicant must demonstrate a personal income of at least 80,000 USD per year     
    • If income is below 80,000 USD per year, the applicant should have at least 40,000 USD per year and have at least 250,000 USD in Thai government bonds, foreign direct investment, or Thai property.
    • The applicant must have social security ensuring treatment in Thailand or health insurance of at least 50,000 USD coverage or at least a deposit of 100,000 USD.

*Note: Personal income of Wealthy pensioners under the LTR program is “unearned income such as dividends, pensions, rental, and stocks. Earned Income (i.e. salary and wages) is not considered personal income under the LTR application.

3. Thailand Privilege Visa (Formerly known as Thailand Elite)

You and your partner can retire in Thailand under the same membership with numerous attractive perks. This visa option, however, targets the wealthy and has a “membership fee” that isn’t cheap.

Regardless of your age, you and your partner can enjoy your stay in Thailand for a longer period. There are two types of tiers available for you and your partner: The platinum and diamond membership tier.

Membership Eligibility

  • Hold a foreign passport valid for at least 1 year (365 days) or more.
  • Not visit Thailand to study, work, or set up a business.
  • Be of sound mind and competence.
  • Applicants have no history of criminal activity, blacklists, bankruptcies, and long overstays.
  • Not be a current or previous holder of a Thailand Volunteer Visa.
  • Not be a current or previous holder of a (not legitimate) Thailand Education (ED) Visa.

Thailand Elite Platinum Membership 

  • Offers a 10-year visa validity
  • The membership fee is priced at 1,500,000 THB with an additional member fee (your spouse) at 1,000,000 THB
  • Privilege membership 35 points
  • Membership is non-transferable and non-refundable

Platinum Membership Benefits

  • At least two 5-year renewable, multiple-entry visas
  • 1-year Permit to Stay per Entry to Thailand (with the option to extend)
  • Unlimited access to Premium Lane for immigration fast-tracking
  • Unlimited access to an Elite Personal Assistant (EPA)
  • Annual health checkups (once per membership validity)
  • One night stay at Anantara Vacation Club (during 1st year of membership only)
  • Personal Accident Insurance (180 days, during 1st year of membership only)
  • Premium Lounge, parking privileges, and shopping assistant (via appointment)
  • Many More!

Thailand Elite Diamond Membership 

  • Offers a 15-year visa validity
  • The membership fee is priced at 2,500,000 THB with an additional member fee (your spouse) at 1,500,000 THB
  • Privilege membership 55 points
  • Membership is non-transferable and non-refundable

Diamond Membership Benefits 

  • At least three 5-year renewable, multiple-entry visas
  • 1 year Permit to Stay per Entry to Thailand with an option to extend
  • Unlimited access to Premium Lane for immigration fast-tracking
  • Unlimited access to an Elite Personal Assistant (EPA)
  • Access to wealth advisory sessions and seminars
  • 1-time annual health checkups, once per membership validity
  • Premium lounge, shopping assistant, parking privileges (by appointment)
  • Birthday gifts
  • Special insurance packages, such as the Personal Accident Insurance (365 days, during the first year of membership only)
  • Many More!

Places to Live in Thailand

The kingdom has a lot to offer for retiring couples. The perfect place often depends on what you and your partner’s preferences are. From trendy city life to a remote mountainous town, Thailand has places to match the lifestyle you’re thinking of for your retirement years.

Here are the top 4 places with reasonable costs of living, accessibility to healthcare, and a supportive expat community.

1. Chiang Mai

This landlocked province was once the capital of the independent Lanna kingdom until 1558, It is known for its mesmerizing mountains and beautiful temples.

Why consider Chiang Mai? 

  • Pleasant Climate: The province offers an escape from the scorching heat of other provinces with an average daily temperature of around 25-30°C making it the perfect spot to enjoy outdoor activities.
  • Cost-Effective Living: The province is comparatively cheaper than other major cities in the country like Bangkok and Phuket, with cheap apartment rental prices starting as low as 3,000 THB.
  • Vibrant Culture: The city is known for its unique Lanna heritage offering more than 300 intricately designed temples scattered around the province dating back to the 13th and 18th centuries. The Lanna traditions, dance, and music are still widely practiced.
  • Active Expat Community: Chaing Mai has a dynamic and growing expat community. Retirees have tons of interesting activities to indulge in.

2. Hua Hin

Hua Hin, a favorite getaway for Bangkokers was once was a fishing village before becoming a full-time residence of King Bhumibol Adulyadej from 2004-2006. The coastal town offers the ideal tropical lifestyle that is comparatively peaceful than Pattaya and Phuket.

Why consider Hua Hin?

  • Beachside living: Hua Hin is a coastal town on the Gulf of Thailand. It is family-friendly and is a popular holiday spot for Bangkokers looking for a weekend escape along the beach. The district also has a tropical climate with occasional rain and high humidity.
  • Healthcare facilities: The medical services offered in Hua Hin are also comparatively lower than those of Western countries and are often more affordable. Some well-known hospitals in town are Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin and San Paolo Hospital Hua Hin.
  • Golf and recreational activities: The coastal town is known as the ‘golf capital of Thailand’ as it houses some of the most beautiful golf courses with golf communities and many golf tournaments. Watersports, tennis, and equestrian clubs are also available.
  • Peaceful atmosphere: The city has a comparatively lower population density than other major cities in the country like Bangkok and Phuket. The coastal town has a population of 65,983 as of 2019 and has a low crime rate.

3. Phuket

Thailand’s biggest island, Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and also a retirement spot well known for its beautiful white sandy beaches, clear sea waters, and breathtaking sunset.

Why consider Phuket?

  • Tropical Paradise: Couples can immerse themselves in island-hopping in the Andaman Sea and also explore the underwater beauty with many different beaches that cater to their taste.
  • Modern Amenities: Phuket offers a variety of options to shop, it has night markets, street vendors, and luxurious malls. Retirees can also live in Phuket without worrying about medical care as the trendy island also has some of the best world-class hospitals available.
  • Entertainment Options: From vibrant nightlife to laid-back beachside dining, Phuket has it all. You and your partner won’t be running out of things to do while living in this tropical paradise.
  • Diverse Expat Community: Phuket has a big expat community from all over the world. There will always be a supportive network and fun workshops available for you and your partner.

4. Pattaya

Located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya is the eighth-largest city in the Kingdom. Known for its exciting nightlife and city beaches.

Why consider Pattaya?

  • Coastal Living: Pattaya offers a beach lifestyle with proximity to the capital city of Bangkok and also the airport. Pattaya has beaches that cater to your preferences whether you’re into the party scene or a peaceful retreat.
  • Entertainment Options: Pattaya is famous for its exciting nightlife, with bars dotted around the city. Walking Street, which has a lot of bars, clubs, and performances, is popular for its lively late-night scene. Retirees can also take pleasure in more tranquil evenings at eateries and cafes along the shore.
  • Affordable Housing: The coastal town has various types of housing available for retirees. There are plenty of beachside condominiums, rental homes, and gated communities available at an affordable price.
  • Diverse Dining Choices: Pattaya’s culinary scene caters to all tastes, from local markets offering budget-friendly options to an array of international restaurants. Indulge in Japanese, Italian, and Indian cuisine, fresh seafood, and delicious Thai dishes.

Insurance Options

The Thai government has made initiatives to decrease the expense of damages caused by international visitors to their medical facilities. Retiring in Thailand requires you and your partner to have basic health insurance coverage.

The minimum coverage for health insurance on an O-A visa is as follows:

  • Non-immigrant type “O-A” visas are required to have a health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of 100,000 USD, including treatment for COVID-19.
  • The health insurance must cover the entire duration of the applicant’s stay in Thailand.

The Thai government does not clearly state where you must obtain your medical insurance. So long as it is an accredited insurer and can provide the coverage required for your retirement visa admission into Thailand. This implies you can get medical insurance for a retirement visa in Thailand anywhere you like.

Contact Us

Are you and your partner considering a serene retirement in the beautiful landscapes of Thailand? Whether you’re intrigued by the tropical climate, the quality healthcare, or the affordable cost of living, we’re here to guide you through every step of the process. From understanding the visa options to finding the perfect place to call home, our team is dedicated to making your transition to a Thai retirement as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Contact Us Today!