Living in Expat Popular Countries With Your Income and Work From Home Privilege
Then we also saw the migration of folks moving out of the Bay Area. At the beginning of the pandemic, some people decided that their condo in San Francisco was no longer fitting their lifestyle needs and moved to the East Bay. For some, they moved closer to their family.
Have you considered trying some exotic places that we don't talk much about in Silicon Valley? What about Thailand? What kind of lifestyle can you have over there? Is your company allowing you to work from home? How much of your income can you turn into savings?
Health Care System is second to none and influenced my husband and me to explore Thailand in the first place. Thailand is famous for its medical tourism. We researched where excellent medical facilities and experts are, and that information helped us decide the primary base of our stay in Thailand. Of course, we went all over the place, first landed, and explored the mystic Capital, Bangkok, in the northern mountains, Chiang Mai, and some of the islands off Pattaya.
Some costs to give you an idea of a doctor's visit are usually USD $30, including prescriptions and tests. We generally pay $50-100 for a PCP or specialist's visit. Appointments are effortless to make. They are also very friendly to walk-in patients for urgent situations. These are top notches hospitals that speak flawless English, but some hospitals will have a language barrier. Customer service is excellent. Many other qualified medical facilities are accessible. A good US medical plan reimburses a portion of what you spend in Thailand as out-of-network costs. All the places are very used to giving you a superbly for you to submit for reimbursement.
Transportation was challenging since most taxi drivers didn't speak fluent English. So we relied on public transportation quite often. Since our primary base was in Pattaya, we frequently took advantage of the bus travels. One way was 600 baths ~ 20 USD. The bus runs every other hour or so. It has strong AC, and it's an enjoyable 2-hour ride. You don't need to speak much English, just follow the airport signs.
Pattaya is run by these open back cars called "Baht Bus" each bus has a defined route, and each hop on - hop off the ride is 10 Baht ~ 30 cents with some longer distance extra. You do need to be familiar with Baht Bus routes. They are the cheapest option to go around.
You may order a taxi using the "Grab" app for convenience. We didn't use Uber or Lyft the last time often when we were there. Each cab can be $20 USD and up.
Our friend's family owns rental apartments in the Pattaya outskirts. We rented one of the studio apartments from them for $150 USD/mo that included all utilities and AC usage at all times that we were staying. A room comes with a bed and bedding, two desks, a refrigerator, and a microwave. The location is a little remote off of Pattaya, but since we were traveling in Thailand and Southeast Asia, it was an excellent spot for us to keep our luggage. When we were not traveling, there was a night market nearby. We would hop on a Baht Bus ~ 5 min to get there. The other thing we love about this location is that it is entirely local to Thai. That means everything was cheaper. On a typical night, we would get dinner, desserts, snacks, drinks, and anything we wanted that we could carry back for a total of $5 USD per person.
Within the popular tourist sites in Thailand, a decent hotel room is $30 USD/night in the city center of Pattaya. In Bangkok, $50 USD/night and up. Chiang Mai downtown and around, you can get something around $30 USD/night. Ko Chang is a trendy island off the coast of Pattaya, and it can get expensive. During the low season (April, May, June, July), you can get a spacious hotel room $40 USD/night anywhere outside of White Sand Beach (the most touristy beach) or Siam Royal View Resort. During the high season (Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan), rooms can start as expensive as $80 USD.
Families with children might consider Airbnb homes. For monthly stays, they often have discounts. In Chiang Mai and Pattaya, you can find 2-3 bedrooms in a great location for less than $1500 USD/month.
A lot of beaches. Food is amazing. Massages are great.
So for a solo traveler or folks without children, a $1500 USD/mo is a very generous budget to live a luxurious lifestyle. For a family to have a whole house, a budget of $2000 will afford you the enjoyment.
Remember, if you decide to pack up and experience the world, I am here to help if you need to take care of your real estate here in the Bay before you take off.