Thailand is an emerging country with a lot to offer to investors, retirees, and visitors
I’ve personally lived in Thailand for 3 years after having visited here for more than 10 years. I personally found the culture, food, and cost of living in Thailand quite acceptable and relaxing. I have found the cost to live in Thailand quite reasonable.
I would not recommend anyone coming here to live on anything less than $2000 USD per month. It can be done, but it makes things a bit tight. Also with new immigration regulations for retirees, there is a minimum amount of money that you either have to have in the bank as security (for healthcare and other reasons) or a verifiable inflow of transfers amounting to (currently) $1,900 USD per month.
Different areas also would affect your personal economy; Bangkok offers affordable rents, food courts/street food, and affordable public transportation to keep costs under control. Other areas have their benefits and drawbacks.
I chose to live in Phuket, where it is probably one of the more expensive places to live. The minimum amount I would suggest to live here would be closer to $2,500 per month, as you would need a car or motorcycle to get around, rents are higher, and golf a bit more expensive here.
There are areas in the North East (known as the Isaan [eeesahn] region) that are much more affordable, but certainly rural or farmland areas. You can live on less, but immigration requirements apply for anywhere you live in Thailand.
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