Thailand scores high for retirees and livable cities


The Golden Kingdom is one of the best places in the world to spend your Golden Years. Thailand was named once again as one of the top 10 countries in the world to retire, and the Kingdom also edged up in the Livable Cities Index based on improved transportation infrastructure.

Thailand was rated number 2 in Asia as a place to retire in an annual report published by International Living magazine, a global publication based in Maryland. Panama was named as the top retirement destination worldwide. Malaysia was rated number 5 and Thailand number 9.

Thailand and the region, “offer some of the world’s most attractive retirement programs, astounding geographic and cultural diversity, and climates to suit all tastes, ranging from hot beach resorts to cool highland hill stations. You’ll find sophisticated cities, ultra-modern, affordable healthcare, and luxury accommodation for a fraction of North American prices,’’ the magazine wrote in its section on the Kingdom.

Aside from climate and cost, the magazine touted Thailand’s location and ease of transport, which make it an ideal jumping-off point for travel around the region, something that appeals to many retirees with time to explore new countries and cultures. While Thailand is far from the United States, it has no shortage of people and communities from America and Western countries.

“If you worry about finding friends in Thailand, have no fear. Expat communities are alive and busy. You will find meet-ups taking place regularly, and lots of local interest groups. If you want to maintain an active lifestyle by joining a gym, hiking, or biking, or if you prefer to dive into history and art, it’s all here,” the magazine said.

“The most enjoyable parts of Thai culture revolve around the idea of sanook (meaning “fun”). Whatever you find yourself doing, you are encouraged to make it fun and enjoy every minute,” the magazine wrote.

Improved transport also was a factor in Thailand’s improved score on the annual Livable Cities Index published last week by ECA International, a London-based global consultant on a variety of issues to multinational corporations.

The report said that steadily improving transportation has been behind Thailand’s steady rise in the index. “In particular, advances in road and transport infrastructure have improved access to areas that were once considered far more remote,” said Lee Quane of ECA.