U.S. News ranks Chiang Mai among best retirement spots

The city of Chiang Mai, called Thailand’s “Rose of the North,” is the fourth-best affordable place for Americans to retire overseas, according to an annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

The news magazine named Chiang Mai just one month after U.S. business magazine Forbes included Thailand in its list of best places to retire abroad in 2020.

U.S. News and World Report wrote that “Chiang Mai lures travelers, expats, and retirees from around the world with its exceptionally low cost of living, high-quality health care, and modern infrastructure.”

With less than 150,000 people, Chiang Mai is much smaller than Bangkok. Nonetheless, its arts and culture have had an enormous impact on the entire Kingdom. Furthermore, set in the lush mountains of the north, it is a greener, more natural, and laid-back alternative to the hectic bustle of Bangkok.

“You can get around using tuk-tuks, baht buses, and the occasional taxi for just a few dollars a day. Many expats claim it’s cheaper to eat out than to buy groceries, and with all the food options in this city, it’s not hard to eat out for every meal,” U.S. News said of Chiang Mai.

“For $330 a month, you could rent a two-bedroom bungalow with a garden, and for $830 monthly, you could settle into a three-bedroom villa with a private swimming pool. Rents normally include utilities and basic cable,” Forbes wrote.

Forbes listed similar attributes in including the entire country in its list of best places to retire abroad.

“Thailand is a retiree bug light thanks to an exotic Asian culture, low cost of living and healthcare so excellent and cheap it draws patients from abroad. English is widely spoken,” Forbes wrote.

Another attraction, the magazine noted, is the double taxation treaty between Thailand and the U.S., which means Social Security and pension payments are not subject to U.S. taxes.

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