Westerners who rely on pensions from overseas are feeling the pinch the most, with most foreign currencies at their lowest point against the baht for many decades.
In addition to higher day to day living costs, less income also affects the ability of retirees to maintain a substantial amount of money in their bank for several months, as is required by the authorities. More astute retirees get around this rule by proving they bring 65,000 baht into the country every month. This is permitted even though officials suggest it’s not.
Yet another hurdle are the health insurance requirements, which are proving difficult and expensive for anyone over 70 years old.
The solution for a growing number of older expats is to up sticks and relocate to cheaper and less bureaucratic neighbouring countries.
The BigChilli recently had a visit from a group of high-placed westerners who wanted to lodge a complaint about an item featured in a recent issue of the magazine. Basically, they didn’t approve of its content. It was suggested they write a letter which would appear in this publication. But they declined the offer.
The strange thing about this episode if that each member of this group comes from nations demanding free speech and freedom of the press in countries like Thailand. Yet when it suits them, they want censorship.