More and more pensioners are moving abroad. Thailand is now also a popular destination for German-speaking pensioners.

The reasons why more and more retirees are drawn to Thailand include the warm temperatures and, of course, the low cost of living. But it doesn’t matter whether you want to retire in Thailand, the USA or Mallorca: there are a few things for retirees to consider when drawing their pension abroad.

Step 1: Planning

Deciding to retire in Thailand should be well thought out. Other countries were certainly on the short list. Well, if Thailand is the country, then the next step is to find a suitable place. Pattaya, Phuket and Bangkok are among the most popular regions in Thailand when retirees are drawn to the Southeast Asian kingdom after a busy life in Germany. But of course there are plenty of other places and islands in Thailand where life is definitely possible.

Step 2: drawing your pension abroad – advice on pension insurance

In order to ensure that you receive your pension abroad, you must of course inform the pension insurance in advance. However, the German pension insurance also offers advice, which you should definitely make use of in a personal conversation. Because there is a lot to consider. For example, is a temporary or permanent move to Thailand planned? And may different pensions be drawn, possibly also a Riester pension?

Useful links of the German pension insurance

Step 3: Health insurance and long-term care insurance

If you want to live permanently in Thailand as a pensioner, you have to be aware that the insurance protection you are used to in Germany is a little different here. Health insurance should definitely be taken out in advance. As in Germany, the age of the insured person and the insured scope of services determine the amount of health insurance contributions.

In addition, private long-term care insurance may also make sense. Because the care allowance from the statutory care insurance can only be obtained in the European economic area and in Switzerland.

Step 4: Apply for a Thailand visa for pensioners or foreigners over 50 years of age

For anyone over the age of 50, the so-called Non Immigrant “0” Visa is probably the best option if you are aiming for permanent residence in Thailand. This is a visa that is valid for 12 months. The prerequisite is that you can prove a monthly pension of at least 65,000 baht (depending on the EUR/THB exchange rate around 1,700 euros) or a bank balance of at least 800,000 baht (approx. 21,000 euros).

Visa requirements & application


Ko Phangan Haad Rin Beach

Ko Phangan Haad Rin Beach

Market in Surat Thani

Market in Surat Thani

Shopping Tour in China Town Bangkok

Shopping Tour in China Town Bangkok

Soi Cowboy Bangkok red light district

Soi Cowboy Bangkok red light district


Anyone who owns a property in Germany and plans to use the sales proceeds to purchase a property in Thailand of at least the same value should read this very carefully: Because in Thailand foreigners cannot easily purchase a property or property in their own name. Due to strict rules when buying real estate, this is almost impossible for foreigners.

Further links on the subject of real estate acquisition in Thailand

Important in Thailand: International driver’s license

Officially, German driving licenses are not recognized in Thailand. The practice looks a bit different, because the German driver’s license is sufficient for almost all car rentals. But what happens in an accident? According to Thai law, if you do not have an international driver’s license, you drive a motor vehicle without a license. And it usually gets worse. Because if you don’t have a driver’s license, you are usually to blame for the accident. Incidentally, there is no insurance cover without a valid driver’s license.

What else is there for retirees in Thailand to consider?

Of course, that also depends on the individual case. But as always in life, the better prepared you are, the fewer surprises you will experience in Thailand.

Further general links about Thailand and pension abroad