Many people retire in Chiang Mai each year however the city has become very expensive compared to other cities such as retiring in Buri Ram or even retiring in Pattaya. The average cost of living is much higher as well as the average apartment rental. There are however advantages such as having a US Embassy in Chiang Mai as well as having a wider range of entertainment options.
Property rentals in Chiang Mai tends to range from $350 per month in the city to $220 per month outside of the main city. This is an average range for a rental apartment. They would however range from $180 to about $550 in the city but it would depend on what you are looking for as well as the location and age of the building. Property purchases also range from $1,400 to $3,300 per square meter.
This would be the average price range in the city while outside of the main city property in Chiang Mai tends to be a bit lower at about $1,600 per square meter on average. If you are buying an apartment in Chiang Mai, then speak to a lawyer before you sign any agreements as you would need to look at the title deed and ensure that you have a Chanote title deed. If you are going to buy property in the name of your Thai wife, then a usufruct or superficies would be a way to protect your property in the event of a divorce.
If you retire in Chiang Mai, then you can apply for a marriage visa or retirement visa in Thailand. If you are married to a Thai, then you will need 400,000 THB in a Thai bank account for the marriage visa and 800,000THB for a retirement visa. You can also obtain a letter from your Embassy in Chiang Mai if you are an American for this requirement of income. Look at your retirement options in Thailand. As stated, Chiang Mai is much more expensive than other towns in Thailand.
The cost of living in Chiang Mai is higher than other rural towns in Thailand. You can see this from the cost of property rentals in the city. The average cost of food at some restaurants tends be more expensive and Chiang Mai has also become well known for its traffic jams. See the average cost of living in Chiang Mai.
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||1.52 $|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||15.98 $|
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||5.25 $|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||2.13 $|
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||3.65 $|
|Cappuccino (regular)||1.66 $|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)||0.67 $|
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)||0.28 $|
These would be the average cost of living when living in Chiang Mai. Consider all your options as there is a large expat community in Chiang Mai no different to retiring in Pattaya without the nightlife and massive amounts of tourists. If you wish to retire in Thailand, then see the rest of these articles to show you different cost of living in Thailand as well as how to open a bank account and apply for a drivers licence in Thailand.