Gay Options in Chiang Mai
Retirement may not be the final phase for those of us who have chosen Thailand as our destination, our place in the sun to while away our golden years. Retirement is when we are rounding out our lives with fulfilling projects while filling in with interests we may have postponed. There could be a phase after that. I’ll call it “post-retirement”.
Of course, in some senses our final phases here may all be retirement: our last visas are likely to be retirement visas, and throughout this whole period we will not depend on employment to sustain us. Post-retirement will not be different from retirement in those regards.
However, there comes a time when our retirement emphasis is bound to shift. Our condition may have much to do with it. If we have medical complications we may need to go into a post-retirement phase of assisted living. If economic circumstances play havoc with our care-free lifestyle we may have to settle down. One indicator of post-retirement is that our plans do not any longer include frequent international travel or multiple residences in different countries. Another indicator is that we now function on our contingency plan, the strategy we decided on for “when the time comes”, because it has begun to come.
To be clear, not all of us in our post-retirement phase are radically disabled. Very few of us are, in fact. Some of us are keeping right on with our investment management activities, writing, socializing, community involvements, and our boyfriends and their families. Post-retirement, from another point of view, is a phase of living marked by some limitation that will not go away and must be accommodated.
Some of us have our contingency plan for retirement phased right into post-retirement. In my case I have a house and a spouse with a clan and a plan. They are my social security. They will keep on fixing food and responding. We do it for each other as we have for a decade. This could be the post-retirement plan for a majority of ex-pats getting old in Thailand. I see a lot of evidence of younger Thai spouses taking care of older men who definitely do not look like they were born here.
There is another large group of ex-pats who don’t think relying on a Thai extended family is a dependable way to go. Some just cannot imagine moving into a village in Isan, which they have sampled for a week at a time. That has been enough for them to know, “No.” Or perhaps their boyfriend is just not spouse material. Responsibility and a degree of selflessness would be character requirements for anyone to whom you would entrust your secure future.
A friend of mine here in Chiang Mai will be staying on without bonding with an extended family. The other day we went to look at Dok Kaew Gardens. They have two levels of care. I would call them “semi-independent living” in an apartment with meals in a common dining room at a total fee of 35,000 baht a month, and “nursing rooms” with round-the-clock care at 45,000. Full hospital care is a hundred meters away. Dok Kaew Gardens is breaking ground now for independent living facilities. You can find more about this by searching the Internet for Dok Kaew Gardens.
Another facility my friend investigated is Care Resort Chiang Mai in Mae Rim. It has more of a hotel or country club ambiance and is a bit more expensive. I found an attractive website called Care Resort Chiang Mai. One or two more assisted living facilities operate for Thai residents with senility issues beyond a family’s ability to cope. There is room for development in this market. I would be interested to hear about assisted living options available in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya.
The post-retirement contingency plan for the remainder of us is probably to go back overseas, especially if our home country has a comprehensive care system for which we qualify or family are waiting for us there.
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Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.