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15/10/2010 - Retiring to Phuket  15/10/2010 - Retiring to Phuket

If you've considered retiring recently then you've probably thought about where to retire to....for many people that's a place where life is just a little bit slower paced and you can find time to relax...enjoy time with family and friends...soak up some sun and still enjoy all the things you did back home.

But why wait until you retire to start enjoying that lifestyle.....investing in a retirement home several years before you retire gives you the opportunity to spend holidays and weekends at your new home.....get to know your neighbours and develop a social network.....it also gives you the chance to experience the culture...the food...and the area......so when you finally come to retire you'll settle in straight away.

Life in Phuket is certainly very different from living in Hong Kong or even Singapore....for a start you don't have the heavy traffic to contend with....queues....and small apartments....the amount of open space is very appealing....there are beautiful beaches.....the food is great and the cost of living is low.

In fact...if you wrote a list of all the things you'd like to have access to when you retire, Phuket would probably feature somewhere near the top of that list:

1. A short distance from home...

Phuket's a short direct flight from Hong Kong (3.5 hours) and Singapore (1.5 hours) and it's also an international hub which means you can get to just about anywhere in the world from Phuket.  There are several daily flights from Hong Kong and Singapore to Phuket...which means that hopping over for the weekend or hopping back to see family when you do retire is easy and convenient.

2. Excellent weather...

As I'm writing this the weathers a cool 28 degrees....it's sunny with blue skies...and that's normal weather in Phuket. In fact at the moment we're right in the middle of the monsoon season, I love it - tropical storms and warm torrential down pours which don't last long and keep the island looking so lush and green.....in fact I would go so far as to say that the monsoon season is actually my favorite time of year.

3. Top Quality Healthcare....

Phuket is fast developing into a major centre for overseas Medical Tourism....people come from all over the world to have major operations and treatment....why, because the quality is extremely high and it's very affordable.  The majority of Consultants, Surgeons and Doctors train abroad so they are well educated in the latest techniques and speak your language.  Having two superb International hospitals on your doorstep has to be great news should you ever need them.

4. A low cost and high standard of living...

Compared to Hong Kong and Singapore and the majority of other places, Phuket has a very low cost of living.  Where in Hong Kong can you go out for a meal to a fancy restaurant with wine and still get change from 1,000 baht (31 usd).  The average food bill for a family of four in Phuket is just 4,000 Baht a week, which includes fresh fish, great fruit and freshly picked vegetables....You can hire your own chef for less than 1,000 Baht a day and ironing...what ironing?  I haven't ironed anything in five years...

5. Eating out beachside...

Eat besides the beach with the sea lapping at your feet and your feet in the soft white sand...watch the sunset over the ocean as you sip cocktails at a trendy beachside club....can you do that in Hong Kong? what about Singapore, I don't think so?

6. Getting around is easy...

I've been to Hong Kong and Singapore so I know it's not that easy to get around - in fact I'd say it was pretty crowded.  Ok, so there's no MRT or tram in Phuket but who needs it when you can hire a car, motorbike, tuk tuk or taxi to take you around the island...and at relatively good prices.

7. Propety prices are low...

I just read an article about a Hong Kong Tycoon buying a land plot at the Peak Barker Road for a staggering 233m USD - that's 8,750 US dollars per square foot and that makes it the most expensive property in the World.  Property prices in both Hong Kong and Singapore are skyrocketing yet in Phuket you can still buy a stunning luxury villa for less that 1,540 US dollars per m2 - that's less than a quarter of the price of most residential housing in Singapore and Hong Kong and it'll have a decent sized garden and maybe even an ocean view....

8. Take life at a different pace...

Retiring should mean that you have far more time to enjoy life and it's hard to relax if you're living in a fast paced environment such as Hong Kong.  Life in Phuket is slow which means that you'll have time to enjoy all the things you love back home but without having to rush around at break-neck speed.  You can enjoy the beautiful beaches, stunning tropical landscape and glorious food and if you feel the need for some excitement there is plenty opportunity - including golf, sailing and even bungee jumping if you get the urge.

9. Sailing...

Take a boat to Phang Nga bay or even buy your own boat...Phuket is one of the best places in the world to own a boat.  You can hire an experienced crew for a reasonable price...moor your boat at one of the several clean and well equipped marinas and explore the wonderful picturesque island of Phang Nga Bay or the Similian Islands.  Phuket is host to the Phang Nga Bay and Kings Cup regattas which are held every year and teams from across the globe come to take part in the exhilarating races.

10. Golf...

If you imagine that the slow place of life may leave you feeling a little bored...then why not use the time to brush up on your golf game...there are six championship courses to choose from and The Blue Canyon Golf and Country Club has hosted the Johnnie Walker Asian Classic twice - professional golfers claim its the best course in Asia.

That's ten reasons to retire to Phuket for a start.....I could go on...







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