Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How we found our Home in Thailand

RETIREMENT- A trip to Thailand and Finding a home Sitting on the couch one evening thinking ,"what are we going to do now ?" , I've already gave my notice at work , signed up for my early SS, Ciejay doesn't want to live in Tenn. , to expensive to live here in Salem , "what to do ". then I remembered my son Rich had visited Thailand for a few weeks and called me when he got back and said " Dad you should think about retiring in the LOS. I had never thought of it , even tho I was married to a Thai lady , I didn't think she would ever want to go back , and I knew nothing of Thailand , except the little stories of her growing up and the fact that she had two children and a lot of family there .We and the other sisters that lived in America sent a little money to their Mom and Dad every month and also from time to time some vitamins and powered food supplement , and that was all I knew . Ciejay came in and sat down beside me and ask "what you thinking husband?."I told her I was thinking about Thailand and how maybe we could think about retiring there next year .Her answer was that we didn't have any money saved , but I told her that when we retired , we would get a small check from the U. S. Government every month till I die , she did not understand about SS so I tried to explain it to her , I must have did a good job , because she answered "we pray". I left it at that, and for the next couple of months I researched and read everything I could find on the internet about Thailand , positive and negative. Well retirement year rolled around and still no decision of where to retire and spend our golden years. Out of the blue, we got a call from Ciejay's sister in Thailand saying that her Dad had pasted away after a long bout with diabetes , and that they were having his cremation and Buddish funeral services in 5 days , well, we were not prepared for a quick trip , I hadn't even got my passport yet and we didn't have the cash for such a trip , we talked to the other two sisters that lived in America and we all decided that we would go together for the 100 day ceremony, ( where they put the ashes on a little boat made of flowers and float the down the river ). I told Ciejay , " we will stay 3 weeks and look around for a little piece of land to build us a little house , and see if we want to retire in the LOS . We went there mainly for the 100 day event , but in the back of my mind I was excited about the possibility of retiring there . I had read and looked at pictures on the net enough to make me fall ,somewhat in love with the country . After the ceremony , we rented a van and traveled for Two weeks all over the central and northern part of Thailand , but we never saw any place or found a little piece of land that we both liked . The last evening of our trip we decided to go to Sai Yok and the little village of Wang Pho to the little village of Wang Pho and visit Ciejay's brother,Add and his family, before flying back home the next day . We arrived there about 5:15 , it was late evening and already getting dark , the sisters visited with their brother and I walked, and looked around the area , already when we were driving down the mountain to Wang Pho valley , I had thought to myself , I like this place , and Ciejay and I had exchanged glances, with a smile , that showed she felt the same .It was dark now and we were about to leave. Ciejay and me had said that we would come back next year on our own and look around some more , we were hurry ,hurry this trip everywhere we went. As we were getting in the van , I said to Ciejay " ask your brother if there is a house and a little piece of land for sale in Wang Pho ", she asked and he said "YES", and pointed, "there" and he pointed to the house next door , can you believe it . We went to look , it was all dark and the house was locked tight and the windows were tinted, soooo we could not even see inside , three bedroom, and 2 bath rooms, her brother said" not finished"( and I can tell you it was not finished) , the man and wife broke and house sat empty for 6 years , I ask if her knew the man and he said "yes my friend in Bangkok" , I ask him to call him and ask the price ( house and a little piece of land .) He called the man gave a price , my brother -in -law ask for a discount, he told him "this is my sister" , and the man said "YES", and just like that Ciejay had bought us a house and a little piece of land in Thailand . It was dark and we could not see it very well , but as I have said many times we had a dream and God had a plan, and we were happy . Home we went, with a big smile on our face and a lump in our throat's thinking about what we were going to do and when we could move to Thailand and our dream home , and how we were going to get the money to fix up the house and clear the land and lots of ????????? in our heads.When we showed the one picture of the house we had bought, most of our friends laughed and said it looked like it was ready to fall over, and that we could never make it livable, well we wondered the same thing sometimes , But we had prayed and felt in our hearts that it was right and this was the plan God had for us . This was 2003 and we had till March 2004 before retirement and our plans were to fly to Thailand in Oct. of 2004 to begin our new life . Of course there was lots to do to get ready and we wondered all along if we could really fulfil our dream of retiring and living in Thailand . In the next post I will go in detail all we did to prepare for the move to the LOS and God's hand in all of it . Malcolm



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Retirement and planning and money matters

RETIREMENT and MONEY Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy. -Groucho Marx "Early to bed and early to rise -- till you get enough money to do otherwise. www. One thing I learned about retirement very quickly was that you needed money and lots of it , and that there is no retirement fairy that comes along and zap
s you on the head with her or his magic wan and says "now you are retired, do what you want when you want and where you want." Retirement as I have already said" takes money", and you have to plan to save it ,retire from a job that gives you a pension , win the lotto, sell a business, marry someone rich ( if single) inherit from rich relative , or as I did start drawing your SS check when you reach the ripe ole age of 62. And at 62 the check is not enough to live on and especially if you have a wife , which I had when I reached retirement age .I took a look around me and and at my SS check and I knew that with that amount of money coming in every month, that there was no way we could live in our present location . My brother lived in Tennessee and offered to let us build a small house or put a trailer, or manufactured home on a little piece of land on his property and we went there to check it out , I loved the idea of being close to my brother and living in the country, but Ciejay just did not like the area, and expressed that she did not think she would be happy ( and her happiness was very important to me ). I think we could have lived there on my SS check (bearly getting by), with the amount of MONEY we would have coming with each check . I could do like a lot of folks that say they are retired and work another full time job just at a different company or they get a part-time job and their wives get one too , Soooo they say they are retired , but in reality they are working just as much as before , just drawing their SS check, (selling the house that they bought for twice what it was worth (when the banks were loaning money to anyone that breathed and had any credit (good or bad) young or old )moving to a different location , most of the time only renting and to a warmer climate and calling themselves retired, with the MONEY they had saved (if any) and the MONEY gotten from the sell of all the things they had collected over the years , the yard and garage sells, and their SS checks . All of this adding up to the Money that it takes to retire. If you don't have the Money or a way to get it, then you really can't retire and will have to work till you drop dead , paying for that new car and big house that you bought and really didn't need in the first , but you have no choice because nobody will buy that used car , not even what you owe on it and the house that you bought for $250,000 dollars, now with the collapsed housing market is worth half what you paid for it , and no one wants to buy it because you owe more to the bank than it's worth , but you still have to make the payments because the banks want take it back , or file bankruptcy, Which means your. credit is ruined and you can never buy anything on credit again ( the thing got you into this mess in the first place ) which means you can't retire , Because to retire takes Money. I hope you have thought about these things way before it's time for you to retire and have started to save as much as you can every month and started living a little more frugal that you did before you started getting close to your golden years, and remember , when you retire you want need all those TOYS and THINGS you spent your hard earned Money for , Heck most of them you 'll be to old to play with anyway , get rid of them!!!!!!! Now!!!!!! while you still can .When you wait till retirement time , folks know it and will try to steal them from you , remember their not retiring you are and your down sizing is their Wind -Fall. It's all about Money yours and theirs. When we (Ciejay and me ) retired,in 2004, we had not been married bur two years and I had never saved a penny in my life and had no thoughts of retiring at all , I planned on working till I dropped dead, but when I meet Ciejay all that changed and I wanted to spend all my golden years with her , laughing , loving and enjoying life and the blessings of the Lord to the fullest, and that did not include working every day from dawn till dark, 6 or 7 days a week and not even a part-time job, but how to do this was the problem , because as I stated in the first of this post it takes Money and that was something I didn't have much of , and very few toys to speak of .And as I said before there was just noway I could see us retiring on our small SS check . I know that there are lots of folks in the same boat we were in and are wondering how they can retire and enjoy their golden years ,and not have to work themselves to death . I hope they have a plan and the MONEY to make it work, I didn't , BUT----- God did and in my next post I'll tell you all about it , this post is getting way to long and I don't want to loose any one along the way , stay tuned for the next post . Malcolm ps: I know some folks will not agree with the things I have said ,BUT some will relate and these are the folks I hope this post gives a little inspiration to.