Leung Falang

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About Leung Falang

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 05/23/1943

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  • Location
    Isaan / USA

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  • Location
    Isaan, Texas, USA

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  1. No income in Thailand, no tax on our property (wife is Thai), so only VAT and the ever present highway tax of Baht 200 about once a year or so :) Life can be nice and really inexpensive depending on life style and location. For us, Mukdahan on the Mekong. Lovely. My wife also is blessed to have super great friends from high school years in Loeng Nok Tha, and they are very very kind to this old farang. :)
  2. I noticed an article on inexpensive places to live in the US and the world. Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand made the list. I was however amazed to read that there was a remittance tax on money brought into Thailand of 26% if I remember correctly. I have never heard of this.
  3. When my wife who is Thai and I wanted second house outside Thailand (we live in the US), we sent the money in several installments to Bangkok bank via wire transfer. I found out several years ago that I could have arranged a "domestic" transfer by establishing via Bangkok Bank New York where the fee is only $20 to forward to our Thai branch. (We transfer that way now with a few clicks at my US bank.) Land and house are in her name and no worry from me in this 25 year marriage. I do have a Christian lawyer friend in Thailand that helps mixed couples like us-the land is purchased in the wife's name and then gives her husband a long term lease, 30 years I believe. If my marriage was "new", I would have chosen that route. Good advice above about proving you brought money in to purchase home so it is easier to transfer out if you decide to do that.
  4. My Thai wife of 25 years and I retired in 2000, and began to go to her Isaan village every year for five years-village life is terrible, don't do it. Life in most ampurs is not much better, only in cities will most enjoy life. We bought a nice home in Mukdahan in 2009 and love it. Prices have doubled since it is now a SEZ and also has a bridge to Laos. I know Somdet a little and would not live there. Kalasin is a growing city for now..... One third of Thailand involved in agriculture and a good friend tells me Isaan is 80% rural. This cannot continue. When will Kalasin growth stop? Who knows.
  5. Schwab allows you to take a mobile pic of a check and deposit it that way. I have been with them 20 years since early retirement. Love the ATM free transactions worldwide. Investing in ETF avoids the larger fees charged by mutual funds, $8 vs $75. I assume poster is young, so would suggest 40% S&P 500 ETF such as SWPPX by Schwab or VOO by Vanguard, 20% small stock ETF such as VIOO by Vanguard which is a bit better than the Schwab SCHA fund, and to follow the strong dividend advice of another poster, 40% Vanguard's VIG or if more risk is ok their VYM which are strong dividend paying companies that are low risk.
  6. Newer phones with AT&T have wi-fi calling which you can easily establish on one of your phones before you replace the sim-set to airplane mode to avoid US charges. Mine has the icon at the top of the settings bar. You and your friends are using the wireless network to talk to each other. I kept one of ours in that mode the last 3 months in order to easily communicate with US friends at no cost. But of course, if you do away with your AT&T account before you arrive, no good for you. Skype is great and I have a $5 a month "land line" that follows me around the world via cell phone and pc.
  7. During a visit to extend my stay on a Non Immigrant "O", Mukdahan Immigration asked my wife to encourage me to share the need for a home owner or other house master to report aliens staying with them, and also when they return after an absence of a day or more. Many Thais have no idea of the requirements. Fines abound, small at first as wake up calls.
  8. Rent months Rate Total B US$ Rate 3 22,000 66,000 $1,660 35 Buy Initial 350,000 Depreciation 45,500 $1,300 New value 304,500 Insurance 12,000 $343 Mtce 6,000 $171 Investment loss @ 7% 24,500 $700 Total $2,514 88000 I quickly put this together on whether to buy again after selling my truck 2 years ago and us not being here. Investment loss is often called opportunity cost.
  9. Laurence Kotlikoff, Boston University economics professor answers some mail on all sorts of US SS questions and also has software that he sells for $40 retail to us on when is the best time to begin drawing-there are many strategies and hundreds of different cases. Google news is my favorite website and I keep a subject with his name active to see his latest and most interestng posts. My Thai wife is some way off from needing to know what is best for her but we do intend to spend this small amount to see what he thinks. maximizemysocialsecurity is the name to search and I had to use a virtual address to get it to open. Best Wishes
  10. Almost anything better than 1 drunk principal and 2 teachers for 6 grades. Many of the primary schools are within 1-2 kilometers, 3 km max. Critical thinking instead of rote learning (mostly copying) and being able to ask questions in school and at home are critical as is the elimination of the no student fails policy. Failure and being held back is a motivation to actually learn, or at worst, become a farmer or push cart expert without holding back the students eager to learn.
  11. I went with my Thai wife to Mukdahan immigration for her to extend her stay (visa exempt as she is American and Thai). They were nice but asked about my TM30 which has never been filed by her mom or by my wife at either home (she / we own a home since 2009). Fined 800 baht as it had been about 3+ weeks since arrival. We have stayed for six months a year since 2009 except in 2015/16 and this never came up. We also have foreign friends come and spend the night(s) now and then and have never reported them. Immigration is 15 minutes away but what a hassle. Will go ask for the CD to be burned. They also told her she should enter Thailand on her Thai passport to save time and money-she never wanted to do that when I brought it up.
  12. What will happen to these visas based on retirement if/when the new retirement scheme comes into play? Immigration told me the other day they were waiting on the rules.
  13. How many rai? What kind of business case? Sounds interesting for sure as it seems there is little profit in rice or rubber.
  14. How can you be considered a farmer if you don't farm? If they used to farm, why is it they no longer have land? gambling debts? sickness? It matters.
  15. what are the profit margins, if any, for the farmer? no machines............ all machines............