Sunday, January 17, 2016

More Life for Less Money... Sign me Up!!!

$500 a Month Budget Food Choices - Cha Am 

I'm not going to retire in Thailand. Still, I love watching this guy's videos about how to do just that. There's something very comforting to know that there's a beautiful place with friendly people, a place with a fascinating, enchanting culture that beckons to, and invites Americans, Australians, Brits, and others to come and live well on a small retirement income, basking in the sun and sipping Thai iced coffee. What better way to get good info on the details you'll need to join them than to view the homegrown videos produced by and starring J.C., an American who's done it himself and who freely shares his accrued experience with anyone who finds him on YouTube and clicks to launch one of his offerings.

The motto that comes up in the opening credits reads "How to Get More Life for Less Money" and, according to the info on YouTube, in the 6 years or so that J.C. has been creating and posting this extensive series, he's earned himself over 17,000 subscribers and over 5 million views. Not one of YouTube's superstars, he still done quite alright. One of the things I like about his videos is that while these don't have the look and feel of a fast paced, professional show; no Anthony Bourdain, here, they are clear and informative  in a sort of loping-along-through-life, comfortable way, giving us a snapshot peek into the average sort of life that one might actually expect to have should you take advantage of the suggestions being offered. And while J.C. is no Andrew Zimmern either; he doesn't share with us a high energy personality or a lighting wit, he does reveal a sort of confident, 'every-guy' charm that is very appealing and that makes you want to include him  in your "maybe I'll retire in the paradise of Chiang Mai, some day... and when I get there, I sure hope J.C. will be there to hang out with!"fantasy.

I tend to return to these videos and pick up on wherever it is that J.C. left off every few months. I check in with J.C. as I would pick up the thread with a friend whose company I really enjoy, but who I see just every now and then. Over an extended period of time I've followed him into hotel rooms to witness the sort of life you can live for $100 - $200 a month or so - nice smallish places that appear to be safe and comfortably furnished with AC and WiFi. I've tagged along to look at getting delicious morning iced coffee for less than a dollar and perused the ubiquitous street-side eateries that offer plastic tables and chairs to sit on as you enjoy tasty food at a lower cost than preparing it for yourself in your Thai home. I've trod attractive beaches just paces from the bustling streets that run alongside them, providing postcard pretty views of what always appears to be a perfect setting that is missing just one thing: me!

By the way, while my friend, J.C. (we've never actually met or been in touch) does Retire Cheap Asia so well,  his videos have  much company on YouTube. His series is actually representative of an entire genre of "Retire here, guys", person to person videos that suggest Thailand, Vietnam, Ecuador, and other exotic destinations as the ideal spot to live out one's golden years in affordable comfort.

Now for a bit of speculation. It seems to me that for every soul who watches these videos fully engaged in preparing to retire abroad or who has actually done it, there must be thousands like myself who are not going to retire to Thailand or to Cambodia or Costa Rica or wherever. For some reason, though, we sure love watching these videos!


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