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401(K) Financial Evidence and Thai Retirement Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing 401(K)s. This is going to be an American centric video with respect to Retirement Visas because a 401(K) refers to a specific section of the Tax Code, a specific section of American law and it is American centric. So if you are from the UK or Australia and you don't know what a 401(K) is, it doesn't apply to you. We are talking about Americans seeking Retirement Visas to Thailand.

A frequent viewer of our channel sent me this article. It is very useful for making this and another video contemporaneously with it. The article is titled: How 401(K) Brought About the Death of Pensions, and this is from Quoting directly: "Until the 1980s, most Americans planned for retirement through pensions. That changed when Congress passed a new Tax Code in the Revenue Act of 1978. The Act included a new provision in the internal revenue code section 401(K). Within a decade, the majority of workers were in a 401(K) rather than a traditional pension." Now this composed some problems as we have discussed in another video and we will get into a little bit more here.   

Basically a 401(K) is not a divine benefit plan where payments just come out of it every month like a pension and you can have it sent to yourself here in Thailand. A 401(K) is sort of a savings device, in fact it mitigates certain tax liability associated with savings for retirement effectively. The reason for the video is I have a lot of people that contact us and say "hey what about 401(K) documentation when I am trying to process a Retirement Visa from abroad?" To be clear, in another video we made, we talked about this in the context of extension in country. We are talking about Retirement Visas filed through for example the Thai Embassy in Washington DC, the Thai Consulate in New York, the Thai Consulate in Chicago or the Thai Consulate in Los Angeles for Americans living there. Again, third party countries may have some issues that are not going to be covered; this is more a general video for Americans. Yes it may be possible to use documentation pertaining to a 401(K) but you need to be careful with that because what may work at an Embassy abroad, may not work at Thai Immigration here. So for this reason, yeah you may be able to provide some evidence of one's 401(K) and that may be sufficient to get an initial Retirement Visa but if you get to Thailand and you don't want to leave to maintain status, you don't want to do a Visa run back to the United States, you are going to need to go through the extension process and that can be a different kettle of fish. They may want to see different documentation. In fact, in most cases they generally have a hard and fast way of using Financial evidence to extend status as opposed to Ministry Foreign Affairs which is a little more, I hesitate to call it loose, but they are a little more flexible because there is all sorts of different documentation, bank account statements etc., 401 (K) documentation, mutual fund things that you can show as evidence to support a Retirement Visa application that really aren't feasible here in Thailand. 

So the thing to take away from this video is yes 401(K) documentation may be useful in seeking a Thai Retirement Visa abroad. It may not be overly useful once you are here in the Kingdom. For those who are confused by this, it might not be a terrible idea to go ahead and contact a legal professional in order to try to gain some insight and guidance into how best to proceed.