Don Tetley parked his new Toyota truck between a rusty scooter and an old Honda Civic. The fit 62 year-old walked towards me. He smiled as I shook his outstretched hand. I interviewed Don for a story I was writing about retiring in Thailand. He had been living there since 2002.

“I love living here,” Don said, “because I don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. In Thailand, I get to be Jones.”

I published that story ten years ago in a finance magazine. But I never forgot that quote. It made me think. Most people know the cost of living in Thailand is low. The average salary in Thailand is also far lower than it is in the United States. But I wondered if Don was really happy as a result of having more than his neighbours.

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