It's hard to believe how uneducated people are on here about money, when they say "You'll make three times what a Thai does," or "You have to live like a Thai!" Total rubbish. The salary one makes as a teacher, first of all, is three times more than the minimum wage in Thailand. Yes, this is true. But when you factor in all the circumstantial costs, opportunity costs and expat costs, a Westerner making 30,000 baht a month will, in the long run, have a lower standard of living of Thai who makes currently 10,000 baht a month.
People are bloody clueless. Consider the following factors:
Expats pay for work permit costs and criminal record check costs, etc.
Expats pay for visa run costs
Expats pay more for Passport Services
Thais get access to free healthcare
Thais get access to bank loans and credit and local brokerages for investments
Western teachers are often paying off loans from expensive universities that cost up to 20 times what a Thai university costs
Westerners pay more for national parks, taxis, and pretty much any other good or service
Westerners were born in colder environments. Science proves that your sweat glands and optimal temperature are developed and adapted when you are around 2-5 years old. Therefore, air conditioner costs are higher for Westerners
Western Food that Westerners grew up with (although not a necessity to live, it is something they are adapted to eat) is two to three times more expensive than Thai food.
Thais have their family networks to draw on at all times and can share resources
Thais do not have to spend money to fly home for funerals, weddings, reunions, etc.
Thais are generally smaller in stature, so they do not have to eat as much
Thais are not constantly having to bargain with touts and vendors who treat them as tourists
Thais have more right to the laws and are less likely to have to pay bribes, get ripped off in a legal dispute or not get paid
It is much cheaper for a Thai to retire in Thailand than it is for a Westerner who needs x amount of money in the bank for a retirement visa
The amount of money a Westerner needs to retire in his/her own country is four times what a Thai would need in Thailand
Thais are legally allowed to work a second job
Thais are legally allowed to own property and a business
A Westerner is expected to pay the lion's share for his/her Thai Spouse's lifestyle and family
A Thai does not have to pay fines to immigration for not checking in every three months
Westerners have to pay more for moving and shipping costs (presents, bank cards, documents, etc) than the average Thai
Thai entertainment, such as television, books and movies are also much cheaper and more available in Thailand
Thais can invest in their own furniture and not have to pay the "service" for serviced apartments, while only long term Westerners with a Thai spouse could and would be able to do this
Expats have to pay remittance costs and exchange rates to move their money to and from their home countries
Expats have to pay for Skype/Google Hangouts to be able to call family and friends back home
If they want to integrate, Expats have to pay (one way or another) for Thai language lessons
If they want to get married, go to a dentist, write a will, etc., a Westerner will have to pay a translation fee or premium for an English speaking service (unless they can read Thai very well and I have never seen this)
Although paltry, Thais are entitled to social services and programs that Westerners are not
Thais (in slightly higher tax brackets) can write off expenses and purchases - like the genius first time car ownership tax deductible that Yingluck introduced
Thais don't have to do their taxes twice, or have the possibility of paying an accountant, tax documentation twice, and they don't have to worry about the residency/non-residency bullshit.
Thais don't have to worry about the work or fees of keeping bank accounts in two countries.
Am I missing anything? Perhaps the above was somewhat rambling or petty, but I still believe that people need to "Wake The F.... up" and stop falling for this argument. I would never consider living in Thailand again for anything less than 90,000 a month.