The #1 concern for most seniors is wondering if they can make ends meets when they retire. But looking across the causeway to the north, Malaysia is a different picture. A quick survey indicates that an expat couple retiring in Malaysia can live comfortably for about S$2000-2500/month and somewhat luxuriously for about S$3000-3500/month, inclusive of rent.
For all that Malaysia offers at that price, it is not surprising to see the country take the #5 slot worldwide in the “2018 Annual Global Retirement Index” and the #1 slot in Asia. From an expat perspective, what makes Malaysia so attractive other than the lower cost of living?
- Quality healthcare tops the list of important things any expat would look for in their retirement destination. While it is not consistent throughout Malaysia, healthcare in major cities like Kuala Lumpur and Penang is world class. Most of the private hospitals are well equipped with state-of-the-art medical devices and the doctors and nurses are well trained. In fact, Malaysia is also rapidly emerging as a favoured destination for medical tourism.
- While Malay is the official language, and Chinese is spoken in most urban areas – English is widely used everywhere. That’s important because as a senior citizen, you are probably not looking to learn a new language.
- If you include East Malaysia, this country has lots of natural beauty. You are never far away from beautiful sandy beaches or cool mountains getaways. Around the mainland, there are sprinkles of many islands that are truly gorgeous.
- Other than petty thefts, Malaysia is a relatively safe country. Crime rate is low by most developing country standards, but that does not mean no crime. If you live in a condo or gated community, it should be very safe for the most part. You will of course need to be vigilant and avoid dark alleys and isolated areas at night.
- The MM2H or officially known in the expat community as “Malaysia My Second Home” is the government’s way of extending an open invitation for seniors to retire in Malaysia. The MM2H scheme offers up to a 10-years residential visa with relatively easy conditions and minimal restrictions. The MM2H is easy to apply and well received by the expat community — and will continue to see high rates of applications each year. (For more up-to-date information, goto http://www.mm2h.gov.my)