Retiring abroad is no longer a new idea in today’s borderless world. More and more people are looking around the world for a place that offers a better quality of life, lower cost of living, and more incredible adventures.
When it comes to retirement, Malaysia is expats’ top choice among all Asian countries and claimed the 7th place in the world’s best places to retire according to the Global Retirement Index 2020. Whatever you are looking for in a dream retirement destination, Malaysia might just be the one for you with a long list of advantages!
1. Cost of Living
The cost of living in Malaysia is a fraction of what it is in the U.S and Europe. It is possible for a couple to live comfortably on US$1,500 a month, or extravagantly on US$2,500 a month including rent in an urban city. You can expect to get a meal here from as low as US$1.50!
2. Cultural Diversity
Malaysia’s fascinating colonial history dates back to the 15th century, starting with Portuguese in 1511, followed by the Dutch and British before its independence in 1957 — which explains why most Malaysians speak fluent English. The eclectic mix of peoples and cultures from Malay, Chinese, Indian and other minorities add a lot of diversities to the country and as an added bonus, Malaysia’s street food is hands down the best in Southeast Asia.
3. Climate & Nature
The climate In Malaysia is tropical hot and humid with two wet and dry seasons per year. Besides year-long warm weather, the country is blessed with an abundance of natural attractions such as beaches, islands and mountains. Its islands are regularly ranked in the top 10 best lists in the world, and if you enjoy exploring nature, Malaysia’s rainforests and parks are some of the best in the region.
4. Entertainment & Amenities
The cities in Malaysia offer a combination of nature, culture, gastronomy, and infrastructure to ensure that they have something to offer for everyone – from excellent brunch spots, galleries, sports to theme park and casino. On the weekend, malls and parks tend to get busy as families carry out errands or spend quality time together.
5. Ease of Transportation
Malaysia is equipped with an excellent network of expressways that are well-maintained and easy to drive on. The public transport system in urban cities is cheap, safe and highly reliable, offering a network of services including the MRT, LRT, bus, monorail and KTM train that covers interstate connectivity.
Malaysia’s healthcare system is known to be among the world’s best and most affordable. Because of the excellence in medical facilities and expertise, Malaysia has become a destination for medical tourism, attracting foreigners looking for safe, reliable treatment for a variety of ailments.
7. Safe & Stable
Malaysians are proud of their inter-racial harmony, religious tolerance, as well as good relationships with neighbouring countries. Violent crime rates are relatively low while terrorist attacks are almost unheard of. On top of that, the country is safe from natural disasters such as earthquakes or typhoons.
8. Retirement Visa Option
The MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home) visa program is an added benefit of retiring in Malaysia. If you are over 50 years old, you need to prove that you have RM350,000 in a local bank, have passive income or a pension of RM10,000 a month, and pass a medical exam. Once your application is approved, you will be entitled to a 10-year visa for living in Malaysia that enables you to travel in and out of the country as often as you like without any immigration problems.
Malaysia’s higher education system was ranked 25th in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings in 2018, reflecting the strength of its universities. On top of highly recognisable home-grown universities, the growing presence of overseas universities is broadening the country’s higher education offering.
Besides the buzzing local tourism scene, Malaysia is in central Southeast Asia, where its neighbours such as Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia are great places for weekend getaways. Malaysia’s international airports offer direct flights to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Borneo, China, Taiwan, India, France, London, and The Philippines, making it the perfect base to travel around the world.
11. Real Estate
Malaysia has some of the most liberal regulations in the region when it comes to foreigners buying and renting residential property. As of January 2017, it’s one of only two places in Asia where foreigners can buy property freehold (the other being Hong Kong). However, the recent political troubles in Hong Kong, not to mention Hong Kong’s exorbitant property prices, make Malaysia a much more attractive option.
Contributed by: Isabelle Thye
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