MALAYSIA VOTED WORLD TOP 3 RETIREMENT HAVEN
Making retirement plans soon and thinking of living overseas? Well, consider Malaysia as an exotic but highly affordable option. Malaysia has been recognised by InternationalLiving.com’s newly-released Annual Global Retirement Index 2013 as among the top ten places to retire to in the world.
Coming in at number three after Ecuador and Panama, Malaysia is the only Asian nation that made it into the top 10 list besides Thailand (at number nine). Minister of Tourism Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen said, “I am very proud that the world is recognizing our country as an ideal place for retirement. “However, there is still room for improvement to make Malaysia an even more comfortable place for retirees.” One of the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to promote Malaysia as a long-stay destination especially for retirees is its Malaysia My Second Home programme which has over 20,000 participants since 2002 to October 2012.
International Living is an online and print magazine that focuses on living in foreign destinations. In its yearly compilation of the world’s top retirement havens, it highlights several retirement destinations in the world, considering them across eight crucial categories: real estate, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate. It also gets feedback from expats living there for real-life details. Malaysia scored full marks for entertainment and amenities, and secured high points for cost of living, ease of integration and healthcare facilities.
An American couple interviewed said that their living costs in Malaysia were now a third to a quarter of what they were in the United States. For USD1,700 a month, another couple managed to rent a sea-view apartment with shared pool and gym, eat out five nights a week, and keep a small sailboat.
Malaysia was also noted for being an easy place to make friends and integrate as English is the unofficial first language. Many expatriates live in Kuala Lumpur and Penang and there are numerous organisations that provide assistance in getting settled and integrated.
Other attractive points about Malaysia, which was ranked 9th most-visited by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for three years in a row since 2009, were its year-round tropical weather and pristine beaches, islands and jungles. The report also stated that Malaysia offers some of the region’s most affordable and best street food, great restaurants, bars, shopping malls and movie theaters.
Mention was also made of Penang and Kuala Lumpur’s medical facilities – “Not only is the health care amazing but it’s among the world’s cheapest. And prescriptions here cost a fifth of what you pay at home.” The report also noted the ease of buying property in Malaysia — “something you can’t do elsewhere in Asia.”
Source: Ministry of Tourism Malaysia