Malaysia as the perfect destination for expat retirees

Malaysia as the perfect destination for expat retirees

Malaysia as the perfect destination for expat retirees

Emigrating from a country where it’s impossible to save money and heading to one where it’s possible to live off a pension or investment income and still save is a sensible move.

If you’re still struggling to save enough from your regular salary, the thought of moving overseas to a place where a pension or investment income takes care of your needs without risking your capital is attractive, to say the least. Admittedly, it may feel strange to give up a seemingly well-paid job, sell the house and take off into the blue, with the process taking some adjustment, but the benefits are well worth it, especially if you’re taking early retirement.

As mainland Southeast Asia becomes increasingly unstable due to Chinese activity or a distressing growth of prejudice against foreigners, the island archipelago of Malaysia is fast becoming an expat favourite. It’s not just the laid-back lifestyle, although that’s reward enough for many incomers, it’s the reasonable cost of just about all needs which attracts an increasing number of older expats year on year. Admittedly, the cost of a new car is expensive, but maintenance is far cheaper than in the home country, as is fuel.

Believe it or not, private health insurance bought locally is around $287 per person per annum – amazingly cheap and easily bought. Healthcare in major cities is good quality, and the majority of doctors and specialists trained in the UK, the USA or Australia. Accommodation is also inexpensive as well as easily available, with beachside three-bedroomed condos in expat-heavy areas costing around £350 a month to rent. Most developments include swimming pools and gyms.

Year-round warm weather is another blessing for older expats, with aircon the only expense and usually used only at night. During the day, cool sea breezes and fans are all that’s needed. The historic city of Penang is an expat favourite, with its rich, vibrant culture and respect for older people. Making new friends is easy due to well-organised community groups and a good selection of activity clubs.

Another advantage is that bank deposit accounts pay around 4.2 per cent per annum, so building up a travel or holiday fund is possible. All told, provided would-be expats can comply with Malaysia’s visa requirements, these islands are the best expat destination in the entirety of Southeast Asia.

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