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Five Reasons to Consider Malaysia As a Retiree Destination Print E-mail
Friday, 05 November 2010 14:56

Malaysia, located on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in the South East Asia area is probably not very well known by most Americans.  It’s immediate neighbor to the north, Thailand, is more apt to be recognized.  Even its southern neighbor, the Republic of Singapore (noted primarily for its offshore financial enterprises) is more apt to be recognized by the average person.  So, why would Malaysia rate so highly as an expatriate living destination?  And why does it show up frequently on lists of the top expatriate living destinations?

First, Malaysia has a second home program which was especially designed & implemented in 2002 to attract immigrants.  Known as “Malaysia My Second Home Program” (MM2H), it permits foreign nationals to live in Malaysia on a renewable multi-year visa which allows for a path to permanent residency.   It is not quite as beneficial to retirees as is the pensionado visa of Panama,  but does offer significant benefits.  For example: foreign income is tax free; ownership of Malaysian real estate is permitted; a person can sponsor not only children under 21 years of age, but parents over 60 years of age; can do business in Malaysia and work part-time 20 days a month; and bring in or import domestic help.  As in all countries which permit residency by foreign nationals, there are certain financial and medical requirements which have to be met before the MM2H visa is approved.  The requirements are readily available and will not be discussed in this section.

Second, As a former British colony, English is widely spoken. This is not only beneficial to U.S. retirees, but to others from around the world who have learned English as a second language.

Third,  the countries infrastructure is first class.  Roads, rail networks, and communication systems are definitely first world.   If you like city living, you will find that Kuala Lumpur and Penang are comparable to other major cities in terms of their modernity and essential infrastructure.

Fourth, educational and health care services are of high quality and readily available. Education is prized and this is reflected in the numerous private, public, foreign, and international universities throughout the country.

It is reported that there are well over 200 private hospitals and over 100 government backed hospitals in Malaysia, all with modern equipment and well qualified medical personnel.  Like most countries, the availability of the educational and health care facilities are more prevalent in the metropolitan areas.   This is especially true in Kuala Lumpur.

Fifth, the cost of living is comparatively low. City apartments, town homes, suburban homes, and country homes can all be purchased by foreign buyers.  If you qualify for the MM2H visa, you can buy up to two homes.  For most Europeans and Americans, due to the lower real estate costs, you can buy considerably more property than you could buy back home.  The exchange rate is generally kept favorable due to the emphasis by the Malaysian government on its export driven economy.   The cost of living for the foreign expatriate remains low due to the low average wage of the local citizens.

Admittedly, for Europeans and Americans, the Asian cultural tradition of Malaysia may appeal more to the most adventuresome travelers.   But, after all, if you are going to benefit from the offerings of a different culture, you must be willing to spend some time adapting  to the inevitable changes in living styles.  As I have suggested throughout my writings, one should spent some time visiting any country before making a final decision to move there.  Malaysia has a lot to offer the retiree.  After you analyze the country’s  benefits and relate them to your personal retiree requirements, then you can make the decision as to whether Malaysia is right for you.

Source: http://expatriatetraveler.com/blog/2010/11/05/five-reasons-to-consider-malaysia-as-a-retiree-destination/



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