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Old Aug 12th 2017, 12:29 am   #16
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Any regrets to those that have taken the plunge on gone for the Malaysian retirement visa?
The OP's first question actually says it all...whether one plans to live in Malaysia or, as Fenella says, use it as a base.....the great feature is the MM2H visa itself.
Especially now that it can be applied for as a DIY and thus eliminate agent fees.
All it demands is a Fixed Deposit (FD) in MYR which earns interest, and IMO, can be useful to diversify one's savings portfolio.
I used the MM2H for a number of years as a back-up plan to living in Indonesia but recently, for personal reasons, gave it up and recovered my FD.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 3:16 am   #17
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

What are the benefits of mm2h if you don't live there, you could just enter on a 3 months tourist visa when needed, and still have Penang as a base?
Bank accounts should be possible to arrange somewhere, can't be the only reason ?
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 4:09 am   #18
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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What are the benefits of mm2h if you don't live there, you could just enter on a 3 months tourist visa when needed, and still have Penang as a base?
Bank accounts should be possible to arrange somewhere, can't be the only reason ?
You'd be surprised how difficult it is to open accounts without an address. We needed somewhere central for a PO Box and as we fly via KL often, it seemed like the best choice. We don't intend on returning to Europe and having MM2H meant we could import our few meager belongings tax free. - They're in long term storage in KL. It's also the peace of mind that if something goes wrong we have somewhere where we can stay without worrying about visas running out. Always good to have a fall back plan!
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 4:14 am   #19
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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What are the benefits of mm2h if you don't live there, you could just enter on a 3 months tourist visa when needed, and still have Penang as a base?
Bank accounts should be possible to arrange somewhere, can't be the only reason ?
The benefits of MM2H? I think tax may have something to do with it
Three month tourist visas are an alternative, technically speaking, but I think Malaysian immigration could become a problem since real tourists do not keep coming back for 3 months at a time.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 4:23 am   #20
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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The benefits of MM2H? I think tax may have something to do with it
Three month tourist visas are an alternative, technically speaking, but I think Malaysian immigration could become a problem since real tourists do not keep coming back for 3 months at a time.
Yes,but I meant if you don't live in Malaysia full time.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 4:24 am   #21
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

I'd say the benefits are not tangible benefits but gives options to those who want to travel around Asia. It provides a base without needing to return to the country of citizenship.
Visas are not always available as countries change immigration laws and apply rules. Just watch any TV series 'Border ???' and see people with visas being banned from entry for all sorts of reasons.
An MM2H is a guarantee, at least for as long as its validity.

i.e. I applied for permanent residency (PR) in Canada, as a retiree, in 1990..that status isn't available today. This prompts me to suggest if there is something desirable and easily availed that doesn't cost much...grab it!

Last edited by Davita; Aug 12th 2017 at 6:10 am.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 6:38 am   #22
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

For myself some of the reasons are in no particular order:
Tax (I have a documented place of residence to show my country's (and other) authorities)
Nice place to live (Penang)
Cost of living
Cost of medical
More secure than home country
Climate
Tax free shopping when in Europe
Better return on investments (including no tax)
And I feel its more pleasant to be bored with routine life in Penang than in the home country.
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Old Aug 12th 2017, 9:09 am   #23
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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And I feel its more pleasant to be bored with routine life in Penang than in the home country.
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Old Aug 13th 2017, 8:31 am   #24
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Any regrets to those that have taken the plunge on gone for the Malaysian retirement visa? I mean do you feel Malaysia is the place for you to live out the rest of your life?
It's just coming up to two years since we arrived in Penang and I can confidently say neither my wife or I have any regrets about the decision. To our dying day is hopefully a long time so of course things might change but for now I cannot conceive of living anywhere else.


Or perhaps just for a period of time then move back to original homeland or even another country in the western world? Spain or Cyprus or Malta or Portugal or The Sussex Coast or Tasmania even for example?
Malaysia was not our first choice but after some investigation it came out on top. It is hard to find anywhere else which can match Penang for ethnic harmony, relaxed pace of life, climate (humidity aside), low cost of living, access to the rich cultural history throughout S.E.
Asia, welcoming inhabitants.


Are you enjoying life in Malaysia? That means Penang for most folk, I expect.
Most definitely, the low cost of living here combined with no taxation on income (for Brits with a UK pension) allows you to live in a style that would be unobtainable back in the UK. The key is to get out and make friends. IVV makes the point that there is a large pool of expats here but I would suggest you look beyond that pool and get to know the locals.
I would estimate that at least 50% of our friends are local and only a handful of the expats we know are British.


Does after the initial sense of excitement and expectation the reality wear a little thin and other considerations come into focus?
It hasn't worn thin yet. There is still a lot of S.E.
Asia left to explore and we regularly go on road trips around Malaysia with local friends


Would a neighbouring country like Thailand or Indonesia entice interest in moving to? Does Penang not feel a little too closterphobic after time?
We looked at Malta before Penang and that would most certainly be claustrophobic, but Penang has two bridges to the mainland that can easily be accessed in a short time. Two hours drive will get you to Ipoh or Thailand, four hours will get you to the Cameron Highlands or KL and 6 hours to the East coast with access to some beautiful islands in crystal clear water. Thailand was our first choice but living (or trying to live) in Thailand is very different to visiting as a tourist.
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Old Aug 13th 2017, 11:26 am   #25
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

Above post by Neon Hippy is pretty much the conclusion I arrived at regarding certain points. Malta being one example. Good to read other conclusions from a person living there. Not sure how long ago you 'discovered' Penang, myself it was back in the seventies and changes were of some concern. I will certainly be returning for an up to date review of the island.


Likewise Thailand doesn't hold a lot of interest for me. I believe visa legalities are more difficult there. Do folk still do the visa runs to Penang and Cambo and Laos?


Anyway thanks NH for writing on the spot findings to questions posed. Do hope you continue to enjoy life in Palau Penang. The signs are positive.
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 4:55 am   #26
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

Funnily enough, there is a Malaysia My Second Home Forum being held here in Perth tomorrow. It's being conducted by the founder of MM2H Club in Hong Kong, but not actually in the city, so not sure if able to attend as it starts at 5 pm.


I don't suppose anyone reading this will be based in Perth or indeed going tomorrow?
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Old Aug 15th 2017, 7:01 am   #27
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

I have reserved a place for tomorrow in the hope I can make it. I note the take up of the MMM2nd Home is not especially big among Australians.
Figures suggest only some 700 have taken up this visa.


There appears to be a degree of difficulty for those Australians relying purely or mostly on a government pension to live abroad. It would appear to be getting even tougher.


I would have thought the biggest interest, at least in the Australian context, would have come from former RAAF personal, whom were based in Penang for a number of years. I'd have thought a military pension would enable a very satisfactory 'lifestyle' in a place like Penang.
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Old Aug 16th 2017, 12:25 am   #28
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

There's certainly a fair few Aussies in Penang but whether they all have MM2H I really don't know.

I do recall one of my Aussie friends saying something about a problem with Australian authorities if you stay a certain amount of time OUTSIDE Australia. It's a tax thing maybe.
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Old Aug 16th 2017, 6:08 am   #29
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

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There's certainly a fair few Aussies in Penang but whether they all have MM2H I really don't know.

I do recall one of my Aussie friends saying something about a problem with Australian authorities if you stay a certain amount of time OUTSIDE Australia. It's a tax thing maybe.
Yes and the problem for many being they keep moving the bar. One had to be in Australia two years prior to claiming a government pension in order to make it transportable, now there is something about more than six weeks outside the country. Hard to clarify detail but if that being the case, I can certainly think of two or three individuals who will be severely brassed off. (Aussie pension being based on need than entitlement) None interested in Malaysia, but Cambodia and Thailand being intended countries to return to.
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Old Aug 16th 2017, 7:25 pm   #30
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Default Re: Are You Happy With Decision To MMM2nd Home?

There are many Australian retirees living near me in Bali. We use the same sports bar...
I asked about their pension status and they have not said, once qualified, that they cannot receive their pension. I understand there is an issue about 'time qualifying' when out of Australia.
They also tell me if they have any medical issues they simply return to re-gain their health benefits.
I cannot think it would be any different if living in Malaysia...but would like to hear about OZ pension and medical benefits re: UK and Canada,
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