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New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Old Feb 10th 2013, 12:20 am
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Default New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Hello

My wife and I are going to consider Malaysia as a possible retirement location. We have had numerous friends visit the country and have all said how much they have loved the place.

Now, neither of us have visited yet but intend coming for at least 3 weeks later this year to get a feel for the place. I'm at least 10 to 12 years away from retirement depending on investments (the sooner the better as far as I am concerned). My wife is quite a bit younger than me so she may consider, working if allowed to do so in Malaysia. She is a fully qualified fitness coach (Pilates, TRX and nutrition expert). I am also qualified so would not mind helping out or starting our own small studio.

Presently, we both live in the Bay area of California, I'm an ex pat from Belfast, Northern Ireland and my wife is from the Philippines. I have gotten fed up with the high cost of living and high taxes here in California and had intended moving out of this state when I retired, now I foresee the whole country going downhill and not recovering for a while so I want to look further away.

We are unsure about other places apart from Kuala Lumpar. I'm not that keen about living right inside a big city, so perhaps 20 - 30 minutes outside would be perfect with good access to public transport. Can anyone recommend any other nice cities in the area that we should look at? also, somewhere with close access to gyms/fitness centers would be great. We are both keen road bikers, hikers and climbers (indoor climbing gym is fine)

Secondly, renting or buying? Are there pro's and con's to watch out for in Malaysia? My wife likes the idea of a house whereas I have no real preference to either a nice condo/townhome or house. Are there any good/reliable property websites/contacts that people have?

Thank you in advance for any help that can be given

Martin and Donesa
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Old Feb 10th 2013, 1:02 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by freeheeler1690
Hello

My wife and I are going to consider Malaysia as a possible retirement location. We have had numerous friends visit the country and have all said how much they have loved the place.

Now, neither of us have visited yet but intend coming for at least 3 weeks later this year to get a feel for the place. I'm at least 10 to 12 years away from retirement depending on investments (the sooner the better as far as I am concerned). My wife is quite a bit younger than me so she may consider, working if allowed to do so in Malaysia. She is a fully qualified fitness coach (Pilates, TRX and nutrition expert). I am also qualified so would not mind helping out or starting our own small studio.

Presently, we both live in the Bay area of California, I'm an ex pat from Belfast, Northern Ireland and my wife is from the Philippines. I have gotten fed up with the high cost of living and high taxes here in California and had intended moving out of this state when I retired, now I foresee the whole country going downhill and not recovering for a while so I want to look further away.

We are unsure about other places apart from Kuala Lumpar. I'm not that keen about living right inside a big city, so perhaps 20 - 30 minutes outside would be perfect with good access to public transport. Can anyone recommend any other nice cities in the area that we should look at? also, somewhere with close access to gyms/fitness centers would be great. We are both keen road bikers, hikers and climbers (indoor climbing gym is fine)

Secondly, renting or buying? Are there pro's and con's to watch out for in Malaysia? My wife likes the idea of a house whereas I have no real preference to either a nice condo/townhome or house. Are there any good/reliable property websites/contacts that people have?

Thank you in advance for any help that can be given

Martin and Donesa
Certainly advise not do anything until you have visited

Many prefer to rent to allow them to 'feel' their way into the community be it expat or local. Once they feel comfortable with the country and do not feel over whelmed with 'culture shock' they may then decide to buy.
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Old Feb 10th 2013, 1:34 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by mikemike
Certainly advise not do anything until you have visited

Many prefer to rent to allow them to 'feel' their way into the community be it expat or local. Once they feel comfortable with the country and do not feel over whelmed with 'culture shock' they may then decide to buy.
Thanks. That's the reason for the visit to see what we think, iif we like it then we will come back for a longer visit.

Are there any other towns/cities close to KL that you would recommend where the property might be slightly cheaper.
Thanks again

M & D
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Old Feb 10th 2013, 2:37 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by freeheeler1690
Thanks. That's the reason for the visit to see what we think, iif we like it then we will come back for a longer visit.

Are there any other towns/cities close to KL that you would recommend where the property might be slightly cheaper.
Thanks again

M & D
Hi there

There are a number of websites that can help you with your research:

http://www.iproperty.com.my covers property for rent and for sale
http://www.mm2h.gov.my describes the visa system for retirees that want to come to Malaysia

Given you have quite a long time line - things may change by the time you get here!

Property with land can be pretty expensive in KL. Bangsar is a well known expat suburb of KL.

Further away (about a three hour drive?) Penang is also a popular location to look at. I am sure that Baked Bean will be along shortly to give advice on that and other locations.

Have fun looking - and yes, a visit or two is essential!

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Old Feb 10th 2013, 3:01 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Hi Martin and Donesa!

Welcome to the forum

If you are thinking of doing the MM2H (retirement) visa, check out this thread below.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=757238
There are, however, restrictions regarding working. If you are intent on working, then you may wish to consider a different kind of visa I guess.

Note that the MM2H visa does NOT require you to live in Malaysia full-time, or even any time. So..... some folks like to get the visa in advance of their retirement, when maybe they can meet the requirements financially. Just something for you to consider.

I think you would find plenty of gyms/fitness centres around KL. There are certainly plenty around Penang (where I am living). If you choose to rent or buy a condo, these generally have their own gyms and swimming pools and other facilities. One of the big advantages of condo living.

As mikemike said, best to visit and see if you like the place first. Not everyone loves Malaysia, though I do.

Will have to leave to others to advise on places to visit in the suburbs of KL, as I don't know it so well. I am not a big KL fan, though a lot of people like it.

You should certainly at least visit Penang. There are loads of flights from KL to Penang, only takes about 30 minutes and quite cheap fares. Penang is culturally/racially very Chinese, good infrastructure in terms of shops, hospitals, medical facilities etc. It is however quite expensive property-wise.

You might want to take a look at Melaka (Malacca). I don't know it very well myself, but some friends of mine have moved there last year. They were first considering Penang, but found that there money stretched further property-wise there. It's also not so far from KLIA airport, for international flights worldwide. There's a few folks on this forum who have moved to Melaka, or considering Melaka, so you may get some more info from them.

All the best with your planning. Exciting uh? Any more questions, just fire away.

Just to let you know, the PM facility on here works after you've done 3 postings.... in case you want to send any messages privately.
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Old Feb 11th 2013, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by bakedbean
Hi Martin and Donesa!

Welcome to the forum

If you are thinking of doing the MM2H (retirement) visa, check out this thread below.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=757238
There are, however, restrictions regarding working. If you are intent on working, then you may wish to consider a different kind of visa I guess.
Thanks for the great reply. Looking forward to our first visit later this year. Will have a good look at a map around KL and try and visit as many cities as possible and then plan a longer trip.

We will check into different visas that are available. Whether we will start our own business or just let my wife maybe work for studio we will see.

Thanks again

Martin and Donesa
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Old Feb 12th 2013, 8:48 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Hi Martin and Donesa

Just a quick mention for Johor! We moved over from Singapore 8 months ago. Johor is certainly an up and coming region. Lots of development going on here so definitely worth taking a look - plus you have Singapore right on your doorstep if you want some big city life.

I think you'll have quite a few places to visit while you're here but it's very hard to get a feel for actually living in a place until you're doing it!

Any more questions just ask and good luck with your search.
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Old Feb 12th 2013, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Hello all, I thought I'd posted earlier but must have clicked the wrong button!

There is a thread about living in Malaysia and working in Singapore, but it's closed. Very briefly, if I live in Malaysia on an MM2H visa, but get paid from Singapore, who do I pay tax to?

Thanks for your help....!
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 2:22 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Hi Geedee. You did post the same question earlier in the Retiring in Malaysia thread I've answered (as best I can) in that thread here:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...7#post10541367
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Old Feb 13th 2013, 2:36 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by bakedbean
Hi Geedee. You did post the same question earlier in the Retiring in Malaysia thread I've answered (as best I can) in that thread here:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...7#post10541367
Cheers BB... I just replied to you, but buggered if I can see it! Is it in the Malaysia bit??

OH... it's in the sticky bit at the top!
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Old Feb 19th 2013, 3:34 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Thats great!! http://www.google.com

Last edited by Jonovic; Feb 19th 2013 at 3:35 am. Reason: spelling
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Old Feb 19th 2013, 3:55 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by Jonovic
Thats great!! http://www.google.com
What do you mean?
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Old Feb 19th 2013, 4:45 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by bakedbean

You might want to take a look at Melaka (Malacca). I don't know it very well myself, but some friends of mine have moved there last year.
I have to warn you, there are not many fitness centers/gyms in Melaka. Though I am not a gym rat, but I suspect most of them are not really well equipped.
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Old Feb 19th 2013, 9:16 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

Originally Posted by larsson78
I have to warn you, there are not many fitness centers/gyms in Melaka. Though I am not a gym rat, but I suspect most of them are not really well equipped.
The one at the top of Jonkers Street is very well equipped.
Problem is for me when I use it they don't turn the electricity on so no air con so over sweat.

In fact that one in, just checking, Jln Kibu is better equipped than the gym I use here in Singapore.
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Old Feb 20th 2013, 2:17 am
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Default Re: New to the forum and thinking about Malaysia

I'd definitely consider Penang. I considered KL but opted against it, <Snip>

Insofar as your activities are concerned though: some good gyms in Penang and more coming, very active cycling community here with lots of clubs and regular rides (and enough places that are safe to ride too), lot's of running clubs and Hash clubs here with regular meets, every day if you want, and again, plenty of places for them to meet and plan new routes.

I'm into outdoor sports and activities like that also and that was one of the many draws to Penang.

Last edited by Sue; Feb 20th 2013 at 2:01 pm. Reason: edited to adhere to site rules
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