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UK or MY for retirement?

UK or MY for retirement?

Old Nov 29th 2020, 6:21 am
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Default UK or MY for retirement?

I am a Malaysian Chinese, with UK PR. Being a diabetic, I do have to consider long term health care (NHS😀) as part of my retirement consideration. I am secured financially to retire in UK but missed the Malaysian food and my extended family in Malaysia and Singapore. We have one daughter, who is a Canadian so UK is closer for visit. Wife is Singaporean, has PR in both UK and SG. I can’t retire in SG as there is no retirement avenue such as MM2M. Being Western educated, we find it hard to tolerate the racial politics in MY. Racism exists in UK but more social than legislated. (Btw, can anyone give an estimate of annual private medical insurance for 65 years old as a couple)? As we anticipate retirement, we are still undecided as there are advantages as well as disadvantages, ultimately we need to decide for ourselves but would love to have some Brits’ perspectives who have done the reverse domicile from us. What other factors to be considered? Thanks for being a conversation partner! (Btw, my wife and I are academics, lecturers in intercultural and inter-religious relations, so happy to help with any cultural questions 😀).

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Old Nov 29th 2020, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

If your wife is Singaporean isn't she a citizen or now somehow a PR.
If she is still a citizen then you can move to Singapore and get your own PR.
You know of course about accom costs here and cost of a car.

Visiting your daughter shouldn't come into your decision as it's only a few times a year max.

I know you know My is a big place with totally different cultures and religions between states. But for us settling in Singapore after working here for so long was a no brainer.
We still have a house in UK and spend 6 months there and 6 months here and it suits us down to the ground.
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Old Nov 29th 2020, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Thanks, my wife is Singaporean but I don’t have a resident status to stay permanently or long term in SG. Not easy to obtain PR in Singapore even though I am a spouse. Keeping 2 residences are possible as we have properties in UK and SG as well but eventually one might not be able to travel and need to decide. I think we will lose our UK PR once we move overseas or need to return to UK regularly (used to be once every 2 years but some are speculating requirements will be tightened).

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Old Nov 29th 2020, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Originally Posted by Kairos2025 View Post
I think we will lose our UK PR once we move overseas or need to return to UK regularly (used to be once every 2 years but some are speculating requirements will be tightened).
If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, are you going to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation? That'd be one worry off your mind

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Old Nov 29th 2020, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Yes, under consideration except we will lose our Singapore and Malaysian citizenship as, unlike UK, both Asian countries will not allow dual citizenships😩 so we are trying to keep the ILR until we made up our fickle minds😂
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Old Nov 29th 2020, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Originally Posted by Kairos2025 View Post
Yes, under consideration except we will lose our Singapore and Malaysian citizenship as, unlike UK, both Asian countries will not allow dual citizenships😩 so we are trying to keep the ILR until we made up our fickle minds😂
Ah, I see. That makes it difficult! Wishing you the best of luck whatever you decide
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Old Nov 29th 2020, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Ex reg, in terms of eventual domicile, assuming that eventually aging will force one to choose SG or UK, which place might you likely to choose and why? Your comment that MY has variations of contexts and cultures was so helpful for me to explore local possibilities rather than just a UK/MY national dichotomy!
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 1:09 am
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Originally Posted by Kairos2025 View Post
Ex reg, in terms of eventual domicile, assuming that eventually aging will force one to choose SG or UK, which place might you likely to choose and why? Your comment that MY has variations of contexts and cultures was so helpful for me to explore local possibilities rather than just a UK/MY national dichotomy!
For us even though we love UK and visiting Europe, Singapore is so much easier to live in.
Yes medical is free in UK and we don't have Medical insurance here in Singapore but we find that not to be a hindrance or excessive cost. (if you want more info then PM me and I'll expand a bit)

We live in a great location close to wet market, supermarkets, MRT, bus station, and a shopping mall, all within less that 5 mins.
My gym is less than a 5 min walk and costs less than S$80 per year. There are 3 other gyms very close by as well.

The internet is so much faster here than UK although it doesn't make that much difference to us and certainly won't sway our decision which will be to finally live in Singapore. Yes we might miss UK relations and friends but with Zoom etc we can live with that.
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 10:07 am
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

You could make an extended trip to Malaysia whilst retaining your UK property and PR's and see how you like it before making a decision.

You say that eventually you may not be able to maintain properties in both locations and travel between them, and will need to decide between locations. Perhaps, but you don't have to decide now, so splitting your time between the UK and Malaysia is an option.

Medical insurance - getting coverage for pre-existing conditions (diabetes) may be challenging. Some companies have age limits for initial application, e.g. 60. Annual premium increases will exceed inflation as you age. For Malaysian medical insurance, here's a link someone posted in a different thread: http://www.imoney.my/medical-insurance
International medical insurance that would cover you in Malaysia can be obtained from the likes of BUPA, Axa, Cigna, etc. Policy limits and premiums are both higher.


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Old Nov 30th 2020, 12:02 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

What are the health spouses benefits as a iSingaporean in Singapore. The might reduce the need for her health insurance if she can travel to the city and you live in Iskandar/Johor. That could be a consideration.
My understanding is that Health Insurance is hard to obtain at a reasonable price in Malaysia for those over 65. There is an exemption (or was...rules are being revised) for MM2H that could show that Insurance cost was prohibitive and they could draw on the Fixed Deposit to pay over the counter.
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Thanks, Singaporean has a medical insurance (Medisave) which all citizens contributed towards. Yeah, I think for old people especially with diabetes, health insurance in Malaysia is limited
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Thanks, yeah we dont need to decide now, although researching now and getting different perspectives will help us. For example, we are contributing towards UK State Pensions etc, which I think will no longer rise with inflation once we move overseas.
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Old Dec 1st 2020, 12:54 am
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

A Brit perspective living in Sabah with my Chinese Malaysian wife of 42 years, good is food, shopping, gardening, bad, and it is a big one, no Autumn and Winter. I had planned to go to Japan every winter for a month or two to cool off (I lived and worked there for nigh on 13 years) but covid has knocked that on the head. I self insure for health - RM700/month on prescription drugs from my cardiologist.
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Old Dec 1st 2020, 1:03 am
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

MY understanding is that many expats do draw on the UK pensions while retired abroad. But I also recall some massive issue with that for those living in Spain, France and Portugal with Brexit. Maybe these relationships are, like taxes, negotiated by agreement and were thus going to disappear until renegotiated? NHS benefits were also transferable under the previous EU agreement, suddenly thy are no more as well. You will not get Malaysian health benefits (other than reduced "health tourism" prices) while in Malaysia. Many on MM2H get a health insurance plan with low premiums and the minimum amount of coverage required, then pay the rest Over-The-Counter. One can (or could, though I doubt that'll change) draw out of the Fixed Deposit to cover Medical (and Insurance?) costs - at least down to a certain level (and starting the second year).
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Old Dec 1st 2020, 2:20 am
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Default Re: UK or MY for retirement?

Originally Posted by Hovite View Post
A Brit perspective living in Sabah with my Chinese Malaysian wife of 42 years, good is food, shopping, gardening, bad, and it is a big one, no Autumn and Winter. I had planned to go to Japan every winter for a month or two to cool off ... I self insure for health - RM700/month on prescription drugs from my cardiologist.
Wow that's a bundle for the drugs. No way to change the sourcing a little to find comparable generics? Might chat with some pharmacists to see if an even more expensive drug has gone off patent in the last few years. Might then talk with your cardiologist about changes in the regimen.

I always thought that Mount Kinabalu had a sort of Autumnal aspect almost year round- it can get absolutely freezing up at that altitude in the evenings. The water will freeze over in the hoses and pails. So while you might not have seasons you can find changing climate by going uphill.

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