Why Retire in Malaysia?

Old Feb 5th 2012, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
You don't need medical insurance. You don't need to register with a doctor.

You will find that there are plenty of kliniks everywhere. If you have a not too serious ailment, your first port of call would be to a klinik**. Just walk in, maybe take your passport, that is all. You will get to see a doctor, probably on the spot, and it will be a fraction of what you pay in the UK. Most kliniks also dispense their own medicines.

**Also depending on your ailment, just go along to a farmacy and tell them what your symptoms are. By the way, quite a lot of medications that need a prescription in the UK, can just be bought over the counter at a farmacy.

If you have something a little more serious, or if you want to, just go to one of the many hospitals in Penang. Go to reception desk and tell them what you want and you'll get an appointment.

I gather that the "government hospitals" are quite cheap but I have no experience of them I am afraid.
Thanks for that. I'll follow your advice. By the way, have just arrived in Georgetown today!!!
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Old Feb 6th 2012, 5:52 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Welcome, hope you enjoy it. I sure do :-)
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Old Feb 6th 2012, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Not sure why you would consider this to be so. Malaysia has rather spacific requirements for those considering a MM2H visa.
Further it is not such a cheap option as they have lifted the bar again in recent times.
As with a lot of places they are increasingly looking to attract the better off.
A lot of truth in that. The bar did get raised. However.....I believe that sometimes you can rearrange your finances in a certain way to satisfy the visa rules.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Troub, how about the option of incorporating a Pte Ltd with a local friend and then taking up employment through that company? Isn't that a legit way of getting a visa?
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Old May 16th 2012, 6:27 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

My wife and I are looking for a place to retire within the next 2 years and are considering Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico. We plan to visit Malaysia in September to see KL area, Penang & Ipoh and possibly KK. Our decision factors are:

Reasonable cost
Good medical
Climate
Fun Activities
Safe

We've extensively visited Mexico & Thailand and love Thailand in particular. On paper, Malaysia seems fantastic with better infrastructure and a better retirement scheme than Thailand. Enjoy all of the posts and insight. Looking forward to the adventure.

p.s. Virgin BE post.
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Old May 16th 2012, 7:22 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Malaysia is a modern, emerging industrial nation which plans to achieve full industrial status by 2020. It is not a theme park like Thailand, it uses the western alphabet for its 'easy to learn' language and English is introduced at an early age in schools, so it is widely spoken and used.

The Malaysian government has a scheme to attract 'wealthy' retirees and others under its Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H).

The quality of life is high. Modern, European infrastructure is being introduced throughout the country and the cost of living, compared to USA, Western Europe and Australia is relatively low.

Very importantly is the fact that the Malays are a very friendly bunch of guys who do not resent the fact that foreignness like to live in their cities.
Perhaps this is because it is a multiracial society where for centuries people of different ethnic background have lived together in relative harmony.

The legal system is based on the British system and contracts for the purchase of property are usually drawn up in English.

Malaysia is indeed a country where it is possible to enjoy a highly enjoyable and cost effective lifestyle in retirement.
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Old May 16th 2012, 7:39 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Agree entirely with Erik The Red and your list of proposed cities is also good. However don't discount Kuching as Sarawak has a good option for MM2H a bit different to the rest of the country and their visa is valid all states. They also have reasonable options for house purchase. They are probably the most independent of all states, lowest in Islamic influence however and Kuching is a lovely place.

Having said that I shuttle between KL and Penang
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Old May 16th 2012, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Strider,

Do you shuttle between KL & Penang for business/work or for entertainment/personal reasons? How do you compare the 2? I researched Kuching as well but when I checked the climate, it's showing 4.2M rain per year and that scares me. Otherwise, it seems to have much in its favor.

I really like the size of Penang or even KL but my wife prefers a smaller city which is why I wanted to see Ipoh & KK.
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Old May 16th 2012, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
My wife and I are looking for a place to retire within the next 2 years and are considering Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico. We plan to visit Malaysia in September to see KL area, Penang & Ipoh and possibly KK. Our decision factors are:

Reasonable cost
Good medical
Climate
Fun Activities
Safe

We've extensively visited Mexico & Thailand and love Thailand in particular. On paper, Malaysia seems fantastic with better infrastructure and a better retirement scheme than Thailand. Enjoy all of the posts and insight. Looking forward to the adventure.

p.s. Virgin BE post.

Ah... a Virgin poster. We'll be gentle with you hehe. Anyways.... welcome to the forum.

I've lived in Thailand on the 1 year retirement visa. Now I live in Malaysia on the MM2H visa. I prefer Malaysia, but it's horses for courses. And strangely enough, I had a cyberfriend who was living in Phuket at the same time as me, but she got fed up with it too and moved to Mexico. It's amazing the different routes that expats take in retirement. She loves it in Mexico by the way.

How much time will you have here in September? Will this be your first visit to Malaysia?

I note that you put "fun activities". What kind of activities do you like? Just may be able to steer you in the right direction/location in Malaysia.
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Old May 16th 2012, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
Ah... a Virgin poster. We'll be gentle with you hehe. Anyways.... welcome to the forum.

I've lived in Thailand on the 1 year retirement visa. Now I live in Malaysia on the MM2H visa. I prefer Malaysia, but it's horses for courses. And strangely enough, I had a cyberfriend who was living in Phuket at the same time as me, but she got fed up with it too and moved to Mexico. It's amazing the different routes that expats take in retirement. She loves it in Mexico by the way.

How much time will you have here in September? Will this be your first visit to Malaysia?

I note that you put "fun activities". What kind of activities do you like? Just may be able to steer you in the right direction/location in Malaysia.
Thanks for the welcome Baked Beans,

Since I am married, I have to both limit what I include as "fun activities" and add some that she prefers. So swimming, yoga, drinking wine, socializing, sports, hiking, new experiences, art, movies, restaurants, traveling about.

Yes it will be our first adventure to Malaysia and probably be 10-14 days as we are still working. We like Phuket, Bangkok, & Chiang Mai in Thai.
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Old May 16th 2012, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

You can certainly do plenty of socializing in Penang. I'm sure in KL and surrounds too. Wine is a bit expensive. The cheapest half decent bottle of wine will set you back 35 ringgits in the supermarket.

Most condos have swimming pools so you'll be OK there.

Hiking? Mmmm it's quite hot 28 to 35 degrees, and this time of the year (summer) it is quite humid. But have seen those fit and active go hiking.

There's Pros and Cons. Weather might be in the "Con" bracket for you. I don't know.

Both Penang and KL have quite a few expats, but the locals are very nice too to socialize with. I would say that you'll find more retirees in Penang. Strider, would you agree with that (as both a KL and Penang resident)?

The food experience in Malaysia is just great and very cheap to eat out, unless you want to go to some fancy restaurant.

Travelling...yup... can tick that box also. Lots of things to see around Malaysia. Both KL and Penang have international airports too. KL would have more choice of destinations. On the other hand, if you are Thailand fans, it's not that far to drive from Penang to the Thai border.
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Old May 16th 2012, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
Strider,

Do you shuttle between KL & Penang for business/work or for entertainment/personal reasons? How do you compare the 2? I researched Kuching as well but when I checked the climate, it's showing 4.2M rain per year and that scares me. Otherwise, it seems to have much in its favor.

I really like the size of Penang or even KL but my wife prefers a smaller city which is why I wanted to see Ipoh & KK.
We are retired and happen to have a small unit in KL and one in Penang. My wife has a brother in KL so thats the attraction, but its nice to have 2 places and have the best of both worlds.

I have only once been caught in rain in Sarawak so maybe I'm lucky, but really I think no different to KK or elsewhere in Malaysia. If I was starting all over again and know what I now know, I would most certainly look very hard at Kuching. My MM2H visa issued on the peninsular does not entitle me to go live in Kuching or KK. A Kuching issued visa is good for the whole country I am led to believe.
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Old May 16th 2012, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

If you get caught in heavy rain without cover and get soaked it can be very very cold.
But really the rain is like the sun/heat just something to get used to.

I lived/worked in Bintulu for 18 months ish before it was developed and during that time there was exceptional rain and little could be done outside.
I also worked on a logging concession 60 miles upriver from Bintulu and when it rained upriver the river would overnight rise 40 feet; quite amazing to see.

But it's just something to get used to.
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Old May 18th 2012, 6:32 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
You can certainly do plenty of socializing in Penang. I'm sure in KL and surrounds too. Wine is a bit expensive. The cheapest half decent bottle of wine will set you back 35 ringgits in the supermarket.

Most condos have swimming pools so you'll be OK there.

Hiking? Mmmm it's quite hot 28 to 35 degrees, and this time of the year (summer) it is quite humid. But have seen those fit and active go hiking.

There's Pros and Cons. Weather might be in the "Con" bracket for you. I don't know.

Both Penang and KL have quite a few expats, but the locals are very nice too to socialize with. I would say that you'll find more retirees in Penang. Strider, would you agree with that (as both a KL and Penang resident)?

The food experience in Malaysia is just great and very cheap to eat out, unless you want to go to some fancy restaurant.

Travelling...yup... can tick that box also. Lots of things to see around Malaysia. Both KL and Penang have international airports too. KL would have more choice of destinations. On the other hand, if you are Thailand fans, it's not that far to drive from Penang to the Thai border.
Baked Bean,

Since you lived in the 1 country that we are considering and now live in another we are considering, if you don't mind, can you compare housing, medical, overall cost, safety between Penang & Phuket? We anticipate about 12K-15K MYR/Mo to live on.

You also mentioned your friend is enjoying retirement in Mexico. One thing nice about Mexico is that becasue of its latitude and varying altitude, you can pick your climate and some areas are pretty perfect (check out Queretaro & Cuernavaca). But the concern is can you ever feel safe there. Did your friend pick a coastal or mountainous location and does she feel safe there?

Thanks!
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:02 am
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Default Re: Why Retire in Malaysia?

Housing - you would probably get more for your money in Phuket than Penang island. Property seems to be going up and up here in Penang. Having said that, buying a property in Thailand is a minefield and don't forget all contracts will be in Thai. Our first lawyer in Phuket stitched us up something rotten with a nasty clause in the contract - Thailand is like that. I could say more but I'm in a good mood today and don't wish to change that

In Malaysia you can buy freehold property. In Thailand you cannot, unless you do some fancy legal stuff creating a Thai company.

There are good medical facilities in Phuket - 2 international hospitals where you will get some English spoken. Penang has good hospitals too but more of them than Phuket. Pricewise not sure if there is a difference.

Overall cost - depends on what you spend on obviously but, for us, overall costs have been comparable. Some things cheaper in Phuket, some things cheaper in Penang, but not too much difference. 12 to 15K a month - I would say that is plenty. We live on less than that... and we don't go without.... and we both drink (beer/wine). Alcohol quite expensive in Penang.

Safety? Mmmm have to be careful anywhere you go. I feel safer in Penang... but having said that... I got caught out with my complacency a little while ago... and got my shoulder bag whisked by a snatchthief on a motorcycle in Georgetown Just stupid really. In Phuket I was more alert, expecting that sort of thing to happen and worse, so I never bothered with handbags there. Now I'm doing the same here

I would say that Phuket is far more corrupt than Penang but..... Penang is not perfect - nowhere is.

If you are a beach lover and want to go sunbathing, swimming in the sea everyday, spend a lot of time in bars, then Phuket would probably suit you.

You didn't ask but one of the things that really wore us down in Phuket was the frequent powercuts and brownouts...several a week. In Penang we have experienced 1 powercut in almost 2 years here.
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