Located in southeast Asia, Malaysia consistently ranks among the best places in the world to retire away from home. The culture, climate and cost make it an ideal place for a Brit to enjoy life as an expat.
There are large expat communities in Malaysia that have joined the diverse local population, which consists of people of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European descent. With modern and developed cities, untouched rainforests, and scenic beaches located on hundreds of islands, you’ll find plenty to discover if you decide to retire there.
Here is a brief guide to help you decide if Malaysia is the right retirement destination for you.
What Are The Best Cities For Retiring Expats in Malaysia?
Malaysia is a large and diverse country. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a prime example of a global city, with an extensive expat community. Malaysia has experienced healthy economic development, and the government’s push to develop a digital economy has attracted many expats who wish to establish an internet-based business in the city. Kuala Lumpur is a modern city with excellent infrastructure and world-class medical facilities, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
A trendy alternative among expats to Kuala Lumpur is George Town. It is an island city situated off the coast, north of Kuala Lumpur. The pace of life there is a bit slower than in the capital city. George Town has been developed around a colonial town, and part of that old town has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is a very cosmopolitan place with excellent facilities, and it has everything available that an expat retiree could desire. Additionally, it has a very low crime rate, and people who live there feel safe walking by themselves both during the day and at night. George Town consistently ranks among the best cities in the world for retirement.
How Expensive is it to Retire in Malaysia
You may be wondering how much money you may need in order to comfortably retire in Malaysia. The cost of living in Malaysia varies depending on where in the country you choose to live and your lifestyle, however, it is still much less expensive than in the UK. For example, a couple can live a comfortable lifestyle in a one-bedroom apartment in George Town for about £1,000 a month. While a budget of £2,000 a month will support living in a three-bedroom villa with a more luxurious lifestyle, including dining out frequently, gym membership and eating western-style meals predominately at home. However, if you decide to eat, shop and live more like a local, you can reduce your cost of living substantially and retire in Malaysia on a very modest budget.
What is the Healthcare System Like in Malaysia?
Malaysia offers an outstanding healthcare system, with some surveys ranking it as the best in the world. The country has both public and private healthcare systems, and expats can use the public healthcare system if they pay a fee. The costs are substantially less than in most western countries.
What are the Requirements to Obtain a Retirement Visa?
The financial requirements for obtaining a retirement visa have become more stringent in recent years, but the process is still relatively straightforward. The simplest route is to apply for an MM2H Visa, which is an acronym for a Malaysia My 2nd Home Visa. This a 10-year, multiple-entry visa that gives you the right to settle in the country. To qualify, you must have RM350,000 (£69,487) in liquid assets, be in good health and not have a criminal record.
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