“EASY, English-speaking, and first world” – Malaysia is the only Asian entry to a leading expatriate retirement index released in the new year.
The Annual Global Retirement Index for 2018, which has been published by International Living magazine for 26 years, named Malaysia as a great place to retire because of the widely spoken nature of English, its “bang-for-buck” as a renter, natural environment and diverse local cuisine.
“Expat clubs have existed since the 1700s, yet still welcome new members,” read the entry for Malaysia, which was named alongside numerous Latin American nations such as Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia in the top ten.
Renting in Malaysia was praised as “hard to beat”, with the ability to live “extravagantly” on US$2,500 per month including rent.
Entertainment was also ranked highly in Malaysia. According to International Living, “it’s a gastronomic delight, and the street food here is hands down the best in Asia.” The author heaped praise on the country’s “heavenly” national dish of nasi lemak.
“If white-sand beaches are your dream, you have here more than 878 islands to choose from,” wrote the magazine, also noting Malaysia’s close proximity to Thailand. What’s more, the country boasts “cities with a buzz” and “some of the most pristine rainforests in South East Asia”, it said.
The medical benefits of living in Malaysia for seniors was also highlighted by International Living: “When you compare surgery prices between the US and Malaysia, the benefits are obvious.”
“A knee replacement in Malaysia costs just US$4,000 compared to US$45,000 or more in the States, while a hip replacement can cost as little as US$5,200, versus US$39,000 in the US.”
Malaysia’s largest city Kuala Lumpur has also previously been named the most expat-friendly city in Asia.