It seems people are preferring Malaysia over the USA or Western European countries for settling down after their retirement. Based on ratings prepared by international survey authorities, Malaysia has been placed at rank 6th for the year 2016. Among a whole list of reasons, one most prominent feature is the cost of living. It is much affordable compared to what is prevalent in advanced countries. Given the clause that foreign pension would reduce the amount of social benefit offered by the USA, many expats in the USA are migrating to Malaysia. Similarly, the high cost of medical services in the USA, the UK, Japan and Singapore are forcing people to search for greener pastures.
What is the ground reality?
Let us try to understand the situation from a close quarter. The cost of living in Malaysia is lower than her neighbour Singapore. However, there are exceptions. Malaysia has levied huge taxes on luxury goods, cigarettes and alcohol products thereby escalating its prices to manifolds.
- Cost of accommodation: When considering to buy an accommodation, myriad options in the form of condos, studio-apartments, penthouses, bungalows appear in the list of real estate properties displayed on property portals. Based on what you choose, the price would differ (as is obvious). However, there are some additional points to consider like the location, available amenities, neighbourhood and of course the reputation of the builder. Compared to the price of per square foot area of accommodations priced in Hong Kong or Singapore, the price fixed in Malaysia is 7 times lower. Apart from this benefit, expats who retire in Malaysia and own MM2H visas could buy apartments whose prices have been fixed differently by individual states. The good news is that state governments fix the minimum prices of accommodations for the foreigners starting from RM 500,000.
- When we talk about accommodations on rent in Malaysia, a 2-bedroom condo comes for RM 4,500/month at an upscale Kuala Lumpur settlement. However, in Georgetown, one can find the same accommodation on rent for half of the price.
- Cost of food: Apart from the fact that Malaysian delicacies are known for its succulent tastes, their prices are also extremely pocket-friendly. Even a full course meal at an Italian restaurant would seldom cross RM 90 thereby giving you an idea what the price at local restaurants could turn up to! It is not more than RM 70 (in most cases). However, be ready to pay more for meals accompanied with alcohol beverages.
- Cost of healthcare: As per the WHO’s report on standards of National Healthcare, Malaysia comes at rank 50. Both private and public healthcare facilities are available in Kuala Lumpur. As most of the hospitals are equipped with advanced medical facilities and recruit proficient doctors and nursing staffs, people all over the globe come here for availing best medical services (in fact, Malaysia is reputed for medical tourism). Super speciality health centres are conferred with MS ISO9002 certification.
The consultation fees with doctors at private health centres could be as low as US $5. However, visiting a specialist could cost US $30. International medical insurances cover up to RM 350,000 for a comparatively lower premium amount than people need to pay in their countries of origin.
Those who do not want to compromise with the standards of their lifestyle yet want to save money should opt for retirement in Malaysia. And before taking decisions, they must conduct a thorough research on available options.
N.B.:- 1 RM= 0.23 USD