Malaysia, Best Place to Retire in Asia

For 38 years,the magazine International Living has been the number one resource to help people find the best places to retire and live better abroad. And for the 27th year in a row, the magazine ranked and rated the best retirement havens in the world among 24 countries.

Surprisingly for many, the number one retirement destination in Asia is Malaysia ahead of other favourites such as Thailand or Singapore. The magazine compiles data from a series of criteria including cost of living, buying and investing, healthcare, fitting in, special benefits, climate, etc. This is a qualitative assessment based on real-world data gathered on the ground.

In its Annual Global Retirement Index for 2018 released on Monday, Malaysia sits in fifth place with its score of 87.7, less than four points behind first-placed Costa Rica.

International Living’s Malaysia correspondent Keith Hockton described the country as “easy, English-speaking and First World”. He wrote that in “bang-for-buck” Malaysia, it is possible for a couple to live comfortably on US$1,500 a month, or extravagantly on US$2,500 a month including rent.
Malaysia also topped the index’s entertainment and amenities category, largely due to its reputation as a food haven where local fare can cost as low as US$1.50 per meal.

In terms of healthcare, Mr Hockton drew comparison between a US$4,000 knee replacement procedure in Malaysia and its equivalent in the United States, where it would cost an eye-watering US$45,000 or more.

Malaysia is the only country in Asia to be in the top ten. In Southeast Asia, the country is followed by Thailand which ranks 14, Cambodia which takes the 16th place -a fraction away from its Western neighbour. It is followed by Philippines at rank 21, Vietnam at rank 23 and finally Indonesia (however only Bali) at rank 24.

Well, no mention of Singapore despite its high quality of life. But in Singapore, it comes at a very very high cost, the city being now one of the most expensive to live in the world…

(Source: International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2018)