Malaysia ranks 8th in best places to retire list; the only Asian country in Top 10

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia ranks 8th in the Best Places to Retire list according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2024, marking it as the only Asian country to crack the top 10 list, World of Buzz reports.

Keith Hockton, in his feature piece on Malaysia’s 8th position, highlighted Malaysia’s first-world amenities at a fraction of Western costs. He added, “The Malaysian people stand out as among the most hospitable in Asia, fostering a sense of warmth and community that remains unparalleled anywhere else in Asia.

Daily interactions consistently reinforce my view, whether with service professionals in cafés, restaurants, and shops or casual encounters in bustling fruit and vegetable markets.”

“This enduring warmth became a compelling factor in our decision to relocate here over 14 years ago, serving as a constant reminder of the privilege it is to be part of this welcoming community,” Hockton shared, reminiscing the vacation he and his wife made in the year 2008 that eventually led to them living in Penang in 2010.

Lower Cost of Living

Praised as the “Southeast Asian gem” for its blend of affordability, cultural diversity, and natural beauty, the country has attracted expatriates worldwide seeking a retirement haven.

Undoubtedly, one of the primary factors drawing expatriates to Malaysia is the substantially lower cost of living compared to their Western counterparts.

Housing, transportation, food, and entertainment expenses are estimated to be one-third to one-fifth cheaper compared to those in the West, making Malaysia an appealing prospect for those seeking a more relaxed lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of North America, Europe, or Australia.

Culinary and Cultural Richness

Daily expenses, including groceries and dining out, are also notably more reasonable in Malaysia. The country offers local and international cuisines at accessible prices.

One standout feature of Malaysian street food is its incredible variety. From savoury to sweet, dishes are served at bustling hawker centres, food stalls, and night markets across the country.

Proximity to Other Asian Destinations

Malaysia’s strategic central location geographically offers easy access to neighbouring Asian countries, making it an ideal hub for travellers and explorers.

With a well-developed infrastructure, including rail, buses, and international airports, one can conveniently indulge in weekend getaways or extended trips to nearby destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Healthcare and Education

Moreover, Malaysia provides a high standard of healthcare and education, with a well-established healthcare system, particularly in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Kuching.

Boasting modern facilities and highly skilled medical professionals, expatriates can immediately access quality medical services at a fraction of the cost compared to Western countries.

The Annual Global Retirement Index dubbed the “most comprehensive and in-depth survey of its kind” by International Living, is a compilation of hundreds of opinions and real-life experiences from the publication’s trusted sources.

It serves as a valuable resource for retirees seeking the best destinations worldwide.

International Living clarifies that the Index is not a scientific study but a practical tool based on real-world experiences and expert opinions. It provides valuable insights into retirement destinations, offering a lens through which retirees can make informed decisions about their future.

Here are the top 10 best places to retire in 2024, according to the Index:

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Portugal
  3. Mexico
  4. Panama
  5. Spain
  6. Greece
  7. Ecuador
  8. Malaysia
  9. France
  10. Colombia


Read also: Singapore surpasses Hong Kong in wealth rankings, demonstrating that country size doesn’t dictate wealth

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