Malaysia, Thailand make top 10 in global retirement survey

Retirement is one of the major motivating factors for Chinese buyers who decide to purchase property overseas, so news that two Southeast Asian nations have been included in an annual top ten list of the best places in the world to retire should be seen as welcome news.

Property developers and real estate agencies in Malaysia, which was ranked in 5th place, and in Thailand, ranked 9th, should also see this news as a very useful report to persuade Chinese buyers to buy property for retirement in these countries.

The Annual Global Retirement Index 2019, was published this week by InternationalLiving.com, a global authority on all things relating to global retirement opportunities.

Using its network of on-the-ground contacts and correspondents, this year’s Index – the most extensive over the last 28 years – saw Thailand appear inside the top ten for the first time.

The Index looked at 13 categories which included buying and investing in real estate, visas and residences, the cost of living, and lifestyles.

“This Index is designed to be a cheat-sheet of sorts, to help point people toward the spots that might make the most sense for them overseas,” said Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s Executive Editor.

“It’s most useful, however, if you come to it with some sense for your own priorities. Ask yourself, ‘What’s most important to me in a haven overseas?’

According to InternationalLiving.com’s 2019 Global Retirement Index, the world’s top 10 retirement destinations were:

1 Panama

2 Costa Rica

3 Mexico

4 Ecuador

5 Malaysia

6 Colombia

7 Portugal

8 Peru

9 Thailand

10 Spain

About Thailand, Rachel Devlin, Chiang Mai Correspondent, wrote that Southeast Asia offers some of the world’s most attractive retirement programs, astounding geographic and cultural diversity, and climates to suit all tastes, ranging from hot beach resorts to cool highland hill stations.

My husband and I retired in Chiang Mai two years ago, and we even brought our 16-year-old son along for the adventure of a lifetime. We sold our house and cars and set off for a better life. And we found it.

Rentals here can be as little as US $400 per month for a modern studio apartment. Utility bills are also significantly cheaper. Imagine paying a monthly water bill that is only US$32.

Thailand generally has a tropical humid climate. No cold winters here. Perfect for people who like swimming and sunshine. Arthritis sufferers find great relief in this climate. As a home base, Thailand is well situated. On average, it only takes an hour-and-a-half to fly to anywhere in Southeast Asia.

For Malaysia, Keith Hockton, Malaysia Correspondent, explained that he and his wife vacationed in Malaysia in 2008, and at that stage we were taking at least two holidays a year somewhere in Asia.

When we got back and did the sums, we realised that we could actually live in Malaysia and vacation back home, effectively reversing our situation and saving a heap of money into the bargain.

We started to make plans to do just that and moved here to live in early 2010.

Idyllic beaches, islands that seduce the senses, and some of the most pristine ancient rainforests in Southeast Asia- this is Malaysia and these are just some reasons why I call it home.

Malaysian law is based on the British system and all road signs are in both English and Malay, which makes driving around easy. The unofficial first language of the country is English, so you don’t have to learn another language here if you don’t want to.

A family of six can dine out in a good local Chinese restaurant (10 courses) for less than US$5.70 per person, including beer. A men’s haircut costs just US$2.16. In Penang, a couple can live comfortably on US$1,800 a month, including rent.

There are direct flights to the rest of Asia from Penang’s International Airport in the north of the country, which makes getting away for a weekend very easy. Penang to Bangkok in Thailand takes just one and a half hours and can cost as little as US$43 return.

Source: Juwai

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