Malaysia is Asia’s best place to retire in 2017

Malaysia’s northern state of Penang is a blend of heritage charm and first-world amenities. Pic: nitsawan katerattanakul/Shutterstock

A NEW report by leading authority on global retirement and relocation opportunities,, revealed that Malaysia is the best place in Asia for retirees to settle down.

The Annual Global Retirement Index for 2017 ranked 24 destinations in the world across 10 categories including buying and renting property, benefits and discounts, visas and residence, cost of living, fitting in, entertainment and amenities, healthcare, infrastructure, and climate.

Malaysia came in as the sixth best place in the world for retirees, and is the only Asian nation in the top ten. In last year’s rankings, the country came in fifth above Thailand in seventh spot.

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According to InternationalLiving (IL), Malaysia is clean, modern, and boasts efficient public transport. As a location, it manages to cater to both the budget travel lifestyle as well as luxury vacations.

IL Malaysia correspondent Keith Hickton said, “In Malaysia, you’ll get the best street food, restaurants and cafés in the region, and some interesting architecture that is unlike any other.

“The food is not just first class, it’s world class, and the shopping in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, where I live, is to die for.  From state of the art air-conditioned shopping centers to colorful night markets, Malaysia has it all.”

On top of that, Malaysia is also one of three countries in Asia (on top of Singapore and Hong Kong) where expats and retirees can buy property freehold.

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On the quality of healthcare, Hickton said, “Malaysia has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia, and most have learned their profession in the US or the UK. They all speak English, too, which is a huge plus.”

Meanwhile, Mexico topped the list as the world’s best place to retire owing to a weak peso, first-world amenities, a large English-speaking community, and proximity to the US (an edge for American retirees).

Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, Nicaragua, Portugal, and Malta also made it to the top ten.

IL relies on data gathered from a network of editors, correspondents, contributors, and contacts from around the world. The key aim of the index is to find out which countries can provide retirees the best bang for their buck in terms of factors like real estate, cost of living, and healthcare.

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