International Living, which has been researching and reporting on retirement opportunities overseas for the last 38 years, is out with its latest Retirement Index. And it has named Malaysia as the only Asian country among the world's 10 best countries to retire in 2018.
The magazine combined data on 24 countries, taking into consideration criteria such as cost of living, healthcare and climate
Ranking Malaysia 5th among the 10 best places to retire, International Living said: "The country's diverse ethnic mix makes being a stranger here easy. Whether you live in bohemian Penang or Kuala Lumpur, the country's hip capital, you'll meet friendly locals who are happy to stop and chat and welcome you into their home."
According to International Living's Malaysia Correspondent By Keith Hockton, the country's buzzing cities, idyllic beaches, and islands that seduce the senses truly make Malaysia a great place to retire
Keith noted that retirees can live comfortably in Malaysia on just USD2,500 a month, a fraction of what they would otherwise need in many other countries.
"Bang-for-buck Malaysia is hard to beat, for instance, it’s joint second in the 'Renting' category for a reason. In Kuala Lumpur, a couple can live comfortably on USD1,500 a month, or extravagantly on USD2,500 a month, including rent.
"For USD700 a month you can rent a 2,195 square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Penang on a natural harbour overlooking the Straits of Malacca."
Heaping praises on Malaysia's "heavenly" national dish of nasi lemak, International Living ranked Malaysia as the best in the "Entertainment and Amenities" category of the Retirement Index
According to International Living, Malaysia is a gastronomic delight, and the street food here is hands down the best in Asia.
"In Penang, there are street stalls selling Chinese, Malay, and Indian fare that have my mouth watering just thinking about them.
"My favourite stall specialises in Nasi Lamak. Considered the national dish of Malaysia, the recipe combines dried anchovies, roasted peanuts, and chicken that has been cooked in sambal (a sauce made from chilli peppers, shrimp paste, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and lime juice). This is then added to fragrant rice that has been cooked in coconut milk. Heavenly. A serving rarely costs more than USD1.50," Keith wrote.
The magazine also said that the medical benefits of living in Malaysia far outweighs that of other countries in terms of prices
"A knee replacement in Malaysia costs just USD4,000 compared to USd45,000 or more in the States, while a hip replacement can cost as little as USD5,200, versus USD39,000 in the U.S.," Keith noted in his profile for Malaysia.
"When I tore my anterior cruciate ligament recently, the cost of my excellent care, including consultation with a top surgeon, MRI, surgery, and a private room, came to USD2,000. In the U.S., the same would have set me back at least USD18,000."
Basically, if white-sand beaches are your dream, the magazine said, "you have here more than 878 islands to choose from", while summing up Malaysia as "easy, English-speaking, and First World"
Meanwhile, just last year, Kuala Lumpur was named the most affordable city for renters in the world: