Just days ago, someone in America gave Ipoh a ranking of top 10 MOST AFFORDABLE place to retire in the world. Full report is here: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/04/16/the-worlds-9-most-affordable-places-to-retire
She wrote that Ipoh is a very good place to retire because one only need a monthly budget of US$897. Based on today’s exchange rate, this is about RM2,850 per month. I checked with my mum. Her budget, even if assuming our family home in Ipoh is still being paid the usual rental of RM1,500 is still lower than RM2,850 for my father and her. Nevertheless, RM2,850 is indeed still a very real number when one considers that eating out is a daily affair plus on and off an ice cold snow beer in Ipoh. Yes, the best ice-cold snow beer is also in Ipoh. Believe it or not, who cares. I say so and it’s my personal opinion. 🙂
She said, Ipoh feels like a small town. I think I can easily agree to this. The reason is rather simple. Ipoh has only 1/3 population of Penang but just Ipoh city alone is already 643 sq km. Compared to Penang island plus mainland, it is 1048 square km. I am not comparing it to KL because I have to be honest, retiring is something you may not want to consider KL on top of your list. Penang probably, Ipoh definitely but KL, not for me. She said locals speak English and they are friendly. Agree totally because I can speak English well and I am friendly. Haha.
Besides these two facts, Ipoh has three things which my Penangite friend once told me last year. She said, the reason why she will retire in Penang is because Penang has the following three things:
1) Family and Friends. In Ipoh if you are a foreigner, everyone would treat you as a friend. They are always willing to help you. Maybe because you are foreigner or maybe because they want to show the best of Ipoh to you but this is true anywhere in Ipoh. Somehow those who feel they are too good for Ipoh almost always have left Ipoh and those who are staying are genuinely Ipohan who feels Ipoh is their home today and tomorrow. Thus, for this point, Ipoh scores very high.
2) Access to private hospitals. She said, if she has money she would go for private hospitals. Actually I do not agree fully with this statement because my late grandmother was saved by the government hospital doctor AFTER the private hospital said that she was a goner. After that incident, she lived many more years in good health. Anyway, since it is for retirement, private hospitals must be available. In this respect, Ipoh has many and some very good doctors too. Pantai Hospital, Fatimah hospital and many more specialists are also available within Ipoh.
3) Access to education. She said Penang has USM which is Malaysia’s Apex University and also have many other private colleges. Ipoh has the same number if not HIGHER numbers. However, the only weak spot would be that there’s no direct flight from many places into Ipoh and thus many students may prefer Penang or KL. Just to name a few, Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), UiTM and many more colleges offering Degree courses.
There, if you are a foreigner looking to retire in Ipoh, these are a few reasons for you consider Ipoh. My Penangite friend once said Ipoh has no places to chill out. Today, I do not know of any Penangite who dare to say that to me without incurring my wrath because whether its beer or coffee, both cheap and expensive, Ipoh has them all. I can say Penang is a great place to retire anytime but if anyone were to say Ipoh is not good compared to Penang, get ready. I am not going to lose without giving you a ‘bloody nose.’
written on 25 April 2014
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