Malaysia: good health care, lower living cost

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In Malaysia, one can live comfortably for less than in Australia. I remembered a conversation I had with a Senior HR manager a few years ago. He said, “I seldom fail to convince any retiree to move to Malaysia and contribute to my company. The reason? As long as they are from America, I tell them that I can triple their spending capability immediately. Then, I shared the usual costs in private hospitals here and they would most probably be on the next plane to Malaysia.” Is it that easy? Well, truth is when your home country’s currency is 3 times higher than Malaysia, it is. Coupled with the cost of medical in their own country for which the doctors are also paid in US$, of course their medical fees would be three times higher, or more. Well, Australia’s currency is nearly 3 times of Malaysia. Thus, there are definitely advantages for their retirees to think about dropping by for a longer term than just a vacation.

According to Colleen Ryan and Stephen Wyatt, the authors of the book “Sell Up, Pack Up and Take Off”, it is much lower when Australians living in Sydney decide to move to Penang. They used numbers based on the statistics website Numbeo.com. In fact the comparisons showed overwhelmingly that Sydney may be losing all its retirees if all of them agree with these two authors. The book also mentioned a few other countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Let me safely tell the readers that as at now, Malaysia remains a much better choice especially when you are talking about quality of life which definitely involves communication, interactions and even facilities. Malaysia is also a much better choice when you drop by majority of the private hospitals as well as compare the charges versus the treatment that the Malaysian hospitals can provide. There are definitely valid reasons why Indonesians themselves are flying into Malaysia to get treatment.

Honestly though, there is little need to argue about which country is best. Truth is, any country where the Australians can finally afford to pay for plumbing services may be really attractive. Besides that, after selling their typical AUD$600,000 homes, they would have about RM2 million. They can use this amount to rent a sea-facing service condo and still have so much to spend for food, entertainment and even travelling. Well, without selling their home in Australia and continuing to live in Australia, the Australian retirees would really have to budget their daily expenses very carefully. If the Australian retirees that we are discussing does not have a AUD$600,000 home, I think it makes even greater sense to really think seriously about staying in one of these much cheaper countries. Agree?

written on 9 Mar 2015

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