More and more people are considering retiring overseas to make their savings go further. Great weather combined with a lower cost of living make countries like Costa Rica, Thailand and The Philippines great choices for long term stays. Bob Webb and his wife have chosen to make Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia their retirement home base. Bob offers some insights into his retirement in this interview.
Please tell us a little about your background?
We are Australians who retired after a number of years in the Public Sector. I spent 40 years with the Australian Defence Department (20 in uniform and 20 as a civilian) and my wife worked for Veterans Affairs. We retired about 2 years ago and decided to head overseas.
Why Kuala Lumpur?
We started off on our travels to Asia and then caught up with our daughters in New York. We then moved on to Las Vegas, Memphis, Cancun and finally ended up in Kuala Lumpur. We had been to Asia a number of times during our working lives, but had no ties to Asia.
English is understood by nearly everyone in Malaysia. There is a great diversity of entertainment here, including theatres, bars and clubs. Unlike some other countries Malaysia actively encourages foreign residents to relocate here under the Malaysia My Second Home program (MM2H).
Are foreigners able to stay long term there?
As an Australian we are issued 90 day Visas on entry. You can leave the country after the 90 days and come back in.
Is Kuala Lumpur a good country to travel from?
Kuala Lumpur is the home of Air Asia and flights are very cheap. It is one of the benefits of being in Kuala Lumpur (KL). We have been to Singapore, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia and are off to Cambodia on Wednesday.
Do you have Malaysian health insurance or are you using travel insurance?
We are travelling on our international health policy without incident.
Can you give us a rough idea of your monthly living expenses in Kuala Lumpur?
I have attached some links on accommodation, cost of living etc.
- Furnished Rental Accommodation – e.g. – 2 bedroom sub-urban apartment – US$546 to $920
- Eating Out in Malaysia – e.g. – Lunch at a food court – US$1.72 to $2.87
- Public Transport – e.g. – Daily bus pass – US$0.57
- Health Care – e.g. – Physician consultation fees – US$17.24 to $51.72
- Domestic Help – e.g. – Full-time live in maid – US$114.94 to $229.89
- Supermarket Prices- e.g. – Loaf of bread – US$0.54
Do you still maintain a house back in Australia?
We maintain a home in Randwick, Sydney. We live off the rental proceeds.
What are the drawbacks of living in Malaysia?
Malaysia is a Muslim country and hence Pork is expensive. Alcohol is also expensive; I miss a good Australian beer on tap.
Can you offer any advice or recommendations for people considering retirement abroad?
The internet is a great tool for research. No country is perfect, you just have to find the one closest to your expectations.
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