“Altogether, we spend around $2,550 per month, but you could get by on much less than that,” says 56-year-old Christine Hakkaart of her and her husband Steve’s life in Malaysia. “Our monthly budget covers rent, doctors, leasing a car, petrol and all the incidentals…spending about $65 is more than ample for two people to eat dinner out and includes alcohol. For a really top-end meal, it would cost the two of us less than $100.”
The couple live in a three-bedroom, sixth-floor apartment, which offers views of Singapore. Their complex has security, a pool and a gym and costs the couple about $1,300 per month.
“It’s large, but we sometimes have company so three bedrooms are good,” says Christine. “We live just a 20-minute drive from the city centre. I can walk to most places including many local restaurants, the banks, hair salons, manicure places and so on.” Their monthly utilities, including Pay TV and internet, average around $330.
When the couple want a break away they head for Malacca for a day trip or a weekend. “It’s a tiny little place about two hours from here,” says Christine. “You can walk everywhere. We treat ourselves to a nice hotel on the river, it’s really lovely. It’s very pleasant, even if it’s just sitting in front of your hotel balcony and looking out over the river. We also pop over to Singapore if we know someone going there to show them around.”
And it’s not just the low-cost luxury living that makes Malaysia such an alluring proposition as an overseas retirement destination. In the inaugural International Living Australia Global Retirement Rankings Malaysia achieved perfect scores when it came to visas and residence, fitting-in, entertainment and healthy lifestyle.
Read on for 10 reasons why Malaysia should be your number one too…