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Kuala Lumpur and Ge­orge Town have been named among the world’s best places to re­tire by Live and In­vest Over­seas. In its 2017 An­nual Over­seas Re­tire­ment In­dex, which took into con­sid­er­a­tion a range of live­abil­ity fac­tors, both Malaysian cities scored As, along­side Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal and Abruzzo, Italy. Also in the list are Kota Kin­a­balu and Kun­dasang in Sabah, which scored B+ and B- re­spec­tively. The In­dex cited low cost of liv­ing, real es­tate af­ford­abil­ity, good in­fra­struc­ture and low crime rate as the ma­jor at­trac­tions for re­tirees to spend their golden years in Malaysia. What are your views?

This isn’t too far from the truth. I would pre­sume that if you have a de­cent amount of sav­ings, then KL or Ge­orge Town would def­i­nitely be among the best places to re­tire. Hous­ing is rea­son­ably af­ford­able, if you’re not par­tic­u­lar about not liv­ing in a man­sion. Trans­port is also ar­guably con­ve­nient, petrol isn’t ex­pen­sive and cab rides are af­ford­able. Food is in abun­dance for all types of bud­gets.


I would prob­a­bly rank Ge­orge Town higher than KL, in terms of con­ve­nience. KL is prob­a­bly bet­ter suited for hard­core ur­ban­ites who en­joy malls and the crea­ture com­forts a city of­fers. Ge­orge Town is a mixed bag. It still has all the bells and whis­tles one ex­pects from city liv­ing and yet, re­tains old world charm.


The in­ter­est­ing thing is, this isn’t the first time that both KL and Penang have been in­cluded in these types of lists. This means that the au­thor­i­ties, love them or loathe them, are do­ing some­thing right with re­spect to cre­at­ing a de­sir­able liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment that is safe, in­ter­est­ing and af­ford­able. This also makes me won­der how many Malaysians who left the coun­try are re­gret­ting it.


To me, cost of liv­ing and safety are first and fore­most. And I strongly be­lieve that these are two things that most cities in Malaysia can of­fer. Gen­er­ally, we are not that afraid of walk­ing around our neigh­bour­hood af­ter hours. Sure, snatch thefts oc­cur now and then but usu­ally, lo­cals know which ar­eas to avoid and how to min­imise chances of be­ing mugged. Also, med­i­cal costs here are among the cheap­est in the world. I shud­der to think of my­self be­ing sub­jected to an Amer­i­can-type health­care sys­tem.


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