Top Asian Retirement Haven You’ve Never Heard Of
Jan. 28, 2013, Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Johor Bahru, Malaysia, is a top choice for retirees and expats looking for a low-cost, safe, welcoming retirement option in Asia.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
Guidebooks to Malaysia give it barely a mention. Good thing, therefore, that we don't rely on guidebook reviews but prefer word-of-mouth recommendations from fellow expats and travelers when planning our scouting trips. Otherwise, we might never have discovered Johor Bahru (JB), which nobody is paying any attention to but which we found to be a city that, while clearly removed from the tourist circuit, welcomes foreigners.
Whenever we visit a place, we try to imagine ourselves living there. Some places are beyond our imagination, and we dismiss them. Occasionally, we find a hidden gem that far exceeds our expectations; Johor Bahru is one of those places.
The guidebooks will say that JB is rough around the edges, and it can be, especially in the downtown area near the Singapore-JB Causeway. Foreigners don't live in this part of town, and, apart from shopping at the City Mall or transiting to other domestic destinations or Singapore, there is little reason to go there. The guidebooks generally don't mention anything at all about Nusajaya or the ambitious Iskandar Malaysia project, yet this is the heart of expat living in Johor.
Johor Bahru offers a high quality of life and a developed infrastructure. Overall, the cost of living is comparable to that in Kuala Lumpur, meaning it is slightly higher than elsewhere in Malaysia but still very affordable for retirees with a moderate income.
Younger expats will find that JB offers a great deal, as well, especially those who have children. Good international schools, plenty of playgrounds, and a proliferation of theme parks make family life good here. The easy commute to Singapore is a huge draw to this area, as foreigners who go to Singapore once have a habit of returning again and again.
The huge, ecologically friendly Iskandar Malaysia project has attracted a lot of money and attention, which has translated to a corresponding rise in the value of housing and land. Development is still in the early stages, and this could be a timely opportunity for an investment in property in JB's growing suburbs.
Malaysia has a stable economy and a democratic government. It is considered one of the most foreigner-friendly countries in the world; foreigners are encouraged to move here, and the local people are genuinely friendly and welcoming. If the thought of living in Malaysia sounds intriguing, put aside your guidebook and take a trip to Johor Bahru and Nusajaya. Explore the opportunities here, and, while you're in the neighborhood, experience Singapore on the sly.
Editor's Note: Wendy's complete guide to retirement and expat life in Johor Bahru will be featured in the February issue of my Overseas Retirement Letter. As Wendy explains, Malaysia qualifies as one of the world's top retirement havens for 2013, and, in this context, Johor Bahru is its undiscovered jewel.
Live In France On US$1,293 A Month
Not everyone is cut out for life in the Tropics or the developing world. If you're more interested in the highest quality of life at a reasonable budget, here's my strong recommendation:
Take a look at my top pick for where to enjoy the best of life on the Continent...even if your retirement budget is limited.
In many ways, living here is as good as it gets...and you can afford to indulge in la vie francaise in all of its glories.
Go here now to learn more.
Image source: Emrank
Kathleen Peddicord'sNew Book
An Expert Guide To The Advantages And The Challenges of Investing In Real Estate Overseas..." Learn More
Sign up to receive free dailydispatches from the "Guru of Overseas Retirement and Opportunities"
Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.
Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.
Read more here.
Sign up for the Overseas Opportunity Letter
Receive our editor's latest research reports...absolutely FREE!
The Best Places For Living And Investing in the World for 2014
Receive a FREE copy of
The Six Cheapest Havens
To Retire In 2014
Discover the six best places in the world right now to live better and retire well...on as little as US$700 a month!
“We will not share or rent your email address to or with anyone else, period!”
Hey, I'm already a reader of Kathleen's e-letter. I don't need to see this popup ever again.