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Penang voted among top 8 retirement destinations

February 25th, 2013 Leave a comment

Penang was named among the top eight destinations for foreign retirees by Kiplinger, a US-based personal finance and business forecasting publication. This also makes Malaysia the only Asian country to figure in the list as others in the reckoning are Medellin (Colombia), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Salinas (Ecuador), Bilbao (Spain), Coronado (Panama), Galway (Ireland) and Tlaxcala (Mexico)

Based on the reports, thousands of foreigners, including 815 North Americans, have taken the advantage of My Second Home scheme, which offers retirement incentives such as long-term residency status and breaks on car imports and purchases. They are mostly drawn to Malaysia due to low cost of living, efficient access to healthcare services.

In terms of cost of live, Malaysia came in third, behind only Thailand and the Philippines, in the Global Retirement Index in terms of lowest living costs. An American couple can get along extremely well on $1,500 a month.

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  1. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 04:07 | #1

    Looks like Penang property just got a boost again! Look out! Prices going up up up……..

  2. PG Lang
    February 26th, 2013 at 08:21 | #2

    Penang Homes :
    Looks like Penang property just got a boost again! Look out! Prices going up up up……..

    Yes, forget about those south-west properties for factory workers.. let’s goreng those multimillions properties at Georgetown & Tanjung Bungah.

  3. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 09:24 | #3

    PG Lang :

    Penang Homes :
    Looks like Penang property just got a boost again! Look out! Prices going up up up……..

    Yes, forget about those south-west properties for factory workers.. let’s goreng those multimillions properties at Georgetown & Tanjung Bungah.

    Eh.. south west will be doing well…. in fact… doing well right now…..

  4. condomana
    February 26th, 2013 at 09:56 | #4

    Property prices are inter-ralated. When island price goes up, mainland will go up too (maybe less), but it will go up. When island north goes up, south will go up too (maybe less), but it will go up. But we have to bare in mind that the reason they come is because it’s cheap here. So it’s either they stop coming when its no longer cheap, or property price would start to taper off when the limit is hit.

  5. kotun
    February 26th, 2013 at 10:23 | #5

    Agree with Penang Homes. Take a drive there and you’ll see it. It is a sub prime that is poised to be prime. With Setia Triangle and Vision Park commercial, ti will get it closer to prime. In fact the with the lower price compare to Georgetown, Tg Bungah, the retirees would prefer south west.

    Bare in mind that retired people in general live on their pension, or passive income, and most of them are not in the making money ‘game’ anymore. I would think they want to enjoy life, in not so hectic place, close to greenery if possible and etc.

  6. Tongkol
    February 26th, 2013 at 10:44 | #6

    actually Penang people are very lucky. we have one of the highest number of PET scanners in the world to cater for just a population of 1.5m people.

    let’s continue to make penang clean, great and safe place to live and work – without super high prices.

    i’m proud to be a penangite.

  7. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 10:55 | #7

    kotun :
    Agree with Penang Homes. Take a drive there and you’ll see it. It is a sub prime that is poised to be prime. With Setia Triangle and Vision Park commercial, ti will get it closer to prime. In fact the with the lower price compare to Georgetown, Tg Bungah, the retirees would prefer south west.
    Bare in mind that retired people in general live on their pension, or passive income, and most of them are not in the making money ‘game’ anymore. I would think they want to enjoy life, in not so hectic place, close to greenery if possible and etc.

    Yes kotun… just one thing….bear in mind and NOT bare….. bear in mind means remember while bare means empty…. kosong….. ha ha ha… have a good day

  8. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 10:56 | #8

    Tongkol :
    actually Penang people are very lucky. we have one of the highest number of PET scanners in the world to cater for just a population of 1.5m people.
    let’s continue to make penang clean, great and safe place to live and work – without super high prices.
    i’m proud to be a penangite.

    Me too….. I love Penang…. it so great…. my little heaven on earth…..very ho liao

  9. LY
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:14 | #9

    Location at center such as The Light and Vertiq is more strategic for foreign retirees. Sea view and more convenient.

  10. penang Lang
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:15 | #10

    foreigners only can buy >RM 1milion properties, and for rental, they will prefer Tanjong Bungah/Georgetown for just a few hundreds more.. forget about south-west properties..only factories there..

  11. Tongkol
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:26 | #11

    factories = jobs = disposable income

    south west population should be growing the fastest

    i believe tanjung bungah/georgetown will remain more expensive, but in terms of % appreciation south west may do better

  12. GG
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:31 | #12

    Please go away from south west, go invest in Georgetown and Tanjung Bungah. Don’t make South West more jam with people from north west.

  13. WTH
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:33 | #13

    @penang Lang

    Are you sure all foreigners afford to enjoy life to stay in million dollars condo? Article above just talking above spending RM4K-Rm5K a month, sound like comparable to local engineer stay in FTZ area. Everywhere have their own market, final conclusion still will look on the ROI of investment. Eg. house value appreciation and return of annual rental in %(not in RM). Do not think every foreigner is multimillionaire lol. Some foreigner, we call them foreign worker but living in RM600 flat together with 12-16ppls!!!

  14. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:45 | #14

    WTH :
    @penang Lang
    Are you sure all foreigners afford to enjoy life to stay in million dollars condo? Article above just talking above spending RM4K-Rm5K a month, sound like comparable to local engineer stay in FTZ area. Everywhere have their own market, final conclusion still will look on the ROI of investment. Eg. house value appreciation and return of annual rental in %(not in RM). Do not think every foreigner is multimillionaire lol. Some foreigner, we call them foreign worker but living in RM600 flat together with 12-16ppls!!!

    Ha ha ha.. agree….the high class stay at Rasa Sayang…..

  15. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:46 | #15

    GG :
    Please go away from south west, go invest in Georgetown and Tanjung Bungah. Don’t make South West more jam with people from north west.

    No…. we must welcome all…. come and increase the demand for south west….. come…. lai lai…

  16. Bryan
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:49 | #16

    @WTH

    Those “foreigner” will not retire in Malaysia la, they cannot spend RM4-5K per month in Malaysia.

    I believe Pg has been chosen in this case because of Georgetown, not south west region. Those Bt Ferringhi, Tanjung Bunga/ Tokong, Strait Quay, Gurney and maybe Lights will be the choice. And this will push the price up further, and certain group of locals will move to south west. And so, south west will also benefit indirectly.

  17. Bryan
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:52 | #17

    Just curios, if you choose to retire oversea, will you stay long in 1 place? To me, maybe after 2~3 years in Pg, I may move to other country as there are still many good place for retirement.

  18. PG Lang
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:54 | #18

    @WTH
    so you think this article talking about Penang is one of the best place for those “foreign workers”???
    This piece of “good” news is nothing to do with the south-west properties…it suggest us to switch target to Northern part of the island..

  19. XxX
    February 26th, 2013 at 12:05 | #19

    i know many expats in Bayan Lepas factories prefer to stay North and go thru the jam than stay in the south

  20. WTH
    February 26th, 2013 at 12:12 | #20

    @PG Lang
    “Tourism director-general Mirza Mohammad Taiyab Beg was pleased but not surprised with the ranking.” Ask him, so happy with kakisong announcement from THE STAR newspaper.

    Actually i can’t agree with the word “extremely well” and “figure”of this message “extremely well with just RM4,650 a month” Haha, most of those work at ftz got salary above this will agree with that.

    @Bryan
    Agreed, i think u have an answer to PG Lang already :)

  21. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 12:14 | #21

    No use quarrelling… lets invest more all over Penang Island and make it prosper….Foreigners come and go…. Penangites stay….. it is us who matters the most….. if we care for our dear island then all is well…..

  22. J & J
    February 26th, 2013 at 13:16 | #22

    If you are talking about retiring in Penang, I really doubt it. All along Thailand
    has been the most popular retirement destination especially “Chiang Mai”.

    Low cost, effective health care and the ability to speak English. Chiang Mai is
    a very safe city to live in and you can walk safely at night anywhere in the
    inner city without any fears.Over 18,000 foreigners are living here in
    retirement not forgetting the food are delicious and not affordable.

  23. J & J
    February 26th, 2013 at 13:20 | #23

    Correction:Over 18,000 foreigners are living here in retirement not
    forgetting the food are delicious and not only affordable but cheap..

  24. kotun
    February 26th, 2013 at 13:39 | #24

    @J & J
    Hello J&J. Thanks for sharing. Is Chiang Mai on the list as well? Or maybe ranking better than Penang?

  25. cola
    February 26th, 2013 at 13:50 | #25

    Huat ar Heng ar Ong ar!

  26. cashflow
    February 26th, 2013 at 14:11 | #26

    North, middle, or south… Instead of keep comparing until cow comes home, just continue to build up own portfolio from all these areas, to cater for different market segments and needs… Cheers!

  27. PG Lang
    February 26th, 2013 at 15:07 | #27

    kotun :
    @J & J
    Hello J&J. Thanks for sharing. Is Chiang Mai on the list as well? Or maybe ranking better than Penang?

    Yes, invest properties in Chiang Mai can get better return..let’s invest in Thai..

  28. J & J
    February 26th, 2013 at 15:09 | #28

    @J & J

    GEORGE TOWN in Penang, Malaysia has been voted one of the world’s
    “eight great places to retire abroad”.
    As far as the cost of living is concerned, Malaysia ranks third, behind only
    Thailand and the Philippines, in the Global Retirement Index, in terms of
    lowest living costs.

    All this while Thailand has always been popular and even as a tourists’
    destination.Not to mention the cool climate in Chiang Mai and the beautiful
    beaches in Thailand.

  29. Roquefort
    February 26th, 2013 at 15:52 | #29

    I am from Thailand but I choose Penang. As an expat I prefer the north of Penang.

  30. condomana
    February 26th, 2013 at 16:03 | #30

    Hi J&J, maybe we shouldn’t read too much into the ranking. Whether Chiang Mai or Bali is better, I guess it’s pretty much a personal preference. However, I think with Georgetown World Heritage, with more and more foreigners being aware of what Penang has to offer, Penang definitely has more prominence now in terms of a choice as overseas retirement destination compared to 15 years back. You’re right, beaches in Thailand are surely 100x more beautiful than what we have here. My opinion is we should welcome foreigners to Penang for the right reason. Their presence adds diversity to our society. If you don’t travel overseas often, they could help to open your eyes and minds here. Interact with them, understand alternate cultures in order to help yourself better understand your own. But if we need them so as to jack up property prices, I think that’s the wrong reason.

  31. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 16:08 | #31

    Roquefort :
    I am from Thailand but I choose Penang. As an expat I prefer the north of Penang.

    Herd instinct…… why follow others when the south west has so much to offer now and you will not have to brave the jam each day….. there are already quality homes in the south west…..

  32. condomana
    February 26th, 2013 at 16:20 | #32

    Hi Penang Homes,

    I think before you comment further, you should maybe sit down with a few expat families and have a chit chat with them to find out what they are looking for in terms of quality living. Because of different cultures, things that are nice to you might not be to them.,things that don’t bother you might bother them a lot, things you find normal to you might frighten them a lot….:).

  33. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 16:23 | #33

    condomana :
    Hi Penang Homes,
    I think before you comment further, you should maybe sit down with a few expat families and have a chit chat with them to find out what they are looking for in terms of quality living. Because of different cultures, things that are nice to you might not be to them.,things that don’t bother you might bother them a lot, things you find normal to you might frighten them a lot….:).

    I agree with your comment…. Thanks

  34. Penang Homes
    February 26th, 2013 at 16:26 | #34

    condomana :
    Hi Penang Homes,
    I think before you comment further, you should maybe sit down with a few expat families and have a chit chat with them to find out what they are looking for in terms of quality living. Because of different cultures, things that are nice to you might not be to them.,things that don’t bother you might bother them a lot, things you find normal to you might frighten them a lot….:).

    But in my opinion, condom, I think Penang is a far better place than other places in the country…. so many long man everywhere……a bit like Singapore (of course… we are still behind in many things…. but I like Penang the way it is… it has a bit of everything…..) Enjoy….

  35. condomana
    February 26th, 2013 at 16:39 | #35

    Hi Penang Homes,

    I like Penang too. In fact, most foreigners who end up in Penang actually dislike Spore. Too expensive, too crowded, and they really hate the guts out of Orchard Rd. Again, that doesn’t mean they would like Lunas (a small town near Kulim famous for it’s roast duck, super cheap, super low in population and zero shopping malls). They look for a good balance, that’s why the added heritage component in Georgetown (hopefully with a thriving art scene to come in near future) has actually added tremendous value in the overall proposition of Penang as a good destination for retirement.

  36. J & J
    February 26th, 2013 at 17:23 | #36

    No need to argue hoping that it will help or benefit the property sector in
    Penang in terms of investment or rental in return. Over 18,000 foreigners
    living in Chiang Mai compare to Penang speak for itself.

  37. SeedyM
    February 26th, 2013 at 19:09 | #37

    The reason more foreigners live in Chiang Mai over Malayisa is because many people’s perception on Malaysia is that its an Islamic state, I for one know better and prefer the people of Malaysia, I am not overly keen on Thai’s, their country is heavily weighted to favour locals in everything and I am sure by the time you have read this post another military coup will have taken place.

  38. SeedyM
    February 26th, 2013 at 19:10 | #38

    Not to mention Thailand may go nuts when the King finally pops his clogs, he seems to be the only thing holding the place together

  39. AA
    February 26th, 2013 at 19:56 | #39

    I have met with US folks who thought this country do not even sell pork. They can’t live without pork. Pork is delicious.

  40. J & J
    February 26th, 2013 at 21:17 | #40

    Shouting louder and consoling statements ain’t do any good but it pleases
    oneself.

  41. Economic Crisis
    February 27th, 2013 at 08:59 | #41

    The property price in Penang very cheap, only US$ 300k can get a luxury condominium in Penang!

  42. Gipsy
    February 27th, 2013 at 09:21 | #42

    Economic Crisis :
    The property price in Penang very cheap, only US$ 300k can get a luxury condominium in Penang!

    Are you out of your mind? with USD300K, I just ask my fund manager to invest for an average annual return 5- 6% and I can get US$1.5K per month.. enough for the rental for that US$300k condo and no hassle of all the government regulation, maintenance cost, etc etc…
    with a bit more (US$2K-3K monthly), I can long term stay in a good quality hotel….

  43. Reflection_Condo
    February 27th, 2013 at 09:53 | #43

    @Gipsy

    There is risk in every investment, btw mind to give me your fund manager contact 😀

  44. WTH
    February 27th, 2013 at 10:35 | #44

    I learned today, 5-6% return is an investment :)
    I more prefer to say this is a fix deposit, no grow in the number but depreciated from year to year while inflation is appreciated year to year. The number will getting small and smaller from year to year.

  45. seedy M
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:39 | #45

    Gipsy

    Whats the point in having good returns on investment but living in a less than stellar home, better get the nice home first and then invest extra money. Of course, you may already have your luxury condo. A home is a home and not always an investment

  46. Penang Homes
    February 27th, 2013 at 11:51 | #46

    seedy M :
    Gipsy
    Whats the point in having good returns on investment but living in a less than stellar home, better get the nice home first and then invest extra money. Of course, you may already have your luxury condo. A home is a home and not always an investment

    A house is just four walls and a roof….it is how we live that makes it a home……

  47. condomana
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:51 | #47

    Economic Crisis :
    The property price in Penang very cheap, only US$ 300k can get a luxury condominium in Penang!

    Cheap?? Sorry! I’d have to highlight your ignorance here. How much would a bungalow (with ~7000 sf land) cost you in silicon valley (say san jose or santa clara)? USD 800,000? About that. How much would it cost you here? RM 2.5 mil? About that? Do your maths!…:)

  48. seedy M
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:53 | #48

    I agree its only walls and a roof but some walls and roof are in a better location than others or may come with better facilities.

    as with everything in this world, all products and assets have a brand value to them as well which makes them attractive to different individuals. in real terms there is no reason why one 1,000 sqft home should be worth 10X what another one is, but it happens

  49. condomana
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:53 | #49

    And by the way, the so called “luxury” in Penang normally is not that luxury at all!! Workmanship issue is a norm. Indo workers! What do you expect?!…..:D

  50. Penang Homes
    February 27th, 2013 at 12:59 | #50

    condomana :
    And by the way, the so called “luxury” in Penang normally is not that luxury at all!! Workmanship issue is a norm. Indo workers! What do you expect?!…..:D

    Condom!! Do not look down on them…. without them…. we will not have enough workforce… economy will grind to a halt… we only hope they come here to work…be honest and then leave…. go back to where ever they belong… the problem starts when they start getting Malaysian Identity Cards….sigh….

  51. condomana
    February 27th, 2013 at 13:07 | #51

    Penang Homes, I am not looking down on them. Don’t get me wrong. I love them for what they are doing. I love properties with crap quality coz I would tear it down and renovate it anyway. But the problem is, developers build crappy stuff and try to sell them as luxury stuff charging you luxury prices!!….:D Ain’t that crap??!!

  52. Penang Homes
    February 27th, 2013 at 13:11 | #52

    condomana :
    Penang Homes, I am not looking down on them. Don’t get me wrong. I love them for what they are doing. I love properties with crap quality coz I would tear it down and renovate it anyway. But the problem is, developers build crappy stuff and try to sell them as luxury stuff charging you luxury prices!!….:D Ain’t that crap??!!

    Yes…that I agree….the honest Indon workers who will go back after they finish working here…they surely have my thanks….for helping build this wonderful island….

  53. condomana
    February 27th, 2013 at 13:21 | #53

    But of course, those who place their reservation at property launches couldn’t care less about what end product they are going to get. What matters most is (i) is it almost sold out? (ii) is the developer going to increase selling price soon? (iii) DIBS available? …:D

  54. Penang Homes
    February 27th, 2013 at 13:38 | #54

    condomana :
    But of course, those who place their reservation at property launches couldn’t care less about what end product they are going to get. What matters most is (i) is it almost sold out? (ii) is the developer going to increase selling price soon? (iii) DIBS available? …:D

    Agree… that’s the property game… the more phases there are the better it will be as the price will increase with each phase….sadly projects with many phases will be few and far between on the island due to lack of phase…. How I wish they can launch a condo in several phases….1 – 10 floors first….. then 11 – 20….. then so on…. wishful thinking

  55. Gibsy
    February 27th, 2013 at 21:56 | #55

    ee…my previous reply being censored?

  56. Gibsy
    February 27th, 2013 at 22:19 | #56

    I don’t need to buy a cow just to get milk, just as I don’t need to buy properties here to enjoy life in Georgetown.

  57. condomana
    February 27th, 2013 at 23:42 | #57

    Gibsy :
    ee…my previous reply being censored?

    Hi Gibsy,

    What did you say that got censored? I got something censored too. Trying to draw commonality.

  58. Penang Homes
    February 28th, 2013 at 06:05 | #58

    Gibsy :
    I don’t need to buy a cow just to get milk, just as I don’t need to buy properties here to enjoy life in Georgetown.

    You are happy go lucky….money in today will be spent today….surely you are not Chinese….5000 years of civilization as taught us that a permanent roof over the head is paramount to all……

  59. condomana
    February 28th, 2013 at 07:48 | #59

    I wouldn’t want to own any property when I’m old, and I think same goes to a lot of retirees whereby they would liquidate their properties (especially those who own bigger houses which have too much space that they don’t need, and are difficult to upkeep) and put their money into better use.

    Again, Gibsy’s right, why buy when the rentals are so low? And with the uncertainty of moving on to Bali or Chiang Mai in 5 years, the hassle is surely not worth it.

  60. Brezza
    February 28th, 2013 at 08:19 | #60

    @Condomana

    Why don’t you rent the Brezza since rentals are so low? Why end up buying it?

    I am also assuming you would sell the place you are living in and ask your children (if you plan on having any) to start renting.

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