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An Expat Talks about Retiring in Tojong Tokong, Penang Island, Malaysia

Submitted by bigkahuna73


A retired expat couple who have lived all over the world in their quest to find the best place to retire talks about their time in Penang, Malaysia. They enjoyed the low cost of living, quality of medical care, great restaurants and nightlife. They only negative in their view were the beaches, which were not as nice as others in SE Asia.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Tojong Tokong, Penang Island

Why did you choose to retire abroad?

Adventure

Are you retired abroad all year or part of the year?

Full Time

Why did you choose the country you retired to?

We are currently trying to find where to retire. In the last six years my wife and I have lived in Maui, Mauritius, Mexico (Yucatan), Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and a year on various cruise ships. We are moving to Vietnam in April 2017, currently live in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico.

Did you ever live abroad before you retired abroad?

No

How long have you lived abroad since you retired abroad?

6+ years

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Let the Adventure Begin! is our premium weekly relocation newsletter that guides you step-by-step through your international move. The weekly newsletter begins 8 months before your move and runs through your first 4 months abroad. For US $29.99, you'll receive an e-mail on Wednesday with tips and advice tailored to where you are in the relocation and settling-in process.
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How many countries (other than your home country) have you lived in as a retiree?

6

What have been the most challenging aspects of being retired abroad?

I dislike the double standard in pricing and that is common throughout Southeast Asia, Central America, Africa and Europe.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of being retired abroad?

Sights, sounds and the people. I enjoy the cultures of other people and their friendships. I also find expats a much more interesting group of people then back home. Expats as a whole have much more vitality for life.

What would you do differently if you were just starting the retire abroad process?

Nothing, you learn by doing. I wish I could redo the 6+ years again only to try something else.

What is life like for a retiree in your city and its surroundings? (Is there an active expat community? Cultural Attractions? Recreation? Nightlife?)

Penang Island is great place with lots to do. One of the British most important colony 150 years ago. Third in importance to Hong Kong & Singapore, so lot's of culture from the west and the melting pot of SE.. Some of the best food in the world. I'm not into nightlife but plenty of places if you are. The only real negative was the beaches they are not on the same level as most of SE.

What residency documents or visas did you need to obtain to retire in your host country? How difficult was this process? (Please describe)

Have not retired.

Did you buy a home or apartment, or rent one? Is this a difficult process? (Please describe)

Renting in every country has been easy by doing your homework before arriving.

Financially, has living abroad in your host country met your expectations? Exceeded them?

Exceeded. We can do almost anything financially because our money goes so much further. A high end Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles with sushi will run around $150 in Los Angeles in Tojong Tokong, Straights Quay, Marina which is high end costs less then $30.00 for two people.

What are the most important financial considerations for retiring to your host country?

None

How much can a retiree live on comfortably in your host country?

In Penang you can easily live for under $800. Our budget was over that but 1/5 the cost of living in Newport Beach, Ca or Maui and a better lifestyle.

Do you have access to quality medical care? (Please describe - is it close? Expensive?)

Yes, stem cell therapy (my own blood).

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Is there a lot of crime where you live? (Please describe)

We have never experienced a problem. Then again we take precaution seriously.

Describe available transportation where you live. Do you need a car? Is there access to safe public transportation?

Taxi and bus without the hassle of learning how to drive on the British side of the road, British Imperialism, "God save the Queen".

Is there high-speed internet access where you live?

Yes, I would rate it as good but not superior.

Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share about retiring abroad?

Go for it!!!!! This is not a dress rehearsal you only get one life unless your a Buddhist.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Expats PenangExpats in Penang

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Penang.

Malaysia Index Penang Index
An index of all of our site's Penang information.

Malaysia Forum Malaysia Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Malaysia on our Malaysia forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Malaysia Network Contribute
Help others in Malaysia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Malaysia.

Expat Healthcare Advice in MalaysiaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Malaysia

Expats in Malaysia offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Malaysia.

Real Estate in MalaysiaReal Estate in Malaysia

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Malaysia.

Pros Cons of Living in MalaysiaPros & Cons of Living in Malaysia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Malaysia.

Healthcare-in-MalaysiaHealthcare in Malaysia

Expats in Malaysia recommend that newcomers talk to friends and learn about the best hospitals, clinics and doctors in their area before a medical emergency arises. Plus, obtaining expat health insurance is recommended.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats PenangExpats in Penang

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in Penang.

Malaysia Index Penang Index
An index of all of our site's Penang information.

Malaysia Forum Malaysia Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Malaysia on our Malaysia forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Malaysia Network Contribute
Help others in Malaysia by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Malaysia.

Expat Healthcare Advice in MalaysiaHealthcare & Health Insurance in Malaysia

Expats in Malaysia offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Malaysia.

Real Estate in MalaysiaReal Estate in Malaysia

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Malaysia.

Pros Cons of Living in MalaysiaPros & Cons of Living in Malaysia

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Malaysia.

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Malaysia10 Tips for Living in Malaysia

Expats in Malaysia agree that living in Malaysia has its pros and cons. Expats love the welcoming Malay people, cultural diversity, lower cost of living and amazing food. Many find that the noisiness, dirty city streets and dangerous driving conditions can be a challenge. Where you choose to live makes a big difference in lifestyle as well.

Guides to Cities in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur Malacca Penang
Country Resources
Health Insurance Moving & Shipping More Resources

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