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Thailand vs Malaysia for Retirement

25 posts in this topic

Posted

Thailand or Malaysia. Because of the visa situation it would not be possible for us to remain in China long-term and I find the idea of regular visa runs odious.

Perhaps getting off topic here - but Thailand in particular may not meet your desire to find something 'dependable' and to avoid visa runs. It's possible of course, but may not be easy. Malaysia offers a more attractive (easier to meet requirements) retirement visa programme I believe, although it is fair to say that probably less foreigners seem to want to retire there...

I am not near to retirement age so this is not something I have researched in any detail - in other words, get a second opinion!

CC

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Posted

.....but Thailand in particular may not meet your desire to find something 'dependable' and to avoid visa runs. It's possible of course, but may not be easy. Malaysia offers a more attractive (easier to meet requirements) retirement visa programme I believe, although it is fair to say that probably less foreigners seem to want to retire there...CC

Easier? The only difference I see, is the time they offer you...5 years, and can be extended and in future even 10 years retirement visa are now under consideration. But otherwise?

You need deposit, same as in Thailand, you you might buy a house/land and not only condominium, but this must be a first category housing, not everything. As an expat you might bring with you a maid or servant included in your visa. But what else?

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Posted

Dunno - haven't researched it - not near retirement age and as MrsCC is Thai, we don't really care, it will be Thailand, Australia, or the UK in that order...

To put it another way - we just don't give a s### Yohan

CC

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Posted

If you picked a nice spot with good air connections, for example Penang, you could take a break to anywhere you wanted in SE Asia fairly easily anyway. Certainly Malaysia is the less xenophobic of the two countries.

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Posted

I've split this into a new topic as I think it makes an interesting thread of it's own.

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Posted

Certainly Malaysia is the less xenophobic of the two countries.

Except for the incredibly rude Indian street vendors in Penang!

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Posted

The funny-interesting point is however, these Indians have all what you need and are always the cheapest...

I tried to change money, asking around, the Indian 'office' was a table, a mobile phone and a box under the desk...

remarkable exchange difference, about 15 percent more for the yen than anywhere else.

Rent-a-car, was expensive at Avis and their cars in Penang are known to be in bad condition, the Indian guy brought me a car, which was 30 percent cheaper for rent and 50 percent stronger engine...

I asked the hotels around for a motorcycle, no, not the small ones... not available, the Indian guy in his little dirty box arranged one within 15 minutes, Honda, 400cc motor...

While some of them are indeed unfriendly and rude, they get soooo polite, when they see some business, and believe it or not, all of them were ALWAYS the cheapest - and I like Indian food and again, this little restaurant was the cheapest with a biggest meat in curry I ever have seen. Not to mention the Indian tailor everywhere, worldwide obviously.

The only what I did not accept, was the cheap Indian offer for nightlife in Penang... sorry, I do not need Indian ladyboys in my hotelroom.

I've split this into a new topic as I think it makes an interesting thread of it's own.

To compare Malaysia and Thailand is one of the never-ending topics. Both offer retirement visa.

The huge majority of applicants however want to stay in Thailand.

There are some pro and contra about Malaysia, maybe more contra...

There are reasons for that. In Malaysia you need somewhat more money and there is less entertainment, less personal contact with the local people. In Malaysia I think, you really MUST drive your own car, due to little public traffic.

Not much to buy there in supermarkets, few people around. Not possible to buy CHEAP condominiums as you might do in Thailand, but only upper class condominiums (but you also can buy houses and land in Malaysia as a foreigner, but very little selection), Malaysia is getting boring soon, or you must be a golf-freak. Just some thoughts.

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Posted

My only point of reference here is China not having visited Thailand or Malaysia. So let me ask for some comparisons...

In China all services are very cheap - massages, haircuts/dressing, cleaning services, work done on your residence, etc. My perception is that both Malaysia and Thailand share this low cost factor for getting things done for you.

In China buying a free-standing house (a villa in Chinese parlance) is very expensive relative to condos because land is quite pricey. In Thailand and Malaysia it seems actually cheaper per sq ft. to buy a house than a condo except for the priciest areas.

One bothersome thing I have read about in relation to Malysia is the inability to easily just walk around in a city. Accounts of George Town in Penang make it sound as if you are taking your life in your hands to attempt a simple urban stroll since there are no provisions for pedestrians. China's cities, from the smallest to the largest, have outstanding facilites for pedestrians to get about. Thailand?

Public Transport...It is very simple to travel anywhere in China by air, train, bus or private car and driver rentals...

Food...Obviously great Chinese food is to be had in China...Thailand? It seems that Malaysia does have very good Chinese food in the larger cities.

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Posted

Thailand?

In the rural areas walking is no problem, but the highways are shoddy. Driving can be like a video game dodging pot holes in the asphalt.

The roads and sidewalks in Bangkok are completely fukced up. They are in a perpetual state of repair. Sukhumvit Road, a main tourist strip has broken curbs, huge holes in the pavements, open sewer drains, re-bar sticking straight out at eye level from walls and power poles, masses of electrical wires hanging about, and stacks of broken tile and concrete blocking pedestrians from walking. These instances are a regular occurrence around the whole city. The main problem is that the substrate is a soft, sandy silt that keeps shifting and sinking, so the workmen can never keep up with the crumbling and cracking concrete. It is a dream come true for a city maintenance council because the budget is unlimited and wide open for 'skimming the pot'.

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Posted

Walking down the sidewalk in Yuxi, Yunnan...

...and Qionghai, Hainan, our other apartment.

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Posted

Those pictures look nice. I've never been to China, but it has always appeared to be a country where many people walk or ride bikes. Thailand has, for the most part, been a car culture. If you're riding a motorcycle, you're low class (lo-so), if you're riding a bicycle, you must be a maid servant or a migrant worker, and if you're walking, you're either pond scum or a western tourist.

It is a the most walker unfriendly country I've ever been to. The car is king.

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Posted

Thailand...

... if you're walking, you're either pond scum or a western tourist.

It is a the most walker unfriendly country I've ever been to.

Remembering this thread, I snapped this picture in Chiang Rai this afternoon... you can see similar examples on every street in every town and city across Thailand. I don't know if there are regulations to prevent this sort of mindless construction... but they're sure not enforced...

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Posted

I was about to go to sleep and logged out, but then I saw this photo. This is endemic in Thailand. It is almost certain that the company who put the phone box there is not at fault, but the owners of the building who have encroached on the sidewalk.

This same situation is rampant in the Ramkhamhaeng area. Just this evening I was riding my bicycle home and there were several plastic bags of garbage piled on the road side during heavy traffic. I was pinched between the garbage bags and a bus, so I just plowed right through the garbage bags. f### the Pikeys. They're f**ing all over the world.

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Posted

My only point of reference here is China not having visited Thailand or Malaysia. So let me ask for some comparisons...

The thing about China though... How easy is it for a foreigner to get the paperwork to actually live there?

I loved it in China when I was there, but it seems like even getting the 3 month visa to visit was a huge hassle.

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Posted

China really only wants foreigners when they are needed to work there and of course spend money traveling...Other than that they prefer keeping their society closed...

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Posted

I was about to go to sleep and logged out, but then I saw this photo. This is endemic in Thailand.

BTW, the building pictured above is the brand new Chiang Rai HQ of Thai Airways... and the 'national carrier' obviously felt entitled to maximise their wall garden :rofl2:

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Posted

Obviously much better value for money than wasting it on upgrading their regional / domestic fleet!

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Posted

I'm doing some research just now for some Malaysia static content on OE... I have to say that taxation there looks VERY favourable... no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax on your property, tax free automobiles for people choosing to settle there etc etc... it even seems pretty easy to get Malaysian citizenship...

Have I had too much coffee today and my eyes are playing tricks on me?

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Posted

Have I had too much coffee today and my eyes are playing tricks on me?

Yes and No,

if you look at all and everything carefully, you will notice all is true, but it is considerably expensive.

For example, you might buy in Thailand ANY condominium as foreigner, even a very cheap one, but in Malaysia you MUST buy upper-class housing.

And in Malaysia you MUST regulate health insurances for yourself and anybody living with you, and you MUST prove a considerable income from overseas. And you MUST keep a deposit etc. etc.

You also must have a sponsor-company and pay for that.

IF you have that all together (and some Chinese from mainland China have that, and some rich Indian have that, and some Arabs can pay for that easily) then you are welcome and conditions are not bad at all.

It's good for Chinese from mainland China, as Chinese it is difficult to get visa for longstay overseas.

Same with Indians - I do not think, it is really such a good choice for Western foreigners, it's also not a bad choice..

It's 50/50.

I was studying that question many times, but finally I have to admit, living costs are remarkable cheaper in Thailand than in Malaysia (all in all, do not compare just Curry or some Chinese medicine etc.) - life is just nicer and cheaper in Thailand despite all this government chaos there.

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Posted

For example, you might buy in Thailand ANY condominium as foreigner, even a very cheap one, but in Malaysia you MUST buy upper-class housing.

Is "ANY" correct? I thought that it was limited to the "tourist" areas such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin etc.

Can a foreigner buy a condo out in Nakhon Nowhere?

Some information regarding changes in the MM2H.

Effective 9 January, 2009 foreign citizens may apply to participate in MM2H programme directly, without going through any other third party.

In line with the Immigration Circular No. 6 of 2009, the following improvements have been made to the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme, with effect from 13 February 2009:

1. Qualified MM2H participants aged 50 and above with specialised skills and expertise that are required in the critical sectors of the economy, are allowed to work not more than 20 hours per week.

2. MM2H participants are allowed to invest and actively participate in business, subject to existing Government policies, regulations and guidelines which are in force for the relevant sectors.

3. Foreign spouses of Malaysian nationals are eligible to apply for MM2H, subject to the terms and conditions of the MM2H programme. Alternatively, they have the option to apply for the Spouse Programme.

4. The ten-year Social Visit Pass is extended to all Silver Hair and MM2H participants who were previously approved under the five-year Social Visit Pass, subject to the validity of their passports.

5. Employment Pass holders who wish to participate in the MM2H programme are exempted from the “cooling off period” on the condition that their application to participate in MM2H programme is submitted 3 months before the expiry of the Employment Pass.

6. ID-Cards will be issued to MM2H participants with permanent address in Malaysia. This is validated by submitting the Sales and Purchase Agreement or Tenancy Agreement in Malaysia.

7. Age limit of unmarried dependent children is raised from 18 years to 21 years. A declaration stating that the child is unmarried and all expenses during the stay in Malaysia will be borne by the principal participant of the MM2H program is required.

8. ‘Dependants’ include unmarried children aged 21 years and below, step-children, disabled children and parents.

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Posted

Is "ANY" correct? I thought that it was limited to the "tourist" areas such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin etc.

Can a foreigner buy a condo out in Nakhon Nowhere?

Unless it has been recently changed - a foreigner can buy any condo in their own name so long as not more than 49% of the total development are owned by foreigners (there's a complicated way they measure that I think - something to do with floor space) - so if buying off plan, be bloody sure that your lawyer has checked properly how many foreign owned units there already are...

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Posted

Is "ANY" correct? I thought that it was limited to the "tourist" areas such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin etc.

Can a foreigner buy a condo out in Nakhon Nowhere?

Yes, anywhere in Thailand, however condominium buildings in Nakhon-Nowhere often do not exist.

Thai people prefer to buy their own house or prefer a housing village unit.

The condominium building has to meet a certain standard to be considered as a condominium building by Thai condominium law - just a simple house, 2 floors with 20 little rooms is NOT a condominium building by Thai law.

There are some regulations - a certain minimum landsize - and I think, at least 100 units, and 49 can be sold to a foreigner, who pays in foreign currency.

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Posted

...and 49 can be sold to a foreigner, who pays in foreign currency.

Unless he has Permanent Residence status. :blink:

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Posted

Unless he has Permanent Residence status.

I will never have permanent residence status in Thailand, if you are 50+ I think, retirement visa and the deposit of baht 800.000,- is not a bad option.

Let me add, that my permanent residence status in Japan did not cost me anything, but some stamp fees (about baht 2.500,-), I have also the right here in Japan to buy land/house, get the full health insurance.

-----

This thread is about Malaysia however, and so far, all what I see in this thread, it is really 50/50.

Malaysia has very clear rules about retirement permit, and you get 5 +10 years = 15 years.

But otherwise for living there, you must be a golf-freak and you MUST drive your own car. Generally living costs are higher in Malaysia than in Thailand, and my impression is about it is getting very boring soon. I also recommend to bring your family with you, as Malaysia is not a place to look around for friendship/marriage.

Do not expect a great welcome by Indians, Malay, Chinese and Arabs and others in that country. I do not know even a single person personally who decided to settle down in Malaysia. There should be a reason for that.

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Posted

In my case (a US Citizen) you need to be 50 years old and can apply for a retirement Visa at a Thai consulate in USA, be given a 1 year renewable Visa that you can renew every year. No visa runs necessary. Think you can apply at any thai consulate or embassy in any other country for the same retirement visa good for 1 year. Need to prove monthly income---varies by country--- but for US citizen you have to make 65,000 baht a month. Can be less if married to Thai .

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