Many applicants for the MM2H programme, particularly those from developed countries, are retirees who want to take advantage of the country’s combination of good services and infrastructure and relatively low cost of living.
Certainly Malaysia offers retirees a high standard of living at a very reasonable price. Pensions which might only cover basic living costs in fully developed countries allow people to enjoy a much better lifestyle in Malaysia.
The actual costs can vary a lot from person to person. It is possible for a couple to enjoy a satisfactory lifestyle in Malaysia for around RM5,000 a month. This amount would cover their entire living costs, including holidays and maintaining their properties, though not mortgage. Some MM2H visa holders choose to only spend part of the year here to escape cold winters back home. For example, many Japanese MM2Hers spend several several months of the year in Malaysia and then return to their own country.
Making a total move has the added advantage that it can often be possible to avoid paying taxes in one’s home country. As there are no taxes on foreign remittances into Malaysia, this can be a material advantage.
Although the MM2H visa is only for 10 years, the Malaysian government has repeatedly stated that they will renew the visas of all people who are approved for the MM2H programme, as long as they comply with the programme rules and the laws of Malaysia. In the event that the rules change, they will allow the rules at the time of the application to apply.
The initial visas issued under the programme were for five years and these have recently come up for renewal. Many people have successfully done this and there have not been any cases reported of people being rejected.
A major consideration for retired people is medical care and Malaysia has many internationally (ISO) certified private hospitals which offer first-class care.
Local doctors are very inexpensive compared to more developed countries and it is relatively easy and fast to gain access to specialists.
Those people who have chosen to retire in Malaysia seem to be happy with the decision and very few have changed their mind and decided to return to their native countries.