Malaysia has been ranked the sixth best place to retire in, according to the International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. It said Malaysia has clean and modern cities, an unrivalled public transportation system and the friendliest people in Asia. And while other Asian countries offer great budget holidays, and some offer first-class vacations, Malaysia manages to cater extraordinarily well to both. The fusion of cultures is also unique to Malaysia and has resulted in a truly multi-cultural society where all religions are tolerated.


“In Malaysia, you’ll get the best street food, restaurants and cafés in the region, and some interesting architecture that is unlike any other,” says IL Malaysia correspondent, Keith Hockton. “The food is not just first class, it’s world class, and the shopping in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, where I live, is to die for. From state of the art air-conditioned shopping centers to colorful night markets, Malaysia has it all.” “Malaysia also has no less than four UNESCO world heritage sites (the Lenggong Valley, the Gunung Mulu National Park, Kinabalu Park and the cities of George Town and Malacca). Kinabalu Park is a bird watcher’s paradise, and Mont Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia.”

For just over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated and named the best retirement destinations in the world. Each year the process has been refined and improved, bringing new categories and considerations into play, gathering new data, and asking more and better questions of a greater number of expats.

IL has added countries to the shortlist over time, adding Malaysia in 2000, Colombia in 2007. For the past 14 years, Mexico has consistently ranked in the top 10 retirement destinations on the planet. And for the fifth time, it takes the top spot again in the Annual Global Retirement Index.

This year sees the most comprehensive index yet, with a list of 24 top retirement destinations, all of which have been put under the microscope and examined as regards their cost of living, retiree benefits, climate, healthcare, and much more. So, after months of research, number-crunching, and fact-finding the world’s top 10 retirement destinations in 2017 are:

1. Mexico
2. Panama
3. Ecuador
4. Costa Rico
5. Colombia
6. Malaysia
7. Spain
8. Nicaragua
9. Portugal
10. Malta


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