Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

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Shemp
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Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Shemp »

https://www.imidaily.com/asia-pacific/n ... observers/

Search on "Malaysia MM2H changes 2021" for more info. Change is retroactive, so all the current visa holders who bought property will be forced to sell of they don't have $10K USD/month income or can't meet the other strict requirements. This is why it is very foolish to buy property in these banana republic countries unless you are a citizen. Recall that @Yohan foolishly bought a condo in Thailand, which he now can't visit because of covid. Much better to rent weekly apartments and always be prepared to leave the country at a moment's notice. Own no more than you can carry on a couple suitcases. These banana republic countries can and regularly do change rules drastically with no logic and no advance notice. Consider yourself warned.

Note that Taiwan should be included in banana republic category because it will eventually fall under mainland China control.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Tsar »

Shemp wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 8:08 am
https://www.imidaily.com/asia-pacific/n ... observers/

Search on "Malaysia MM2H changes 2021" for more info. Change is retroactive, so all the current visa holders who bought property will be forced to sell of they don't have $10K USD/month income or can't meet the other strict requirements. This is why it is very foolish to buy property in these banana republic countries unless you are a citizen. Recall that @Yohan foolishly bought a condo in Thailand, which he now can't visit because of covid. Much better to rent weekly apartments and always be prepared to leave the country at a moment's notice. Own no more than you can carry on a couple suitcases. These banana republic countries can and regularly do change rules drastically with no logic and no advance notice. Consider yourself warned.

Note that Taiwan should be included in banana republic category because it will eventually fall under mainland China control.
Most people including most Americans don't have that amount of monthly income. Malaysia's economy will probably see a decline in economic activity. The countries in SE Asia see a lot of economic activity and tax revenue that foreigners, especially long-term foreign residents, help to add and that helps boost their economic activity and the earnings of the local population.

Terrible economic decision, especially during the middle of a pandemic that is hurting SE Asian economies.
Last edited by Tsar on August 24th, 2021, 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by yick »

10000 a month for a MM2H visa? :lol: that's f***ing hilarious!

I had a plan for applying for the Sarawak scheme which is a bit different from the peninsula - still good for anywhere in Malaysia though I would have been happy to live in Kuching but if the Sarawak MM2H scheme is now under the Kuala Lumpur MM2H scheme then that's out.

Who has 10000 dollars a month and would want to live in Malaysia? Rich Chinese (which there are many of...) rich Arabs and Indians and Pakistanis? Maybe this has been put up to this ridiculous amount to stop westerners from settling because there would be very few westerners who have 10000 dollars a month spare who want to live in Malaysia - I mean, I love Malaysia but if I had that kind of income stream I am sure I would be a bit more imaginative with the choice of places where I would want to spend my free time.

Lots of good things about Malaysia - good food, nice climate - especially around Ipoh and the Cameron Highlands, friendly people - shame it has now been priced out for most people.

EDIT: The Sarawak scheme remains unchanged which remains excellent value. An amount of 35000 dollars in a Malaysian bank.
Last edited by yick on August 24th, 2021, 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by yick »

Tsar wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 8:29 am
Shemp wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 8:08 am
https://www.imidaily.com/asia-pacific/n ... observers/

Search on "Malaysia MM2H changes 2021" for more info. Change is retroactive, so all the current visa holders who bought property will be forced to sell of they don't have $10K USD/month income or can't meet the other strict requirements. This is why it is very foolish to buy property in these banana republic countries unless you are a citizen. Recall that @Yohan foolishly bought a condo in Thailand, which he now can't visit because of covid. Much better to rent weekly apartments and always be prepared to leave the country at a moment's notice. Own no more than you can carry on a couple suitcases. These banana republic countries can and regularly do change rules drastically with no logic and no advance notice. Consider yourself warned.

Note that Taiwan should be included in banana republic category because it will eventually fall under mainland China control.
Most people including most Americans don't have that amount of monthly income. Malaysia's economy will probably see a decline in economic activity. The countries in SE Asia see a lot of economic activity and tax revenue that foreigners, especially long-term foreign residents.

Terrible economic decision, especially during the middle of a pandemic that is hurting SE Asian economies.
A lot of Chinese have that money and probably that is why these new rules have been brought in, to price westerners out - not many westerners earning that kind of coin will want to spend that kind of money for a 10 year Malaysian visa with no guarantee of PR or citizenship - it's a rip off to be honest, you can go and live anywhere in the planet on that amount.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by yick »

You also need liquid assests of 483000 dollars PLUS 10000 dollars a month :lol: - of the 483000 dollars you need, 380000 dollars of it must remain untouched in a Malaysian bank! :lol:

The Malaysian government have given existing visa holders a 'one year grace period' to get their finances up to speed - that is actually a bigger shithouse trick than what the Thais pulled!

It's a joke but you can see who they want in their country and who they don't - there are plenty of Chinese who won't blink at those prices and it is a three hour flight from most Mainland Chinese cities.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Yohan »

This retirement visa rules in Malaysia are still under consideration. It is too early to say anything about it, nothing officially published yet.

Malaysia was my first Asian country long time ago, I was living with a Chinese Malaysian family and also my first Asian language was Malay and not Japanese, I still have friends in Malaysia I know personally since more than 20 years (not so-called internet friends).

Malaysia was never friendly for long-stay - before this covid-19 lockdown you could enter Malaysia without any special requirements for 3 months as a tourist - no restriction wherever you go, no restriction wherever you stay.... and this will not change I guess in future after covid-19. - But this is it...

Buying a property was always very restricted, it was possible for a foreigner to buy ONE large land and building but only in some certain upper-class areas. Such offers were always expensive and overpriced.

MM2H-visa was nevertheless widely misused - mostly by Arabs, Indians, Chinese (often rich and corrupt politicians and businessmen) who brought in their entire large families in case of legal troubles in their own countries.

Malaysia is not a place for ordinary foreigners with moderate income for longstay and living there in their own home. Forget about this, visit it as a tourist is OK, but I can only advice you that this country is anyway getting boring after a while - except maybe if you are a golf-freak, but otherwise? If you ask me 3 months in Malaysia is enough...more than enough...
Last edited by Yohan on August 24th, 2021, 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Yohan »

Shemp wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 8:08 am
.....Recall that @Yohan foolishly bought a condo in Thailand, which he now can't visit because of covid. Much better to rent weekly apartments and always be prepared to leave the country at a moment's notice. Own no more than you can carry on a couple suitcases. These banana republic countries can and regularly do change rules drastically with no logic and no advance notice. Consider yourself warned.

Note that Taiwan should be included in banana republic category because it will eventually fall under mainland China control.
This is rather exaggerated. I bought my 2 condo units in Thailand in 2001, about 20 years ago and we used them frequently, they are for me, my wife, my 2 daughters and their children and husband /partner who sometimes coming together with a friend, used also for some visits I had from friends in Europe, I used it for a good jump-over to Cebu where my Filipina fosterdaughter is living and it is really comfortable to travel only with a small bag, which contains passport, creditcard and keys to my second home.

We never had any problem in Thailand - and there are also plenty of airplanes between Tokyo/Osaka and Bangkok.

Yes, I could go even now to Thailand, I can fulfill all requirements - but I do not like to stay in quarantine and waste money for being locked up in a hotel room for 15 nights near to my own rooms. We all are not in a hurry, and it has to be noticed that to return to Japan is also a big issue now.
Many countries in Asia are almost closed.

Property in Thailand 20 years ago was cheap, not over USD 35000,- for a new constructed condo unit of 70 sqm with large swimming pool, parking, security, etc.
Even now maintenance fees are also cheap. You can find easily simple old condo units for sale in foreigners name and the maintenance fee for a unit of 30 sqm is not even USD 15 per month.

Thailand is not something like Malaysia, quite big difference between these two countries. Life in Thailand is still cheap if you don't waste your money for bargirls and alcohol...

Keep in mind, I am living in Japan, it's only about 5 to 6 hours flight to Thailand - and airfare is cheap too, not over USD 400,- for a return ticket.
Discount airlines are even cheaper (if you have no luggage, and do not expect any service) - last flight in March 2020 Air Asia was charging me for USD 80,- per route and some small booking fees/airport tax, totally about USD 240,- for the return flight Osaka/Bangkok.

During the last years, I had a retirement visa for one year, multiple entry (now expired of course) - the only problem now is really the covid-19
This will also change - see link below

https://www.pattayamail.com/thailandnew ... end-368994
Thailand to consider opening country to normalcy by year-end
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Yohan »

yick wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 8:47 am
You also need liquid assests of 483000 dollars PLUS 10000 dollars a month :lol: - of the 483000 dollars you need, 380000 dollars of it must remain untouched in a Malaysian bank! :lol:

The Malaysian government have given existing visa holders a 'one year grace period' to get their finances up to speed - that is actually a bigger shithouse trick than what the Thais pulled!

It's a joke but you can see who they want in their country and who they don't - there are plenty of Chinese who won't blink at those prices and it is a three hour flight from most Mainland Chinese cities.
True, but this is the same in Australia, you need at least AUS 1.5 million (about USD 1.1 million) to receive quickly a visa for permanent residence.
It's all only about money. Malaysia is Western de-luxe life-style orientated when accepting foreigners.

Keep in mind, in Malaysia often such applicants (Chinese, Arabs, Indians) bring a large family with them - this visa even includes their maids and servants like gardeners and drivers.

----------------

Thailand is still easy for visa for retirement, not bad at all internationally seen. The financial requirements are fitting often retired ordinary foreigners (single, couples) wth average income from Continental Europe and also from Japan.

Forget about this Elite visa for the rich immigrants from China etc.

Required are about per person USD 25.000,- (baht 800.000,-) in the bank, or a pension for life from a foreign national retirement agency (no private pension fund accepted) of USD 2000,- (baht 65.000,-) if you are 50+ of age.
Many retired Europeans often from Scandinavia or in my case from Austria (EU) etc. have no problem with that financial requirement at all.

You can buy as a foreigner - even as a tourist - your own condo unit in Thailand (but not land/house) and prices are very moderate.

The visa problem in Thailand is more about if you are still under 50+ and cannot prove a regular income. Working permits in Thailand are not easy to get. Marriage visa with a Thai is helpful in some cases.

For elderly applicants long stay visa issues are more about recently required local Thai health insurance cover, as many insurance companies reject foreigners 70+ or charge very high premiums. However this is now also under consideration, at least between Japan and Thailand, as Japanese national insurance also covers partially medical fees (up to 60 % or so) regardless your age in case you are out of your own country, at least for 2 months - similar to EU, as long as you have an address in your home country. - there is also credit card insurance/travel insurance possible etc.

About myself and my family members, but also about other Japanese I know, we never spent more than 2 months in Thailand, but often came back again several times per year. We all have a permanent address in Japan and can prove that easily with an income tax report, paid return ticket, land title, in my case with a permanent Japanese residence permit etc.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by yick »

Yohan wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 4:40 pm
yick wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 8:47 am
You also need liquid assests of 483000 dollars PLUS 10000 dollars a month :lol: - of the 483000 dollars you need, 380000 dollars of it must remain untouched in a Malaysian bank! :lol:

The Malaysian government have given existing visa holders a 'one year grace period' to get their finances up to speed - that is actually a bigger shithouse trick than what the Thais pulled!

It's a joke but you can see who they want in their country and who they don't - there are plenty of Chinese who won't blink at those prices and it is a three hour flight from most Mainland Chinese cities.
True, but this is the same in Australia, you need at least AUS 1.5 million (about USD 1.1 million) to receive quickly a visa for permanent residence.
It's all only about money. Malaysia is Western de-luxe life-style orientated when accepting foreigners.

Keep in mind, in Malaysia often such applicants (Chinese, Arabs, Indians) bring a large family with them - this visa even includes their maids and servants like gardeners and drivers.

----------------

Thailand is still easy for visa for retirement, not bad at all internationally seen. The financial requirements are fitting often retired ordinary foreigners (single, couples) wth average income from Continental Europe and also from Japan.

Forget about this Elite visa for the rich immigrants from China etc.

Required are about per person USD 25.000,- (baht 800.000,-) in the bank, or a pension for life from a foreign national retirement agency (no private pension fund accepted) of USD 2000,- (baht 65.000,-) if you are 50+ of age.
Many retired Europeans often from Scandinavia or in my case from Austria (EU) etc. have no problem with that financial requirement at all.

You can buy as a foreigner - even as a tourist - your own condo unit in Thailand (but not land/house) and prices are very moderate.

The visa problem in Thailand is more about if you are still under 50+ and cannot prove a regular income. Working permits in Thailand are not easy to get. Marriage visa with a Thai is helpful in some cases.

For elderly applicants long stay visa issues are more about recently required local Thai health insurance cover, as many insurance companies reject foreigners 70+ or charge very high premiums. However this is now also under consideration, at least between Japan and Thailand, as Japanese national insurance also covers partially medical fees (up to 60 % or so) regardless your age in case you are out of your own country, at least for 2 months - similar to EU, as long as you have an address in your home country. - there is also credit card insurance/travel insurance possible etc.

About myself and my family members, but also about other Japanese I know, we never spent more than 2 months in Thailand, but often came back again several times per year. We all have a permanent address in Japan and can prove that easily with an income tax report, paid return ticket, land title, in my case with a permanent Japanese residence permit etc.
The reason why Australia can demand those kind of requirements and people (the Chinese, Indians, rich Arabs) won't blink is because it leads of the Permanent Residency and citizenship in a reasonably short timeframe - also - Australia is geared towards wealthy people anyway - if you want to buy something decent in a nice place by the beach it's half a million dollars minimum - Australia offers all the comforts and conveniences of a first world lifestyle.

Like I said, I love Malaysia, I would rather live there than in Australia but the reality, the Malaysians are offering next to nothing for the fees they're asking for - nearly half a million dollars and 10000 dollars a month and there's no PR or citizenship - all you get is a ten year renewal subject to their whims? I don't think it is that good a deal at all.

Secondly, when the Malaysians and Thais pull stunts like this and refuse to 'grandfather' visas won under previous
requirements set by them - it makes them look really bad and untrustworthy - there are stories of people who now can't afford the new visa requirements set by the Thais and they have to leave everything to go back to a country that they haven't lived in for 20-30 years, we have talked about this @Yohan before and I know you have given out excellent advice about retiring in Thailand and about not investing any more than you can afford to lose because of things like this.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Italianman »

Sad news for @MarcosZeitola :( I guess his Dutch pension money can only afford him the Philippines.. I checked one of my accounts for various income streams from my online business out of curiosity. Looks like I meet their requirements

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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Yohan »

yick wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 5:52 pm
Like I said, I love Malaysia, I would rather live there than in Australia but the reality, the Malaysians are offering next to nothing for the fees they're asking for - nearly half a million dollars and 10000 dollars a month and there's no PR or citizenship - all you get is a ten year renewal subject to their whims? I don't think it is that good a deal at all.

Secondly, when the Malaysians and Thais pull stunts like this and refuse to 'grandfather' visas won under previous
requirements set by them - it makes them look really bad and untrustworthy - there are stories of people who now can't afford the new visa requirements set by the Thais and they have to leave everything to go back to a country that they haven't lived in for 20-30 years, we have talked about this @Yohan before and I know you have given out excellent advice about retiring in Thailand and about not investing any more than you can afford to lose because of things like this.
@yick

I agree with you, it is true I often told people never to invest anything in Thailand (and Philippines etc.) and expect something in return. Consider anything you spend there might be lost suddenly and unexpected even without any wrongdoing by your side. I often told foreigners in Thailand to consider an escape route, to disappear immediately in case of serious problems like riots, never participate in any demonstration and always refrain from political comments.

Thailand had in the past many military coups d'état, many constitutions, many corrupt politicians - and many countries in Asia are politically not stable at all.... that's the reality.

-----

Not sure however what you mean about 'new visa requirements by the Thai'

About the Thai Elite Visa, forget about it, this is only suitable for the very rich foreigners who need not to care about their money, it's not for ordinary people. (same of course with long-stay MM2H visa in Malaysia)

What did really change for ordinary people during the last 5 years or so for entering Thailand?
Financial requirements are the same.

To prove an income of USD 2000,- per month (which means about USD 60,- per day) is not asking too much from a foreigner, of course you need not to spend it, you can save it if you want and live a modest life-style.
Thailand is not such a cheap place anymore with a GNI per capita incl. PPP of around USD 18.000,- per year, much higher than Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Some Thai long-term visa require now a 'clean criminal record' - I have no problem with that - why should Thailand continue to accept foreign criminals?
To ask a person who applies for long-stay before arrival for a medical certificate regarding being drug free (heroin) and free of certain diseases (tuberculosis) and alcoholism is also understandable.

Many foreigners in Thailand left overnight after accidents or unexpected illness and never paid (or were unable to pay for) their hospital bills, just walking out of the building and straight to the airport - now some kind of Thai longterm visa require a health insurance (this has to be improved, as private international insurance companies will ask for high premiums or refuse people 70+.
This is new and might indeed cause a problem for some long-stay foreigners - but what else is new?

New requirements are related mainly to this nasty covid-19 - vaccination 2x - and about expensive PCR testing, quarantine, this costs money.
The now obligatory Thai covid-19 insurance is not expensive however and not age-related.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Shemp »

I've stated this before, but my opinion is that the best strategy for retirees is to be a perpetual tourist rather than resident, because tourists get better treatment than residents. No taxes, no application process, usually minimal medical insurance rules. If you don't like the apartment you are in, no big deal because you will be leaving soon anyway. I'm planning to apply for residency in Ukraine, but I will always be prepared to go back to 90/180 days tourist mode if they ever change the residency rules. In particular, no buying real estate. Then just spend 90 days somewhere else before returning to Ukraine. Same idea of constantly moving will also work in SE Asia. No need to be resident in Malaysia when you can be a tourist there, then switch to Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines after 90 days.

That JohnnyFD blogger set off a land rush of digital nomads buying apartments in Kyiv, after he did a video about buying an overpriced apartment there himself. I heard rumors the building he bought into has foundation problems from an underground stream. Not cheap to fix something like that. Plus he can't speak the local language and yet plans to do massive renovations, which are a problem even for locals. But he probably makes enough money he can afford any loss. Still, renting is so much simpler if you have money. Especially weekly apartments, with no lease so you can move immediately in case of problems, and zero or minimal deposit.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by yick »

Yohan wrote:
August 25th, 2021, 5:15 am


Not sure however what you mean about 'new visa requirements by the Thai'

About the Thai Elite Visa, forget about it, this is only suitable for the very rich foreigners who need not to care about their money, it's not for ordinary people. (same of course with long-stay MM2H visa in Malaysia)

What did really change for ordinary people during the last 5 years or so for entering Thailand?
Financial requirements are the same.

To prove an income of USD 2000,- per month (which means about USD 60,- per day) is not asking too much from a foreigner, of course you need not to spend it, you can save it if you want and live a modest life-style.
Thailand is not such a cheap place anymore with a GNI per capita incl. PPP of around USD 18.000,- per year, much higher than Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Some Thai long-term visa require now a 'clean criminal record' - I have no problem with that - why should Thailand continue to accept foreign criminals?
To ask a person who applies for long-stay before arrival for a medical certificate regarding being drug free (heroin) and free of certain diseases (tuberculosis) and alcoholism is also understandable.

Many foreigners in Thailand left overnight after accidents or unexpected illness and never paid (or were unable to pay for) their hospital bills, just walking out of the building and straight to the airport - now some kind of Thai longterm visa require a health insurance (this has to be improved, as private international insurance companies will ask for high premiums or refuse people 70+.
This is new and might indeed cause a problem for some long-stay foreigners - but what else is new?

New requirements are related mainly to this nasty covid-19 - vaccination 2x - and about expensive PCR testing, quarantine, this costs money.
The now obligatory Thai covid-19 insurance is not expensive however and not age-related.
I might be wrong but aren't the recent change to financial requirements less than five years old? I don't actually have a problem with whatever the Thais or the Malaysians decide who to let in their country in the future but to up the requirements and not grandfather existing visa holders is wrong! Most British pensioners (for sure...) are nowhere near having a 2000 dollar pension, they survive on a frozen government pension and if they're lucky, they have bought their condo and have some savings - to now expect them to find the extra 800-1000 dollars to make up their pension to satisfy the visa requirements when they legally fulfilled all visa regulations for as long as 30 years in some cases is wrong.

Of course, the Thais have every right to ask for CBC's, health insurance and whatever they deem as appropriate for future visa applicants to retire in their country but to now expect pensioners - some of them long term - to make up their pensions or else they have to leave is wrong in my opinion.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by yick »

Shemp wrote:
August 25th, 2021, 6:44 am
I've stated this before, but my opinion is that the best strategy for retirees is to be a perpetual tourist rather than resident, because tourists get better treatment than residents. No taxes, no application process, usually minimal medical insurance rules. If you don't like the apartment you are in, no big deal because you will be leaving soon anyway. I'm planning to apply for residency in Ukraine, but I will always be prepared to go back to 90/180 days tourist mode if they ever change the residency rules. In particular, no buying real estate. Then just spend 90 days somewhere else before returning to Ukraine. Same idea of constantly moving will also work in SE Asia. No need to be resident in Malaysia when you can be a tourist there, then switch to Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines after 90 days.

That JohnnyFD blogger set off a land rush of digital nomads buying apartments in Kyiv, after he did a video about buying an overpriced apartment there himself. I heard rumors the building he bought into has foundation problems from an underground stream. Not cheap to fix something like that. Plus he can't speak the local language and yet plans to do massive renovations, which are a problem even for locals. But he probably makes enough money he can afford any loss. Still, renting is so much simpler if you have money. Especially weekly apartments, with no lease so you can move immediately in case of problems, and zero or minimal deposit.
I think you are quite right regards retiring in Asia - the Malaysians and Thais have shown up with their bush league requirements that they're not to be trusted, when I started looking at the MM2H back in 2016, the rhetoric was as long as you had the amount required the 10 year visa renewal was a certainty and now we find they have gone back on their word - meanwhile, people have bought property that they live in Malaysia and they won't be able to get rid of it - it will be the white elephant that they were conned into buying because the Malaysian government have gone back on their word and now they have made it more or less impossible for the vast majority of westerners to retire there - which is fine, but at least give some leeway to existing visa holders - I would be fuming if I was in Malaysia and had bought property and they had given me a year to find 10000 dollars a month or my existing visa becomes null and void.

I think however you are on safer ground retiring in countries that offer PR or citizenship, thankfully, I have citizenship of a Latin American country and it is coming apparent to me that if one doesn't have that kind of anchor then buying property and having long term plans in the retirement country of choice is fraught with uncertainty. I think retiring somewhere like Argentina where at least they offer PR and citizenship after three years is a far better bet than anything available in Asia.
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Re: Malaysia MM2M visa rqmt. now $10K/month vs $2.5K previously

Post by Yohan »

Shemp wrote:
August 25th, 2021, 6:44 am
I've stated this before, but my opinion is that the best strategy for retirees is to be a perpetual tourist rather than resident, because tourists get better treatment than residents...
Thanks for your comment, worth a discussion. For you this is likely the best solution - but not for everybody. It depends on the country of destination for your second home, if you ever go back to your own country, if you are alone or with a family, retired or still have to work and so on.

There are many people from UK for example who own a second home in Spain. I am from Europe but own my condo unit in Japan and never came back to Europe since more than 30 years...not everybody wants to pay rent and move on from place to place, but wants to settle down somewhere and own a home for longstay.

About visa status as a foreigner, it depends how long you stay away from your native country.. Not everybody wants to move on after 90 or max. 180 days.

There are advantages for long-stay and pay tax as a resident too. For example, I have full Japanese health insurance cover up to end of life despite being a foreigner, and about my second home in Thailand, as I have a permanent address over there too as a condo owner, I have also a Thai banking account, local Thai driving licence, have my own motorcycle, own electric meter in my rooms, all my things I need to stay are in my Thai home and are ready whenever I come and I need no suitcase carry around .... never any hotel invoice...no landlord who can kick me out.
I prefer my own rooms, in Japan as well as for my second home in Thailand and not being a tourist moving around, in and out from country to country.

I would not do this in Malaysia of course, just too expensive, too many requirements.
I also would not do it in a country like Ukraine with the Russians nearby. etc.

It's no clear answer what means 'happier abroad'. It depends on the individual - where, how long, buy property or rent, also distance from your home to your second home plays a role and of course the financial situation etc.

What fits you, and what fits me does not fit others... everybody different, there is no best solution for everybody.
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