Why do I invest in Malaysian properties?

J: I am a Singaporean PR, still stubbornly holding on to my Malaysian citizenship, unlike many other comrades who have ‘jumped ship’. My strategy is earn SGD and invest in properties in Malaysia. All properties are for rental income in the period prior to retirement and to pass on freehold titles to my children.

At the end of my work life in Singapore, few things can happen:

a) SGD remains strong against MYR. Take buy one of the properties that I have bought and retire comfortably in Msia with dear hubby (DH). Kids can be wherever they choose to be, we shall not disturb their choice of the future unless they seek our help.

b) MYR strengthens considerably against SGD. However as Msia has more resources than SPR, cost of living does not go up as dramatically as SPR, so retiring in Msia still makes sense. Property value in MYR would have also risen vs initial outlay which was in SGD.

c) Msia becomes too chaotic to retire in. Keep properties for passive income and able to pass on to children as they are all freehold. Stay in SPR or alternative country that accepts retirees.

I would say that all three scenarios are depicting my personal hedge for retirement. But what is the cost of this hedge? Higher taxes and school fees as a PR… lost opportunity in buying landed property in SPR…. Ah consider it as a small premium to pay for a wide array of options in the future!

In the meantime, with undervalued MYR against SGD, DH and I have taken the leap of faith to put invest in 2 more units in KL and Ipoh, on top of the one in Johor. We were eyeing to buy land initially but the long gestation period waiting for capital appreciation without any income in between was too difficult to overcome. So, good luck to us for now and see where things go!


More on being a landlord, the sense of fulfilment in managing a property vs REITs and managing tenants in future blog entries by yours truly…


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