Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Part 3 - Who Are The RV Customers in Malaysia.

There is still confusion among many Malaysians about living in a retirement village, most responses being neutral or towards hesitation. Those that have felt the need and have been exposed to the concept abroad clearly welcome the news of such facilities being created in Malaysia. Those that hesitated, some have confused this with nursing homes and aged care facilities, worst being the Malaysian old folks homes. These are all separate subjects but nevertheless linked chronologically.

While I have been understudying and growing with the industry throughout the last 8 years, I take clear cognizance that there is no singular answer to the many facets of this industry. Each and every retirement facility will cater to a different mindset of people.

The retirement facility is a lifestyle choice, whereas later on in life the aged-care facility may feature due to physiological or medical needs.

The people who will choose the RV lifestyle are (in no particular order) :

A. EMPTY NESTERS
It is common among the upper and upper-middle class in Malaysia, to educate their children abroad. And many choose not to return to Malaysia after graduation for better career opportunities. This with the support of their parents.
> A retirement facility provides community and communal facilities for the parents.

B. THE SINGLE PERSON
The ones concerned fear they may be alone in their apartment should they require medical assistance or emergency help. Some have mentioned their fears of dying alone in their homes without anyone noticing. These are the ones who have few relatives or none. Most are retired professionals with very healthy retirement funds.
It is quite common talk among friends about jointly purchasing a piece of land and building a home to retire together. The problem starts when one by one, they fade in life. And subsequent ownership issues.
> A good landed retirement village may answer their needs clearly and immediately. The location matters then, as of now there is only one in Ipoh and the other in Kuching - Eden On The Park available. (I do know many developers are finally tuning in to this industry. But they must get their priorities right. This is a long term game. Not for immediate returns.)
> It will also be easier to liquidate one's ownership when one passes on.
> 24-hour emergency button and friendly neighbours are all important.

C. DOWN-SIZING
Big homes become just big houses to be maintained when the party's died down. Alarms, maids, driver, pet animals, 4 doors, 20 windows, garden, swimming pool, et cetera. A large house becomes a hassle without relevant use of the space.
> A high-end retirement facility may help improve the quality of life. In a gated & guarded environment, with just one key, the person/s can just lock up and fly off to vacation without worry.

D. LIQUIDATING FOR RETIREMENT
An example profile is the typical Petaling Jaya bungalow owner from the 1970s. Purchased at below RM50,000, the land itself is now worth thirty times more (although leasehold). Some pensioners may not have sufficient funds set aside for renovations and upkeep, or to upgrade their lifestyles. They may have kept for their children or for medical needs later.
> Liquidating wisely and choosing a retirement facility at below 40% of their newly available funds may put them not just in better financial position, but also in a new refreshed environment. 
> In very near future, the knowledge and skills of RV residents will be tapped on and in return work opportunities become a new focus in life.

E. THE FOREIGN BUYER
Retirement Villages that adopts the leased model are commercial business arrangements. Thus, the minimum price quota for foreign home purchase or RM1 million does not apply. However, the buyer need to apply for a resident visa or look into the MM2H program, of which there are many experts around. I am not one.
> This is good news for developers and land owners.
> Malaysia is consistently ranked The World's Top Five Retirement Destinations. Penang and Ipoh being favourites.
> Here are the reasons why: Favourable forex rate, Lower cost of living (high quality), English is widely used, Multi-language, Relative safety, Food-food-food, Universality, Cosmopolitan, Cultural, Asian, Friendliness, Transportation, Centrality, World class medical facilities and infrastructure.

Here are just 5 common profiles of the potential retirement living residents in Malaysia.

Kenneth Tan: I am an advocate of quality retirement lifestyles living in Malaysia. While all these seems to be focussed on the wealthy, it must be understood that the writings are geared towards understanding retirement living industry as a business. I choose to share the knowledge I have in the hope of fast-tracking those whose lives have just been opened up to the industry. 

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