Expert Info

Posted by happytime
on 29 Jun 2019

I am a British national currently living in America and considering relocating to Malaysia with my wife and son.

I'm 52years of age and would need to find work, as I am not ready to retire just yet.

Hopefully somebody can provide some advice on what sort of income I would need for a comparable standard of living in Kuala Lumpur.

I have 30yrs of specialist IT experience as an engineer and technical consultant. Have lived in UK and now USA and have worked throughout Europe, Africa and America. My current income in the USA is $160,000 before tax and I am married with one 12yr boy.

I would like to know what salary would be required for a comparable standard of living in Kuala Lumpur. Taking into consideration that my wife does not go out to work and that I’d need to place my son in an international school.

It appears that 3,000 – 4,000 RM per month for apartment rental plus 3,000 RM school fees need to be assumed. Does 250,000 RM income per year (21,000 RM per month) sound about right, and if so, is this sort of income something that is reasonable?

Please can somebody offer some guidance?


Thanks very much

cjposta on 1 Jul 2019 - 08:59

According to local Malaysians, a salary above 5,000 RM per month is quite good  for a normal lifestyle.

wirrat1001 on 2 Jul 2019 - 06:55


As local, nowdays you need to have at least 8-10k monthly income to have a decent life with some saving whereby, we pay almost none for school fee (we still need to pay for the books and extra-co thou).

The cost of the accomodation more or less is correct (depending on the place & room that you are getting) but you have to recheck the school fee. I doubt you can get a good school with that kind of budget.

Car is expensive and you have to consider income tax in to your calculation (I am assuming that 21k that you are gettting is gross montly salary, not net salary)

Anonymous (not verified) on 2 Jul 2019 - 10:57

Hi Happytime, for a general idea of living costs in Malaysia, have a look at our guide to Cost of Living in Malaysia - this should give you a good idea of living expenses in the country and you can compare according to your own lifestyle and circumstances to figure out what you'd need to earn to live comfortably in the country.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!