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Singaporean couple chooses to retire in Penang, says their Singapore assets pay for their lifestyle and beachfront condo

The Independent SG logo The Independent SG 30/1/2023 Hana O
© The Independent Singapore © The Independent Singapore

SINGAPORE — Singapore-based Japanese YouTuber Ghib Ojisan met Singaporean couple Charles and Lena, who has been living in a condominium next to a beach in Penang for the last 15 years.

“We came here, and we looked at this view. My wife and I decided to buy it in 10 minutes,” said Charles, a former banker who loves the beach. “The only reason we can live like we do… is because we have Singapore. Our assets in Singapore pay for our life,” said Lena, a former media consultant.

Charles gave Ghib a tour of their 2,900 sq ft home, which is more spacious than homes in Singapore. He noted that one could buy a landed property or a super-condo in Penang for the price of a Housing and Development Board flat in Singapore.

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The best part of the property is the beachfront view, accessible even by the guest bedroom.

Photo: YT screengrab/Ghib Ojisan © The Independent Singapore Photo: YT screengrab/Ghib Ojisan

The couple explained that they analysed multiple things before deciding on Penang.

The couple had lived in other countries and considered places like England and Ko Samui in Thailand for retirement before. They also considered countries like China and Canada. However, the Singaporean couple chose to retire in Penang. Charles explained that the infrastructure didn’t match their requirements. “We needed to find a place near Singapore,” he noted.

“Do you miss Singapore?” asked Ghib. “I miss several things about Singapore. I think the number one thing is convenience. You can get many, many things done within a few hours in Singapore,” said Charles.

They also miss the cleanliness and greenery and certain food like good chicken rice, which they can’t get in Penang.

Ghib asked Charles about some of the biggest advantages of living in Singapore, and the retiree said he knew he was home every time he arrived at Changi Airport.

“I know I’m on safe ground. I know that my luggage may probably be waiting for me by the time I clear immigration. The efficiency and organisation are something that many Singaporeans take for granted about Singapore.

The other thing is the safety factor. Singaporeans are so used to it, they don’t even notice until they go to a different country and then they really appreciate it as I do,” said Charles. /TISG

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