To the southeast of Cambodia is Malaysia, a country split into the Malay Peninsula and a portion of the island of Borneo. Expats seeking to maximize their Social Security should head for the island of Penang rather than the cosmopolitan, yet somewhat more expensive, Kuala Lumpur. There they will find a clash of cultures that rivals anywhere in the world, a riot of colonial, Indian, Chinese, Malay and Muslim influence that makes this such a fascinating country, not to mention one of the best food scenes anywhere.
Malaysia, along with Penang's famous food gardens, is the destination for those who want to eat well in their retirement. It's also a relatively recent arrival on the American expat scene. Explaining its recent addition to International Living's own list, Prescher said that "for a lot of retirees, the thought of Southeast Asia is kind of daunting. It's easier to think of South America or Mexico... [But] Malaysia is making it because it's becoming more and more familiar with expats. The Australians have been going there for years, and expats are there now."