Why This 69 Year Old American Sold His House and Moved to Malaysia

Malaysia is often overlooked as a retirement destination for Western expats, but American YouTuber Andrew Taylor believes it offers an unbeatable lifestyle. After selling his house in Florida, the 69-year old moved to the Malaysian state of Penang eight years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

I sat down with Andrew to discuss the move, his experiences settling into Malaysian culture, and the biggest differences he’s noticed between the American and Malaysian mentalities.

Stereotypes and Misconceptions About Malaysia

One of the biggest misconceptions Westerners have about Malaysia is that it’s a Muslim country. While Islam is the official religion, Malaysia is constitutionally a secular state that allows freedom of religion.

As Andrew explained:

“I think the biggest stereotype is that it’s a Muslim country and it’s not a Muslim country. I mean that’s the official religion but it’s a secular country, they allow all religions.”

Malaysia manages to seamlessly integrate multiple cultures and faiths. Still, misguided preconceptions about Islam persist.

Andrew wishes more Westerners would visit Malaysia and experience its diversity for themselves rather than rely on stereotypes:

“Come and visit and see for yourself, you know? It’s it’s a wonderful place.”

Comparing the Malaysian and American Mentalities

When it comes to following rules and trusting the government, Malaysians and Americans tend to be on opposite extremes according to Andrew.

Malaysians largely trusted and complied with lockdowns and mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparatively, these restrictions were met with much more resistance in the US.

“I think Malaysians tend to be much much more trusting of the government and requirements of the government.”

Beyond the pandemic response, Andrew has noticed Malaysians rely less on questioning authority and asserting their personal liberties. However, he believes this makes them more community-oriented.

The Extreme Kindness of Malaysians

If there’s one thing that consistently amazes Andrew about Malaysians he’s interacted with, it’s their exceptional kindness. He shared:

“People are so friendly and kind here and they’ll do things for you, it seems like they’re just brought up that way with a more kind manner.”

He frequently receives offers of help and support from his Malaysian viewers. Once, a viewer even went out of their way to invite him to an open house when they recognized his condo in a video.

This warmth and hospitality from strangers is rare in American culture. According to Andrew, it likely stems from Islamic influences on Malaysian society.

Launching a Viral YouTube Channel from Malaysia

Andrew started his YouTube channel on a whim using only his phone camera. Shockingly, he gained thousands of subscribers and the coveted YouTube Partner status allowing him to monetize videos within 3 weeks.

Now, income from his channel covers his monthly rent in Malaysia. He explained:

“It basically pays my rent now but also the amazing part is like use just your phone, I always say to people that if you have something to share and you have an idea you don’t need much to start.”

For anyone looking to start their own YouTube channel, Andrew’s story proves that passion and ideas matter far more than high-end equipment and editing skills.

If you’re interested in launching a profitable YouTube channel from Malaysia like Andrew, be sure to check out the early access sign-up link in the video description.

What America Can Learn From Malaysia

With so many races and religions represented, Malaysia stands as an example of how diverse groups can live together harmoniously.

Andrew believes the US has much to gain from Malaysia’s pluralistic approach:

“I think they can learn how to get along a little better because there’s all these different cultures here and they all seem to do pretty well.”

Malaysia’s ability to celebrate multiculturalism makes citizens proud of their national identity. America currently faces deep divisions, but adopting Malaysia’s tolerance could begin healing them.

The Most Irritating Things About Living in Malaysia

While Andrew gushes about Malaysian culture, a few annoyances still linger. His biggest complaints:

Traffic: Congestion in areas like Penang significantly impacts quality of life.

Excessive Rule-Following: Malaysians reluctant to interpret rules flexibly or find creative solutions.

As one example, his condo required the license plate number of a TV delivery vehicle before allowing the drop-off. This rule seemed excessive given the situation.

An American would likely have bypassed formalities and used a random number. But the Malaysian supervisor insisted on calling the company to obtain the actual license plate.

This level of procedural adherence can feel excessive coming from more flexible American norms.

Returning to America After Living in Malaysia

Despite following negative US coverage, returning to Florida still feels like home for Andrew. The political tensions touted in the media don’t impact daily life.

“In reality when I went back I don’t notice those things, I still have the same friends they still have the same mindset.”

However, he prefers building his life in Malaysia. The lifestyle and leisure opportunities exceed what he could afford in America, even without a mortgage.

Affording an Early Retirement in Malaysia

Andrew left his career in America at 60 years old, tapping Social Security payments to fund his retirement abroad. This lifestyle simply wouldn’t be realistic for most Americans the same age.

Renting out his fully-owned Florida condo generates income that supplements his Social Security. Healthcare and basic living also cost significantly less in Malaysia.

He breaks down the monthly cost of living for a couple in their 60s or 70s:

“I’d say for $2,500 a month now I know people who have much more than that and live a little better they travel more they eat out in more expensive restaurants things like that.”

At just $2,500 per month, Malaysia offers a luxury retirement that eludes elderly couples in the US. American retirees struggle to cover basics like housing and medical expenses even with Social Security.


Malaysia presents an underrated opportunity for Westerners nearing retirement age. Between low living costs, modern infrastructure, English proficiency, and cultural openness, cities like Penang or Kuala Lumpur rival popular expat spots in Thailand or Cambodia.

For Americans like Andrew, moving to Malaysia provided an exotic yet comfortable lifestyle otherwise unattainable in the US. It also led to new opportunities, from befriending welcoming locals to launching a viral YouTube channel.

While hurdles like traffic congestion persist, he wholeheartedly embraces his adopted home. As Andrew puts it, settlement in Malaysia gave him the early retirement he never imagined possible.