IPOH is a relatively affordable city to live in compared to other bigger cities.
Not only is it affordable but also beautiful because it is mainly surrounded by refreshing limestone hills.
When informed that an international survey had listed Ipoh as one of the nine most affordable places to retire in the world, those interviewed were not surprised at all.
Maisalwa Isa, 27, said property in Ipoh was cheaper compared to places like Lumut.
The clerk working at the state district police headquarters said she made the comparison because she was from Lumut.
“I am renting a house in Ipoh for RM300, but in Lumut, the same type of house would cost me RM800, similar to the rental prices in the Klang Valley.
“I am also thinking of buying a house in Ipoh, as it is a wonderful place to work and live in.
“I agree with the survey because food in Ipoh is priced reasonably, the scenery is beautiful and the houses are affordable,” she added.
Recently, Kathleen Peddicord, who is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group, had published on money.usnews.com that Ipoh was one of the nine most affordable places to retire in the world.
With more than 28 years of experience covering this beat, Peddicord said one needed a monthly budget of US$897 (RM2,900) to live in Ipoh, which she placed third on her list.
In her article, she said that despite having a population of more than half a million, one could expect first-world health care and a modern infrastructure without overcrowding or skyscrapers.
She said Ipoh was an increasingly popular retirement haven among Malaysians, who claim its fresh air, clean water and relaxing lifestyle not only improves the quality of life but also promoted longevity.
Kapli Emek, 58, a civil servant, said places like Ipoh and Seremban were affordable and nice places to retire.
He said since both cities were closer to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, people preferred to travel daily to KL or Selangor for work.
“Instead of getting stressed from being caught in traffic jams that could take hours, the recent trend is for them to use public transport to the capital city and get back to Ipoh after work.
“Maybe it will be better if the frequency of the Electric Train Service (ETS) between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur is increased,” he added.
Kapli said not only the older people were choosing to stay put in Ipoh, but also the younger generation.
“Nowadays, they prefer to purchase properties and stay in towns like Ipoh and Seremban to step back from all the hustle and bustle in bigger cities,” he added.
Joginder Kaur Jessy, 59, said as a court interpreter she had been posted to various states like Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Penang and Kedah before finally coming back to her hometown of Ipoh a few years back.
Being born and bred in Ipoh she said it was definitely an affordable place to stay.
“There is so much of land available in most houses, that people can do gardening.
“For me, I plant flowers, vegetables and even grow grapes in my very own backyard.
“I do not need to get up early to beat the traffic jam and can easily reach my office in about 15 minutes,” she added.
Joginder therefore said the survey was not surprising to her because people could admire the landscape of soaring limestone hills and serene lakes at many locations in Ipoh daily.
“People come to Ipoh to savour the delicious food and that speaks volumes,” she added.
When Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was asked to comment on the article, he said he was intrigued.
“Although we cannot stop the growth and development of the city, the sustainability of Ipoh is important.
“We need to assess the quality of life in Ipoh, which is chosen as a destination to retire, and look at ways to make further improvements,” he added.