Regrettably, I must tell everyone that The MM2H Forum is now officially dead. Possibly the greatest source of information for anything and everything related to The Malaysian Social Visit Pass, otherwise known as MM2H, a simple message stating its demise is all that remains. With only 183 days left until Diane and I file for the big move to Penang, I was both disappointed and a but angry upon learning the news.
From accounting to zoölogy, the MM2H Forum was perhaps the most complete source of knowledge and information for expats anywhere in the world. Boasting a readership of over 20,000 and created eight years ago by a British expat known to me only as Scott, the forum was a primary reason Diane and I feel comfortable enough to risk everything and move somewhere we’ve never been to. Featuring information about the visa, banking, lifestyle, food, daily life and everything else, the loss will be felt throughout the expat community.
Southeast Asia was a secondary and relatively distant choice for an eventual expat destination until we discovered the MM2H Forum. Ample information exists all over the internet for potential early retirees and expats. If you’re thinking about either, I recommend Early Retirement.org as a good starting point for the former and ExpatForum.com for the latter. Both sites offer a wide array of topics and can help get anyone headed in the right direction.
Populated with know-it-alls who love to hear themselves talk, I’ve often steered away from many forums. Often discouraged, finding the MM2H Forum was a godsend. Feeling more like a small community of friends, a host of regular posters had advice on almost any question, usually based on experience. After awhile I felt comfortable with knowledge about visa filing requirements, getting acclimated, how to budget, where to shop, obtaining insurance, medical issues, vacation spots, banking, weather, beaches, vacationing and general information for enjoying an early retirement.
Fortunately, we discovered the forum in time to make a few friends. More importantly, the important first step of where to live is potentially solved. After several offers from generous forum members, we stumbled on a property owner of a condo unit in The Miami Green Apartment complex in Penang, a prime choice for expat living. As a Malaysian citizen working in the USA, his property remains unoccupied at the moment, is fully furnished and even has an available parking space. (Driving is another issue altogether; we’ve never driven on the British side of the road).
Coincidentally, our future landlord happens to work in project management all over the country. Last spring Diane attended a work related convention in Clearwater Beach, Florida. House husbands waiting for their 50th birthday can’t resist the urge for some free tanning time so I joined. Our new friend was nice enough to combine some local business in Tampa with a dinner meeting. Feasting on delicious seafood while discussing our plans, life in Malaysia and his life as an overworked executive in America, we solidified our relationship and developed a trust. Meeting face to face is always advised if possible when contemplating important financial transactions with long-standing consequences.
Taking advantage of other learning opportunities while still living the USA, I’m a big fan of The Expat Group, a leading media organization dedicated to helping resident expats, overseas visitors, business travelers and investors. Another excellent resource for potential expats or early retirees is ExpatGoMalaysia.com. Featuring articles, events, stories on people and businesses, they also have a forum, albeit not nearly as extensive as the one that died this week. Other members suggested BritishExpats.com, is he the next best choice for MM2H information but I haven’t had time to check yet
Expressing disappointment, some of our MM2H friends sent us this message; it’s all that remains of 8 years worth of incredible postings if you search for the forum today
8 1/2 years running the Forum and that’s it folks.
Many thanks for all the good wishes over the past few months. All the posts, members profiles, and everything else, are now deleted and there’s nothing left.
Speaking for myself and probably many other people who benefited greatly from the mounds of information and friendships formed, I believe trashing the entire project with no archival information available is self-centered and inconsiderate. Discussions about closing the forum began over a year ago and many people offered help in the form of bandwidth, administrative issues, and many other acts of generosity, all of which fell on deaf ears. If anyone knows the person responsible, feel free to convey my message.
Meanwhile, Diane and I march on towards our new life as early retiree expats in a Southeastern Asian haven we’ve only gotten to know extensively through our now deceased friend.
RIP, MM2H Forum !!
Know any great resources for soon to be expats marching blindly into an uncertain but exciting early retirement? Please comment, share or start a meaningful dialogue. We take any and all advice !!