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What if we cannot afford to retire?

Budget 2022

What if we cannot afford to retire? Work past 60 year old then?

A good friend of mine would be 60 years old next year. She says she will definitely retire and enjoy travelling after that. She’s already financially independent. Not many people could be like my good friend who could choose whether or not to renew her employment contract which is on a yearly basis. The company would like to keep her, she’s the one who decides if they get to keep her.

Today, I read this news and it saddened me a little. “Many Malaysians need to work past 60 after Covid withdrawals” Article in (click here to read in full)

What the article is basically saying is that because of the dip into the EPF during the Covid-19, more Malaysians would be forced to work past retirement age. In this case, it’s 60. An earlier study also showed that 2 out of 3 EPF members aged 54 have retirement savings lower than RM50,000. Imagine needing to have money to last at least the next 20-25 years after retiring at 56 and suddenly we realise how dire the situation is. Of course, these Malaysians would also have other assets and perhaps savings in the bank and not just the EPF money alone. However, let’s be savvy to the fact that 25 years of expenditure is still likely to be a huge chunk and one needs the money prepared before then.

It’s not just savings, that’s for sure

My advice is a simple one so that we can afford to retire. Not sure if it’s fully applicable since I have yet to retire as well.

Savings will form the core but we need to ensure we keep earning higher too. Are we also climbing the career ladder and earning higher or are we only relying on doing the same thing for higher pay every year? Then, we realise suddenly that someone could do what we do in a lower cost country and we will immediately lose our job.

After earning enough, we need to save. After saving some money, we must be financially savvy enough to start investing these savings so that it builds up our wealth further versus just a paltry less than 2% in the Fixed Deposits today. If we want to double our money with 2%, it takes 36 years ladies and gentlemen. Please find other options and keep just enough emergency funds in the Fixed Deposits.

Remember to also secure what we have by insuring ourselves sufficiently. No point in saving like crazy and then when we need to he hospitalised, the bill came to a few years’ worth of savings. Get a medical card and cover this potential big loss. Get insured so that our loved ones are protected. If unforeseen circumstances happen, they may lose everything because the home is still under mortgage and the wife’s salary alone may not be enough.

What if we need to work past 60? (but maybe we can afford to retire)

Have a healthy body. Enjoy what we do. I had lunch with a longtime friend just a few days ago. He is now 70 and if he did not remind me, I thought he’s in his 50s. That’s how healthy he is and he says it’s all down to eating right and exercise daily. I think his advice is really the key IF we really do need to work past 60.

Please do not think that only Malaysians work past 6 yeah. IN many advanced countries, the retirement age is already 60 or higher… In many cases it’s not necessarily because they cannot afford to retire. Happy understanding.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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