Specifically for Malaysians. When should we retire? Let’s focus this question only on age before moving on to other reasons. Is your answer as follows?
55? (This was long ago…)
60? (Yeah, this is supposedly current number)
65? (British men’s retirement age)
75? (Forbes article says so, in reference to millenials in the U.S)
93? (Our PM is still working…)
Perhaps there’s no conclusive answer because I have a friend who’s still working at 60 here in Malaysia and a close friend who’s retired and she’s just 46. Both know one another too. I am 41 and is nowhere near ready for retirement. According to an Article in Yahoo Finance: 4 Tips to Catch Up on Retirement Goals, the FIRST tip is to build a budget. Do we seem to use more than what we earn every month, every year? As soon as we receive a promotion and gets a good increment, we feel we deserve to spend more for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we realise that our new salary is also not enough? If we write everything down, then it will become very clear to us what was NEEDED and what was WANTED instead. Want even more tips? Here’s one awesome personal finance site: ringgitohringgit.com by my good friend Suraya.
Second TIP is more applicable to the U.S. market but I think it’s important to always note that our Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is really for retirement. As much as possible, build up our savings because relying on just EPF is not going to be sufficient. This is one latest stats on the amount we should have to maintain a certain lifestyle that we want. “To enjoy a monthly post retirement income of RM3,000, one would need to have a minimum of RM720,000 in savings. If the monthly expenditure is RM5,000, then a minimum retirement savings of RM1,200,000 would be required.” Here’s that article in thestar.com.my
Third TIP is to ensure there’s a defensive element to our wealth. Investments should be for a longer term instead of short-term high risk and potentially high gains. As we get older, we need to be even more protective of what we have. I would add that we must have protection too. Insurance will be a very good form of protection. Medical cards would also protect us from sudden medical emergencies which will usually take away many months of non-stop savings. Remember yeah, a typical minor surgery with a few nights of hospital stay would usually be more than RM5,000.
Last tip is the reason for this article. It says, people can also think of DEFERRING their retirement! Basically, the more years we are able to work productively, the more years that we could delay from starting to start spending our retirement funds. I do believe that I will continue to work even until 65 or beyond. However, I would like to have a choice in terms of things I want to do instead of it being compulsory. This is the reason why I am still working very hard today as well as continue to look for investment opportunities which are not limited to just property, property and property. The full article is here for reference. Let’s keep working yeah everyone. Of course, occasionally we should also just drink kopi and laugh loudly in a local kopitiam.
written on 13 Sept 2018
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