Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gone within three years

Do You Believe This?
One of the most painful realities about retirement is that your money will run out.
In a recent study by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), almost 69% of retirees deplete their EPF funds within the first three years of retirement.
While most Malaysians are enjoying better health and a longer life expectancy ratio, what seems rather worrying is that if the trend continues, the majority of our retiree population will probably have little or no money left by their fourth or fifth year into retirement.
Those with filial children or caring family members might still be able to eke out a living, but for hundreds of thousands of others in a less fortunate position, the future would look rather bleak.
Neither the EPF nor the Government seems to know how to get retirees to change their minds from treating the EPF as their savings account.
And the temptation for retirees to lay their hands on the lump sum of cash is very strong.
The EPF can only advise contributors and hope good sense will prevail, but unfortunately, many retirees feel they are the best judge of how to invest or spend their savings.
National Council of Senior Citizens Organisations Malaysia president Lum Kin Tuck said 56 is “too early an age for retirement”.
“I urge the Government to consider pushing the retirement age to 65. Senior citizens have a lot of potential and they are still capable of contributing to society,” he said yesterday.
Lum said it was very difficult for a retiree to gain re-employment as “nobody will hire us”.
He suggested that coffeeshop owners hire senior citizens instead of taking in foreign workers.
“Simple jobs at coffee shops can be given to old people so that they have a chance of earning a living.”
Asked if the association had programmes to help people plan for their retirement, he replied: “No, we don't have any such programmes although we are advocating a social pension.”
Do Malaysians in general plan for their retirement?
“No, most people don't actually plan for their retirement. Young people can be very materialistic and so they don't save. As for the lower income groups, it is hard enough to make a daily living. How can they save for retirement?”

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