Friday, September 30, 2011


At long last, the government has agreed to raise the retirement age. But it will take many more months of waiting before we can pop the champagne bottle. The new retirement age has yet to be fixed, and the Bill has yet to be debated in Parliament. Still, it's heartening news.

However, not everyone is in favour of a higher retirement age.

Young working professionals are concerned that it would be harder for them to rise through the ranks if the seniors are still occupying the top positions in the company. Their fears are understandable.

But they should look at the big picture. One day they too will reach 55. With the mandatory new retirement age, they will have several working years ahead of them to remain financially independent. They will have more years to build a bigger retirement nest. Another plus point is adult children can delay having to support their elderly parents for at least a few more years.

Click here to read the original letter.
There are also protests from soon-to-be retirees who have been waiting to punch out for good at the work-place. Some have saved enough for their retirement, others are impatient to start their own business venture. Whatever the reason, they can't wait to say bye-bye to the daily grind of working for others.

A government pension does not necessarily translate into lifelong financial security. (Source: The Sun 29 Sept)

Let's face reality. How many among us can honestly say we have sufficient funds to last us till our final years, given the longer life span we now enjoy, and the escalating healthcare expenses?

Here are some figures to put the issue into perspective. The EPF was first set up in 1951. At the time life expectancy of the average Malaysian was 55 - the same as the retirement age then. Now, 60 years later, the average life expectancy has gone up to 75, but the retirement age has remained at 55. That means we have to save enough to live on for another 20 years.

Source: The Star
In an EPF survey conducted in 2003, 50% of retirees had depleted their savings within five years of retiring, and 70% within 10 years. These figures should sober up anyone thinking of retiring in a hurry.

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