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retirement

10 Ways to Retire, From Awesome to Depressing

retire early

I’m just 28, but the idea of retirement have fascinated me for a while. I still don’t know how I feel about it. Sometimes I think that retirement is an entitlement for productive members of society, while other times I think it’s incredibly wasteful, even discriminative, to suddenly force someone out of a trade, profession or career due to her or his age.

Growing up, I simply assumed there is just one type of retirement. You serve your company for decades, then receive pension/retirement savings to retire at 55-60+ years old to make room for younger folks. I think many of us have this impression as well. This is the traditional formula in life, isn’t it? Birth, Play, School, Work, Family, Work, Kids, Work, Retire, Die.

This formula doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but I admit that I’ve never been drawn to the Kids part. My ideal family structure for now is DINK = Dual Income, No Kids. Also, I’d like to retire early and retire young.

Thankfully, I’ve met some people during my travels and read first-hand accounts of actual retirees (thanks, Internet). Some of them have kids, some of them don’t, but they do have one thing in common – they like the idea of being self-sufficient and not being a ‘burden’.

Here are 10 ways to retire. Some of them may overlap.

Continue Reading…

[SPONSORED] This is Why You Need to Use EPF i-Akaun

This is a continuation of a series of sponsored posts about EPF and retirement. See the previous two articles here: Will You Fight or Flight? and What Actual Retirees Say.

Here I’ll share an EPF tool, called i-Akaun and why you need to use it. For the purpose of this article, I created my own EPF i-Akaun.

Click here for the original i-Akaun article on CompareHero.

How to Create EPF i-Akaun

EPF i-akaun

For first-time login, get the activation code first. You can do this by:

  • Go to EPF counter or EPF Kiosk, or;
  • Call KWSP at 03-89226000. Press ‘0’ to talk to the nice operator, then answer some personal questions for identification purposes. They’ll send the code via SMS.
  • THEN go to the first-time login page here. (this page took me a while to find)
  • For subsequent logins after activation, click here.
  • Optional but handy – download the EPF i-Akaun app.

Reasons to Use EPF i-Akaun

1. View and check EPF statements

This is how much you should have, based on your age.

retirement in malaysia

2. Check how much you can withdraw

EPF i-akaun

You can withdraw for education and housing purposes. View status of withdrawal application here too. Note: You can only withdraw from Account 2.

3. Check who’s your beneficiaries

I.e. who is going to get your EPF money. If you haven’t added beneficiaries, I suggest you do that asap. It’ll make it much easier for them to withdraw later on. Note: You can only submit the names at EPF counter. For security and anti-fraud reasons.

4. Check  when is the last time your employer submitted your EPF

Sometimes, irresponsible employers conveniently ‘forget’ about this. If you work, your employers should contribute 13% (or 12%, depending on how much you earn) of your salary towards your EPF. If they did not contribute this, they are in the wrong.

5. Latest info on EPF and office locations

Quite handy I think.

Conclusion

Having tried it out, I’ll have to say the experience was good. It’s convenient – I managed to change my address with no problem. I also checked my beneficiaries and felt secure seeing their names listed there – it’s reassuring to know that if anything happens to me, they will be able to access my EPF money. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you to open your EPF i-Akaun now!

This article was written in collaboration with CompareHero. To stay up to date with the latest news on personal finance in Malaysia, please follow CompareHero Facebook Page

[SPONSORED] What Actual Retirees in Malaysia Say About Retirement

In my previous sponsored post about retirement, I talked about the importance of saving up for retirement, because the fact is that the majority of Malaysians don’t have enough money to support their golden years.

Who best can show you the reality of retirement, than actual retirees in Malaysia? Here are 3 retirees, and what they’re doing now to financial support themselves.

The original article appears here. Read it. It contains more details of these retirees.

Mr Moothy. Age: 65. Spent EPF money for family. Returned to workforce.

retirees in malaysia

Mr Moorthy bought property, but had to liquidate it to help his children’s finances. Because of a parent’s love, he had to return back to the workforce.

The consequences of not saving for ourselves can affect our parents.

 

Mr Haris. Age: 57. No EPF savings (self-employed). Still working.

retirees in malaysia

Mr Haris is self-employed, and still works to support himself and his dependents. This scares me, as I am self-employed as well, which means I don’t have the ‘paksarela’ 11% deduction every month.

If you’re self-employed, channel a percentage to EPF savings anyway. And have some passive incomes to help you.

Mrs Cheng. Age: 74. Survives on late husband’s minimal pension. Depends on daughters.

retirees in malaysia

Mrs Cheng stays with her daughter. Her financial position can be summed up in two words: filial piety. It’s not uncommon for us as Asians to expect this.

This is a poor strategy though. What if you don’t have children to depend on, by choice or by force?

Conclusion

Are you on track to retire without money worries? Go to the original article and find out more about the reality of being retirees in Malaysia, and more about Mr Moorthy, Mr Haris, and Mrs Cheng’s life.

This article was written in collaboration with CompareHero. To stay up to date with the latest news on personal finance in Malaysia, please follow CompareHero Facebook Page

[SPONSORED] Retirement in Malaysia – Will You Fight or Flight?

Earlier this month, I was contacted by CompareHero, who wanted my opinion on retirement in Malaysia. This is what I said:

“Not being able to afford retirement is scary to me. I can’t imagine how unbelievably stuck that must feel. I don’t want to be 60 and in pain but have to push myself to go to work every single day just to be able to pay for medical bills.

This is why I am a big fan of EPF, PRS and achieving financial freedom. And if the maths say I must start now, in my 20s, then I guess I must start now. Maths doesn’t lie!”

Link to original article.

Here are some things that I learned from the article.

EPF Basic Savings for retirement has increased from RM196,800 to RM228,000

According to the latest revision in 2014, to take info account higher cost of living and longer life expectancy, the amount that an individual now need in their EPF Basic Savings is now RM228,000.

 

retirement in malaysia

You can benchmark your EPF savings progress

RM228,000 at 55 years old feels like a long time away, but you can check your progress towards this amount based on the image below.

Check your EPF statement (I know some places have that easy EPF printers where it’ll print out your statement with just IC). Are you on track?

retirement in malaysia

The easiest way to keep on track is to maintain 11% deduction instead of 8%. The difference is pretty big – see example below with RM3500 monthly salary.

retirement in malaysia

Most people don’t have enough EPF savings

The current statistics about Malaysians’ average savings are quite sad. According to the image below, only 1 in 5 of you will have enough savings to retire (but only enough to last 5 years! Assuming you retire at 55 and live until 75 years old – the average Malaysians’ life expectancyyou only have enough money for 5 out of 20 years).

Retirement in Malaysia

Significantly, almost 7 out of 10 Malaysians over the age of 54 years old have less than RM50000 in savings. Assuming RM1000 a month, that will last just slightly over 4 years!

Are you on track to retire comfortably in Malaysia? Go to the original article and find out if you can actually survive on RM1000 a month and how EPF works.

This article was written in collaboration with CompareHero. To stay up to date with the latest news on personal finance in Malaysia, please follow CompareHero Facebook Page

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