LETTERS: Adopting a conservative financial approach by saving early will be something you will thank yourself for in the future when faced with unforeseen circumstances. The earlier you start saving, the better off you will be in the long run.
It is undeniable that you will be spending a large portion of your savings on day-to-day expenses during retirement years. In addition, you will also need to spend money on regular medical check-ups and paying for any outstanding debts.
Aside from that, some may wish to spend a portion of their savings on purchasing and renovating a new home, performing the Haj and vacations. Hence, having retirement goals can help you stay on track with your spending.
These objectives will assist you in calculating how much you will need to save for retirement and will keep you on track once you have retired, rather than spending without a proper planning.
In Malaysia, we are fortunate because the government provides a generous pension scheme for the civil servants. Whereas for the private sector workers, the government make it compulsory for them to contribute into the EPF fund.
However, if you are looking for another supplementary income during your retirement, there is actually many options available such as life annuities and other insurance products.
Here is a famous quote; 'If you fail to plan, you plan to fail'. In order to have a peaceful and relaxing retirement year, you have to plan really well for it. We don't want to work hard until old age.
Maybe some of us would want to continue working. The choice is entirely yours. If you have a niche skill set desired by specific companies, you could pursue a variety of post-retirement careers such as teaching, writing, or even consulting work. But try to think of it, at that specific age, you'd want to do the job leisurely.
So, you must keep that in mind and be aware of the fact that you are going to retire someday in the future or maybe for some to continue working but at a slower pace. Therefore, start doing your research on what do you expect during your retirement and start planning on how to achieve that.
If you want to maintain the same living standard as your working years, how much money do you need to save in a month? Or in a year? You might also want to seek help from personal financial advisors who can assist you in planning and preparing for your retirement.
On a side note, it's true that some people believe that after retirement, they should simply relax at home and just take care of their health. For me, retirement marks the beginning of a new phase of life. I would like to fill my retirement years with a lot of meaningful memories and beneficial activities. This is the time for us to contribute back to the community.
Nevertheless, we should keep an open mind, no matter which path one takes after retirement. If you are strategic enough, your retirement could be the most exciting adventure. The average person will live for approximately 20 years, enough time to write a masterpiece, take a marathon, or mentor hundreds of young people.
There is even time to discover the beauty of grandchildren, or to reawaken the romantic relationship. Tomorrow can be the beginning of new joys and greater victories – it all depends on how you spend it.
Nurul Afiqah Hamzah
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times