The famed year of 2020 is just around the corner. Malaysians of middle age and older would have the year 2020 ingrained into their heads as it was repeated like a mantra all over the media many decades ago and then now. New jobs, school affairs, shopping sales and holidays are all exciting events. There are decisions to be made, things to purchase, lists to check and discussions to have with families. Above and beyond there is money to be spent. Money that we are capable of earning now, may not be so readily available as the years go by. In being excitingly busy now, our golden years (i.e. retirement) should be present right at the foreground of our minds.
Playing The Mind Field With Retirement
Bruce Lee has said, “As you think, so you shall become.” Actively visualising our years ahead down to its details will help us achieve it. Think about when we answered the question “How do you see yourself five or ten years down the road?” Now let’s ask the question, where do we see ourselves thirty, forty or fifty years ahead. Forcing ourselves to confront our present decisions, make future decisions, especially large ones, more clear-cut.
To take it step a further, visualise your retirement scenarios out loud or talk them over with family to see how you can achieve it together. This way everybody including your children or parents are on board with where everybody is going. Vice-president for the Association for Residential Aged Care Operators of Malaysia (Agecope) Cecilia Chan has said that Malaysia will become an ageing nation by the year 2030. Hence it is only good sense to be aware that retirement is a familial, community and national issue. It is not solely an individual issue.
Not Always A Bed Of Roses
Retirement starts right here; where we are standing at the moment. Not when our hair turns grey or when we start sporting a wrinkle or two. It’ll be a lot more complicated to make retirement (or even financial) decisions then. Moreover, the exciting scenarios above may not always be true. There are less than exciting seasons right now that compel us to make hard choices about our retirement. Illnesses, family struggles, financial drought or painful events force us to clearly evaluate our available options. Our golden years might not seem so rosy then.
Taking Action On The Side
Imagine being able to see all our finish-line scenarios before starting a long race or before an extended game show. Wouldn’t our decisions be wiser or our strategies more precise at the beginning? Thanks to technology, the culture and variety of choices that have exploded to help us explore our income potential goals is overwhelming.
A solution that is surprisingly common these days is to do something on the side that gets you earning a little extra. Selling your products/services online and getting things out there have never been more effortless. Social media, online trade sites like Shopee or Lazada, easy payment systems like PayPal have all evolved in design and usability to shift power back to small or medium retailers and customers.
In addition to this, the freelance or work-on-the-go culture has completely flipped the working world on its side. Ask a handful of people you know and you are bound to find someone who is juggling two or more projects. These are all good news for us customers or small or medium retailers. With the extra that we earn on the side, we can use it wisely; pay off our loans or put away as savings. One liability we definitely do not want to deal with when we retire is debt.
Opting For Retirement-Geared Investment
If we have money or grit to spare, we can think of putting it either into financial or investment instruments or savings or private retirement schemes (PRS). Even insurance plans have evolved to meet customers’ demand for stable nest eggs when they get older. Most insurance or education plans nowadays have a savings or an investment plan attached to it.
- Here are some things for you to consider when you open a PRS account.
National retirement funds are also a good source to look into. Do you know that, Malaysians can take out a portion of our Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for investment purposes? This is provided we have an account with the EPF. A portion of our lump sum in the EPF is allocated for this purpose alone. We can then use this allocated sum to partially or fully pay off a property, education or other loans, however it definitely comes under the sole umbrella of providing for our golden years. With all these and more, there is definitely something out there that we can do now.
A Shift In Perspective
All efforts to increase our potential to earn is usually seen as a means towards the advancing of careers, education, purchases or holidays. If all what we do at the first 33% percent of our lives is to better the next 33% percent of our lives, then when or who is going to work towards enriching the last 33++% percent of our lives?
We need a definite change in mindset towards the way we look and speak about retirement. Let’s look at it as an issue to be dealt with now instead of putting off till later. Let’s ask ourselves the questions, where are we at in our lives right now and have we planned for retirement yet. Challenge yourself to do something about it today. Start a PRS account or sign up with Shopee or Lazada today!