Pentingnya Perancangan Awal…Surviving The Third Age


Saya nak kongsi satu artikel dari The Star..jadi ini lah kerja yang saya lakukan skrg..tanamkan kesedaran pada orang ramai tentang pentingnya perancangan awal untuk persaraan & pendidikan anak2….

Surviving The Third Age

The time has come for Malaysian workers to learn how to plan their retirement so that they can live through their golden years with enough money.

THE rising cost of living and savings are two of the most important things on the mind of those reaching their 50th birthday.

“The fact that the cost of living today is very high and getting higher in the future makes me worried about my savings. I hope I have enough to survive,” said one man when surveyed recently.

This sentiment is common for those who reach their “Third Age”, a period of life between 45 and 75 years old.

An ageing population is a global phenomenon affecting many countries. Even though Malaysia’s population is still relatively young, the proportion of the elderly (60 years and above) will hit nearly 10% by 2020.

It is therefore crucial that a set of social protection policies, life-long learning and community-based programmes are initiated to promote active and productive ageing.

The life expectancy of Malay- sians has increased from 56 years in 1957 to 71.9 years for males in 2010. The corresponding increase for females was from 58 years to 76.8 years.

Total Fertility Rate declined from three in 2000 to 2.2 children per woman by 2010.

In 1991, the number of the aged in Malaysia was only one million (6%) compared to an estimated total of 2.1 million (7.4%) in 2010.

Of course, this figure is considered small when compared to countries like Japan (29%), Singapore (15%), and China (12%).

However, it would be high if we were to compare with countries such as the Philippines (7%), Cambodia (6%) and Brunei (6%).

The Second Population Strategic Plan Study, conducted in 2009, found that Malaysia is expected to become an aged country by the year 2023, where more than 12% of the population consists of those aged 60 years and above. This would increase to 15% by 2030.

The National Policy for Older Persons was formulated in 1995 to encourage the establishment and provision of specific facilities to ensure the care and protection of the elderly.

It also aims to develop the potential of the elderly so that they remain active and productive in national development and to create opportunities for them to continue to live independently.

Although Malaysia is promoting an Older Persons and Barrier Free Environment, its implementation and enforcement is still at the initial stages.

In terms of transportation, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his Budget 2012 speech, all senior citizens here are entitled to receive a 50% discount on LRT and monorail fares. Some public buses and trains have already reserved seats for the elderly.

A major issue about an ageing population is that more and more Malaysians are marrying late and even more are delaying starting a family.

As such, many workers still have to support young children upon retirement. This means older persons have fewer resources to care for themselves and thus, this leads to bigger financial problems.

Furthermore, it might lead to the increase of the “sandwich generation” where adult children have simultaneous commitments towards their children and elderly parents.

As life expectancy increases, families may have to cope with more than one generation of older persons. However, research shows that the elderly in Malaysia tend to depend on their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) as their main source of income.

Statistics also showed that EPF members’ average savings at age 54 is only RM139, 816 which works out to less than RM600 per month if the contributor was to survive for another 20 years.

Today, a male and female retiree can expect to live another 17 and 21 years respectively. With the shift from the informal to the formal sector, more workers are retiring at age 55/56.

This has serious implications on the financial needs of older people because their social security is inadequate. The move to increase the private sector’s retirement age to 60 years in tandem with the public sector is a positive development to face an aging population.

The findings of the AXA Retirement Scope 2010 showed that the number of Malaysians preparing for retirement has fallen to 38% compared to 48% in 2007, and even then 46% of them said they would only start to prepare for retirement when they hit the age of 50.

The findings also revealed that only 14% of them knew exactly how much their retirement income should be.

This shows that workers need to be taught from young how to manage their money and savings well by investing in appropriate schemes.

To increase the awareness of families on the need to manage their resources well, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, through the National Population and Family Development Board, has introduced the SMARTbelanja@LPPKN, a programme in collaboration with the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK).

Although the Government has invested resources in fulfilling the needs of the increasing number of older persons and issues related to them, the family should still be the backbone of the Third Age.

Filial piety needs to be nurtured among the young, not only at the family level but across all levels of society.

> Datuk Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur is the secretary-general of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

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Saya sendiri pernah jumpa dengan pakcik yang berusia 60 an di satu roadshow , beliau telah menghabiskan semua wang EPF dan menyesal tak mulakan simpanan & pelaburan sejak muda…saya hanya mampu dengar masalah beliau dan tak dapat nak tlg apa2:(

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