Malaysia’s population is getting older. It’s predicted that by 2030, five million Malaysians will be over 60 years of age, with this figure expected to increase to almost 10 million by 2050, according to The Star. One of the most important factors in old age is financial security. Yet, The Edge Markets reports that just 40% of the population are financially ready for retirement. Therefore, regardless of your age, now is the time to get on top of your finances and plan for a prosperous and comfortable retirement.

Know how much cash you’ll need

The Chief Executive of the Employees Provident Fund, Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, states that having RM228,000 saved by the age of 55 will allow individuals to draw RM1,000 a month up until the age of 75, which is the country’s average life expectancy. However, with the cost of living continuing to rise in Malaysia this may not be enough for some. The government has recently revealed that the minimum wage is to be increased to RM1,100 as of January next year, thus indicating that this is the minimum amount an individual requires in order to comfortably enjoy life in Malaysia.

Consider additional expenses 

Free Malaysia Today advises that when you head into retirement it’s wise to have more assets, such as your home, than expenses. However, as you age new expenses will arise, so it’s best to start thinking ahead. The Star reports that 77.6% of Malaysian senior citizens would prefer to age in place then move to alternative accommodation. When this is your desire in retirement, it’s important to consider the help and aids you’ll need in your own home. Factor in the cost of having a medical alert system to rely on if you fall or need urgent medical assistance. Additionally, you may also need to pay for adaptions to your property to make it feasible to stay living there. Therefore, make sure you have cash put aside to cover these expenses, too.

Get saving

Deputy Governor, Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, of Bank Negara Malaysia says that more than 75% of Malaysians find it difficult to save RM1,000 for an emergency situation and that a greater emphasis on saving needs to be instilled into the population. When it comes to retirement, it’s never too early to start saving and you can never save too much. So whether you’re in your twenties or your fifties, you should take steps to save for your future. Look to make cutbacks on your expenses wherever you can. Simple things such as eating at home rather than dining out, working a couple hours overtime a week and dropping the temperature on your thermostat by one degree throughout the winter can make all the difference to your future finances.

It’s crucial that Malaysians take steps to plan for their retirement and their financial future. By taking the time to work out how much cash you’ll need during your senior years, planning your future expenses and saving small amounts in a variety of places, you’ll see your bank balance rise and future looking bright.