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Reemployed with lower pay and worried about retirement.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reader says...
I have been a reader of your blog for many years now.

Similar to your childhood experience - my parents also went thru bankruptcy during my teens and bad memories of money lenders coming to the old house.

I am Malaysian and coming to 55 years old. I was made redundant middle of last year, was unemployed for 4 months and have since resumed working.






My current gross salary is just enough to cover my household expenses + medical insurance for the whole family. (wife+ 3 kids.)

My fear of becoming destitute in the old age has created self-stress, as I continue to have interrupted sleep & tension with family members as I continue to delay/disapprove of their wants.


I currently have > RM3.3Mil in Malaysia Bonds, EPF & fully paid-up endowment policies. I park SGD$0.57Mil in a Singapore bank and have 2 fully paid-up landed property (one for my parents and the other for my family worth a total of RM2.5Mil).

AK pls talk to yourself, How should this person 'live life' going forward?






AK says...
All of us need to plan for the day when we stop working either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Usually, it means saving some money first and then putting it to work.

Hopefully, by the time we stop working, we would be able to receive a regular and meaningful income to have a comfortable retirement.

If your gross salary is enough to only cover your expenses, it means that you do not have any money left to grow your savings. So, I can understand your worry.






However, I can see that you were prudent in your younger days. 

Having 2 fully paid homes, $0.6 million in savings and RM3.3 million in bonds, EPF and endowment, I feel that you could possibly have a comfortable enough retirement if you have a modest lifestyle.

Having said this, I agree that you should continue to be prudent when it comes to wants because your earned income does not have room for wants. 

To satisfy the wants, you would probably have to dig into your savings.





Assuming the old folks at home are financially independent, I would continue to work till my 3 children are financially independent.

If my parents depend on me financially, then, I would continue to work till they pass on and when all my children are financially independent.

Maybe, I could switch to part time work and have more leisure time when fewer people depend on me financially.







You could rent out one house when your parents pass on in future. 

The rental income plus the interest income from your bonds and EPF savings mean you would have a more meaningful passive income.

Money from your fully paid endowments and savings in the bank could be put to work when Mr. Market goes into a depression or whenever there is a good investment opportunity. I would think of these as your war chests.





If you are risk averse, you could think of purchasing a few annuities to fund your retirement. 

You might want to do this sooner than later so that you could start receiving another stream of passive income sooner.

At your age, your balance sheet is definitely not weak but with dependents, it could be exhausted quite quickly if you are not careful especially when you are not able to grow your savings meaningfully.






As long as you stay prudent when it comes to expenses, when you no longer have dependents, all else remaining equal, I believe that your retirement will still be a comfortable one.

Related posts:
1. Advice on saving.
2. Needs and wants.
3. To retire, have a plan.
4. Have an annuity?
5. Too late to plan at 57?

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