Post-retirement life for Malaysians – Can you continue working?

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The retirement age in Malaysia is 55. While some might have worked all their life to reach this age, some feel that they have at least 20 more years to contribute. There are many reasons for this and finance would be the most common.

Why should you consider post-retirement work?

If you are to continue working past your retirement age, you can enjoy your monthly income for the coming years. This means you still do not need to touch your EPF yet (or any other savings you have). By having your monthly salary, you can ensure that your livelihood is taken care of and also for those living under your care. What makes this a better option is that you can let your money in EPF grow for more years so that when you finally get to retire, there will be more to sustain you.

Another reason why many want to work after 55 is so that you want to continue achieving your self-satisfaction instead of not doing anything and feel helpless. That said, it would make more sense (financially and psychologically) to continue working after you reach retirement age. If that is what you want to do, you could plan the following.

Creating new value for yourself

No one stops learning and you should not stop even if you are in your 40s or 50s. You should take up a course to upskill yourself. This could be in current technologies like mobile applications, Big Data or even programming. Learn about e-commerce and supply chain. If you have the time (in your 30s or 40s), take up a postgraduate course and earn your doctorate. This gives you the qualification to teach in universities even after you retire.

Your value also comes from your external sources. During your employment, make it known to your customers or suppliers about your skills so that when you leave your current company, you might be hired by them.

Plan your employment ahead

As you reach 50, make sure that you have prepared your portfolio. Think ahead to what you want to do or which industry you would like to be in. Be realistic about this goal. You might not want to be a zoologist or an animal trainer at that point in your life. Perhaps you would want to get into retail or logistics management. Learn about this and then push your portfolio out there. LinkedIn is a great platform to use. Start to network with people in the industry and when the time comes, you might secure a contract or two. Always remember, no one will find jobs for you. So, before you retire, make a list of possible opportunities and start exploring them.

Prepare for a lower salary

What you want here is to have an alternative income stream. Investments might a good option so that you have income coming in somewhere. It could be properties that you collect rent or dividends from shares. With that, you will not mind accepting lower pay for the job of your choice after your retirement. Make sure that they are sufficient to keep your monthly commitments and for your dependents. When you are ready to take up any job (with a lower salary and meets your expectations), you can surely enjoy working for another 20 years or so!

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