RETIREMENT 'is one thing and why is 'TRANSFORMATION' implicated?
On 3 August 2010 we attended a seminar with the theme 'Retirement Transformation'. It is quite an eye opener especially for me a retiree who lapped into the 'third age' without any thought of earlier planning but jumped into the cauldron and survived. The one day seminar held at Sime Darby Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur attracted a good share of participants with international speakers from Japan, Australia and India adding their views and opinions regarding current growth and development of the subject matter. Now it has come to a point that one has to look at new approaches and tendencies but surely a relook at many aspects of the present retirement processes first. Retirement conditions and facilities are at a new gear and therefore a relook is necessary; therefore the 'transformation' gearing towards the immediate future.
One would immediately identify the program as attractive and conducive to financial planners, insurance people, developers etc but the attendees at the seminar included a spectrum of people from all disciplines and it helped to a large extent put a new perspective and look at our approaches to planning for a happier lifestyle after crossing the 'retirement' age. Yet it is now established there are now no such retirement age for many countries in the world. Singapore for one has identified that. Malaysia's goal at 55 has now been moved forward extending a year and later two more golden years. Only a day earlier to the seminar the Sultan of Perak as Chancellor to University Malaya voiced that academicians get extensions to their retirement age, granting that they mature as they moved along. Don't others do too?
The seminar identified key problems, various perspectives on the subject, tendencies towards our ageing society and the needs for building of retired homes or villages. Malaysia especially with its religious, cultural and historic tendencies or perspectives requires a much greater challenge to meet the correct solution.
The lucky us who have worked or are still in the public services have promises of the pension scheme to look after us after retirement. Especially with any rise of public service salary we are equally affected; getting increment where necessary. With spouses in the same sector they too reap benefits. With the government paying out pensions to widowers, husbands see better perspectives in their children upbringing etc. Free medical benefits are provided for too. Then again the public sector people, is a small portion of the populace. Others hope their EPF and Socso contributions will support them after retirement. How far their savings or contributions can meet their retirement needs is certainly a large issue. With Malaysia's life-long age extending to 75 year now, can their contributions take care of them for the next 20 - 30 years? Such burning question make the participants wake up to reality. Alas those who should be made aware of the consequences are not around. Still more perplexing are the self employed who have no such contributions to look to but their sheer determination and control in managing their lifestyles and financial management.
That brings to personal financial management which is sadly not in our current school curriculum. One may therefore distinguish a person who lives with a purpose and one who leads a lifestyle? The former is an epitome of goodliness and a perfect financial planner who obviously can retire and enjoy life, do what he likes. Whereas the latter is a wizard at spending money and in the end does not know how to retire and obviously will be in the doldrums for many years.
What do I get at attending such seminar? Securing greater knowledge is one but certainly it is an adage to live-long learning, never stopping to learn. Next it helps in net-working. Being at Anak Arshad Architect it pushes us to look at planning retirement homes for the upcoming trends.
Do you by any way see a move towards 'transformation' in the aspects of your current gearing towards 'retirement' or hopefully you are not one of several who are likely to adopt an 'RTM' (Rehat Tunggu Mati) trust, satisfied with their commitments of the last twenty five years or so in the public service and therefore halts or put a stop to everything? Mind you we are never alone and we have responsibilities and it is sad or sorrowful to halt your existence by surrendering and ceasing to do the necessary while still breathing.