More than half (59%) of Malaysians polled say they are concerned about whether they will have sufficient funds for retirement, according to the 2017 Prudential Relationship Index (PRI) survey.
The second edition of the index by Prudential Assurance Malaysia found that retirement savings is a top financial priority for the majority of Malaysians.
The PRI is an exploratory study to understand the state of personal relationships in Asia. In Malaysia, 516 interviews were conducted through online sampling with adults aged between 25 years and 55 years. Respondents were residents of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya with household incomes of at least MYR4,000 (US$980) per month, representing the top two-thirds of household incomes in the two cities.
The survey showed that perception about financial support varies. Although 83% of Malaysians currently contribute financially to their parents’ daily spending, only 31% expect their children to support them financially in their old age.
Most Malaysians expect to depend on themselves, the survey shows. It reported that 87% plan to live off their personal finances and assets, while 43% expect to continue working in their senior years.
Prudential Assurance chief brand officer Fiona Liao said as a solution, it is important for Malaysians to conduct frequent reviews of their finances.
“As a society, we don’t spend enough time thinking or doing financial planning. There are plenty of solutions out there; insurance is just one option. As circumstances change so do our needs. Malaysians tend to worry about these things but not enough action is taken on their part,” Ms Liao said.
Malaysians do agree that better financial planning is the answer to peace of mind, with 57% of couples agreeing that working with a financial agent to plan their finances makes their relationships better.
Additionally, people who work with their partners to make financial plans are likely to expect improvement in their family relationship in five years’ time (76%) than those who don’t plan together (42%). They are also more positive about their personal finances improving by 2020 (74%) compared with those who make plans separately (55%).
Another factor benefiting their personal finances is the growth of technology in the country. 83% of Malaysians agree that technology has made planning finances easier and better.