Despite retirement savings being the top financial priority amongst the majority of Malaysians, 49% of them are still not confident of having enough savings to live till the age of 80.
According to the 2017 Prudential Relationship Index (PRI) survey, more than half (59%) of the respondents said they are worried about not having enough funds saved for retirement.
The survey found that 83% of Malaysians contribute financially to their parents’ daily expenses, but only 31% expect their children to do the same in their old age.
Most of the respondents expect to be financially independent in their retirement, with 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, Malaysians should frequently review 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,” Liao added.
Malaysians should consider various financial planning services offered by banks and insurers, she suggested.
“Sometimes it really helps when there’s a third party sitting in the middle of you and your spouse to guide you on your finances. It helps take a burden off your back and your relationship even,” she said.
Most respondents in the survey agree with that sentiment, with 57% of couples agreeing that planning their finances with the help of a financial agent improves their relationships.
Family relationships are likely to improve for couples who make financial plans together (76%), compared to 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%).
Financial planning has also become easier with the growth of technology in the country. About eight out of 10 Malaysians agree that technology has made planning finances easier and better.
On top of being concerned about their retirement planning, Malaysians are also worried about their children. Almost all parents in Malaysia (96%) are stressed about their children’s future. About 67% admit to worrying at least once a week, while half of them make supporting their children’s education as a top financial priority.
The financial state of the family if also one of the key financial concerns for more than a third of Malaysians. More than a quarter of the respondents believe their family would suffer financially and emotionally if anything were to happen to them. One in ten predicts the effects would range from serious to catastrophic.
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 and 55 years. Respondents were residents of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya with household incomes of at least RM4,000 per month, representing the top two-thirds of household incomes in the two cities.