Dispelling the myths about retirement, saving and investing

October 14, 2018 | By | Reply More

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KUALA LUMPUR: The “myth” that it is “okay” to rely on Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings and that it is too early to start investing must be dispelled, especially among the youth, according to Securities Commission Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh.

In his speech at the InvestSmart Fest (ISF) 2018 last Friday, Ranjit said more than 68% of EPF members aged 54 had less than RM50,000 in their EPF savings and 70% of members who withdraw their funds at the age of 55 use up their savings less than a decade after retiring.

“This is indeed alarming. If we don’t further the message for Malaysians, especially the youth, to start saving and investing from young, Malaysians will not be able to sustain life post retirement, especially taking into consideration of inflation, costs of living and our growing life expectancy,” he added.

However, Ranjit said, efforts to dispel the myth seem to be rather challenging given the fact that young Malaysians are still not investing enough.

He said based on data provided by Bursa Malaysia, while the number of young investors increased in 2017, active accounts of those 18 to 25 years old and 26 to 35 years old account for only 22.5% of the bourse’s total retail participation last year.

Therefore, with the theme of “Investing for a Sustainable Future”, Ranjit said, ISF 2018 aims to send the message to the youth that they should start planning for the future, take charge of their financial well-being and invest from an early age.

Key figures are lined up to speak on various areas, including financial planning, share investment, scam awareness, retirement planning, and cryptocurrencies as well as initial coin offerings.

Ranjit said the three-day event brings together 46 exhibitors comprising capital market intermediaries, associations and relevant government agencies to share insights on Malaysian capital markets. He expects the event to draw 20,000 visitors.

Since its launch in 2014, the InvestSmart initiative has reached more than 23 million members of the public through various mediums of investor engagements.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who officiated at the event, said he hopes the government will enhance the Technical and Vocational Education and Training capacities under Budget 2019 to empower the initiative.

Syed Saddiq said this is important in order to reduce the youth unemployment rate to a single-digit level, noting that it stood at 13.1% in 2016 and 10.7% last year.

“If we look at other countries, they are able to do so and we must do better in terms of creating more quality jobs for the young people,” he added.

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