Rising cost of living forces retirees to work

24 Aug 2023 08:08pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF

SHAH ALAM - The rising cost of living in Malaysia has forced many retirees to continue working, even after they have reached the age of 60.

Norita Mohd Noh, 61, is one such retiree.

She worked for the Health Ministry and media industry for many years, and also had a small business related to inbound tourism.

However, she says that her savings are not enough to cover the rising cost of living, especially in cities like Kuala Lumpur.

"If you are not on pension, the low-income or blue-collar workers will suffer the most," she said.

Norita is now working as a freelancer, and also rents out a room on Airbnb.

She says that she is lucky to have children who are willing to help her financially, but she worries about those who do not have such support.

"Children should help their parents, at least with monthly groceries.

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"I personally had contributed greatly for my late parents, and I believe the cycle of children caring for their retired parents should continue," she told Sinar Daily.

Norita believes that this mutual support system should persist, with children contributing to their parents' financial well-being, especially by assisting with monthly expenses.

While recognising the importance of work opportunities for the younger generation, she stressed that experienced retirees can still contribute to private companies and share their expertise without hindering opportunities for the youth.

"Relying solely on Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is insufficient; begin saving from an early age, strive for advancement in your career to reach senior management roles, invest in real estate, and prioritise your health as medical costs continue to rise," Norita advises younger generations.

Another retiree, Salwani binti Muhammad Zain, 60, is a government pensioner.

Salwani acknowledges that many retirees work out of financial necessity.

"The government should increase pension in parallel with the increasing prices of items," she said.

Drawing attention to the need for enhanced services at government hospitals, she stresses the significance of catering to the elderly population's healthcare needs.

"They should also give priority to the elderly in terms of healthcare," she said.

Salwani also suggests that the government provide discounted prices for basic household goods and products.

However, she says that these measures need to be carefully implemented to prevent abuse.

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