Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comfortable Retirement.....

To whom it may concern,

Have you given a serious thought about your financial standing once you're no longer relevant to the general public, ie, retired? To some, this question never arises since there are organizations that are waiting to lay a red carpet to welcome them. But, what about others who are not that too fortunate?

After all those fanfares, visits and speeches, you'll be facing the reality of life. If you're one of those who believes and practises the philosophy of 'there's no tomorrow' and 'enjoy while you can', my sympathy to you. Why?

Before that, you'll see a lot of long lost friends suddenly appearing at your doorstep. And your hand phone never stop ringing. You're very flattered to know that you're being surrounded by good friends. After all, all they want from you is to invest in their business ventures with your newly found wealth - gratuity. The return is simply too attractive to decline. Well, if you're not careful, might as well say goodbye to those hard-earned gratuity......!

Okay, you manage to say 'no' to these attractive business ventures. But now the temptations are too great to resist - renovate the house, change cars, world tour on QE2. At the end of the day, gone with the wind all the monies but, never mind, full of satisfaction.

Suppose your take home pay now is RM7K, inclusive of RM5K basic pay and you serve more than 30 years with the government. Your 58th birthday finally arrives and it's time to say goodbye. Now you'll be looking forward for 21st of every month to queue at the ATM machine. Don't be schocked to see the amount credited into your bank account is about RM3K only!! Imagine from RM7K to RM3K.....a real cruelty of life indeed. To make life more depressing, there are loans still to service...housing, car, credit cards, etc, etc. Hutang sekeliling pinggang. Worst still, hospitals or medical centres are your second home - you seem to love visiting doctors to discuss all those so-called rich man's chronic diseases.

And, while in service, you're one character who saw no reasons to adhere to government's policy of being courteous to your subordinates and customers; yours was 'I'm the boss and who are you'. I was told of subordinates 'gantung pisang' when the boss retired and made to wait for hours when he went to see his former subordinates. Now, if you open up a business, do you sincerely think your former subordinates and customers want to patronize your business? Why? Don't pretend that you don't know. My friend, maybe the best alternative is to dispose of your assets, and as what the late Dato' Sudirman said in his song'......balik kampung'.

As I said in my previous articles, I'm a very consertive man and not a risk taker. However, syukur Alhamdulillah, so far I can safely say that I'm financially stable. What to do with the gratuity? If you ask me, there are 2 options. One, settle all your debts - life is so peaceful if you're free of debts. Secondly, to invest in ASB. For the basis of calculation, say the gratuity is RM200K and you invest this amount in ASB; the dividend is 8%. At the end of the year your dividend is RM16K = RM1300/month. Plus your pension, your monthly income is RM4300. True? This is applicable only if you are free of debts before you retire.

I'm not in a position to give advice, however, as a Muslim we're required to 'ingat mengingati' each other. After all, life is just like a wheel, today you may be high up, tomorrow vice versa. Live within your means and and take care of your health, and be forever grateful to Allah. InsyaAllah, life will be more meaningful and fulfilling. This is my fardhu kifayah.

Your inputs are most welcome.

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