by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
UP TO 12% of Malaysians are on track for early retirement, with 55% of them unsure of how to be able to achieve financial independence to retire early.
According to a recent survey by Milieu Insight, a consumer data and analytics company, employed respondents aged 18 to 49 years old from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines revealed that while many aspire to retire early, only a small percentage of those surveyed are on track for early retirement.
The survey utilised FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), which is essentially about aggressively tightening belts and finding multiple sources of income in order to achieve early financial freedom.
The findings of the survey show the most common strategy towards early retirement among Malaysians is regular saving (71%), followed by “doing financial planning” (63%) and “investing” (66%), indicating that Malaysians are still largely hands-on when it comes to retirement planning.
The most common investment type for Malaysians is investment funds (72%), which are managed by professional fund managers who take care of all the investment decisions. Stocks (66%), gold (66%) and real estate (65%) are other popular investment types.
In total, only 25% of Malaysian respondents claim to have financial consultancy to help plan for retirement.
Despite having a relatively low awareness of the FIRE movement, Malaysians are actively working towards early retirement, with 35% of respondents indicating that they are currently saving up to 20% of their incomes.
In regards to the general public’s attitude towards FIRE, 40% of Malaysians feel “somewhat positive” about their journey towards achieving early retirement, while 13% say they’re “very positive”.
Elsewhere, cryptocurrency is gaining traction in Thailand (57%) and the Philippines (54%).