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Help people save up for retirement, govt urged

A financial planner has proposed that the government helps to ensure that individuals have enough to retire on even in the face of challenges such as soaring inflation.

PETALING JAYA: While it is prudent for individuals to set aside some money every month for their retirement, a financial planner suggests that there should also be some effort to help them along the way.

FA Advisory Sdn Bhd CEO Bryan Zeng pointed out that individuals cannot be held accountable for challenges posed by soaring inflation and increased living expenses.

Zeng, who was speaking at a panel discussion on the wishlist for Budget 2024 organised by the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM), noted that many individuals fail to prioritise their retirement plan.

At the same time, he said, individuals and households should also realise that it is important to have a good financial planning strategy in place.

Wealth Vantage Advisory Sdn Bhd director of corporate treasury Idham Idris said individuals could design their financial plan based on expected tax relief under the new budget.

“After all, the focus here has revolved less around the budget itself and more on the tax breaks. This is a subject that has consistently garnered public attention,” he told the panel discussion.

Idham said this would also be in line with the government’s plan to ensure everyone is financially prepared.

Start financial literacy in schools

Alpine Advisory Sdn Bhd director Rozanna Rashid believes proper financial management should be inculcated in individuals from an early age.

“There is a need for financial literacy to be taught at school,” she said.

She pointed out that while there is a financial literacy component in the math textbook, it is not enough to help students understand the impact of savings.

Given that not everyone is well-versed with financial planning even after they start working, Rozanna suggested that employers introduce financial wellness programmes covering issues such as investing, compounding interest and saving to their employees.

“Such programmes should be implemented in the workforce. Human resources should have sessions to cover these topics,” she added.

Rozanna also advocated for making government initiatives such as the i-Saraan, an incentive for people who are self-employed or not earning a regular income, to be made long-term.

“It should operate as a supplemental system, offering incentives to individuals to help them improve their financial standing,” she added.