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Making your retirement fun and meaningful


9 Jun 2024

“Retiring at the peak of my career at 53 after my youngest daughter graduated, I had a bucket list."

KUALA LUMPUR: Seniors have much to look forward to, even in retirement, says adventurer Yusuf Hashim.

Calling on everyone to “live their lives” by strategising for early retirement, the ex-corporate man said one should not work so much that it hinders one’s personal growth and fulfilment.

“Retiring at the peak of my career at 53 after my youngest daughter graduated, I had a bucket list.

“I wanted to travel and sail around the world ... do physical activities before I was too old,” said Yusuf, 79, who is a former CEO at Shell and now a frequent “jeep-setter” across continents on trips that take 40 to 90 days.

“Your money is not your money until you spend it,” he said, warning against the pressures and potential loss of self-identity that come with overworking.

Planning for retirement should start early in one’s career, he said, adding that good health, passion and a spirit of adventure makes for a rewarding retirement.

Yusuf was one of the speakers at the Living Your Golden Years: Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives Conference and Exhibition 2024 by the Third Age Media Association (Tama).

Another speaker, MCA’s Public Services and Complaints Department stalwart Datuk Seri Michael Chong, shared insights into identifying scams and fraud aimed at seniors.

He said these scams have been around for some time and heavily reported on, yet people continue to be deceived.

“We can only help to the best of our ability,” said the 75-year-old, reflecting on his extensive experience helping those who had fallen victim to scams.

In his opening speech, Alliance for a Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye called on everyone to “step out of their comfort zone” post-retirement.

“As ‘third-agers’, we can lead extraordinary lives and make a lasting impact on society by pursuing our passions and embracing calculated risks.

“It doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind, but initiating change with gratitude rather than recklessness,” he said.

Lee also emphasised the importance of avoiding comparison with others in terms of accomplishments, as such behaviour makes life miserable.

Tama president Cheah Tuck Wing said the conference was not only to promote healthy and active ageing, but also to highlight the potential for seniors to lead fulfilling lives, serving as examples of continued community and national contributions.

“Seniors should prioritise staying active and healthy as it enables them to maintain their wellbeing even with limited savings, affording them opportunities for employment and meeting expenses.

“We should give back to society; it is meaningful regardless of one’s possessions and age, including having an impact on younger generations.

“For instance, we can show them the true meaning of national unity, especially when our society is faced with numerous divisive issues lately,” said Cheah.

Also present was Women, Family and Community Development secretary-general Datuk Dr Maziah Che Yusoff, who represented Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

In her speech read out by Maziah, Nancy said the government is preparing the Ageing National Agenda aimed at addressing Malaysia’s transition to an aged nation by 2030 and a super-aged nation by 2044.

Supported by various ministries, she said this agenda focuses on socioeconomic development across health, education, finance, and technology to ensure sustainable growth for the elderly.

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