Press Room

Malaysians Are Gearing Towards Early Retirement

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Kuala Lumpur – Feb. 25, 2014 – Malaysians are the highest among other Southeast Asian consumers who planned or have retired below the age of 60 years (50%), according to a new finding from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Respondents in Indonesia trailed closely (49%) followed by Vietnam (44%), Thailand (33%), Philippines (30%) and Singapore (29%).

The Nielsen Global Survey about Aging, which polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countriesi, also revealed that after retirement, almost three quarters of Malaysian respondents would like to focus on spending time with their family while staying physically and mentally fit (73%, respectively). In addition, nearly half of Malaysian consumers say they would think about healthy eating as a life priority (49%) while more than one quarter of the respondents would like to maintain an active social life (28%) and contribute time for voluntary commitments (27%) post retirement.

“With a large proportion of Malaysian citizens expecting to retire relatively early in their working lives, and therefore spend many years in retirement, it is of paramount importance that they have adequate funds to last them during their retirement.” said Luca Griseri, Head of Nielsen’s Financial Services in Singapore and Malaysia. “Society in general will gain by tapping into retirees’ expertise and skills, and their desire to devote them to charities and social work. For businesses, helping retirees meet their needs (such as helping them staying in good physical and mental health) will represent an important and new source of revenue.”

69 percent of Malaysian respondents say they plan to rely on their personal savings and investments as primary source of income after retirement. Respondents from Singapore stood most confident about utilizing personal savings and investments as their primary source of income when retired (78%) followed by Indonesia (76%), Thailand (73%), Philippines (69%) and Vietnam (69%).

“The fact that most Malaysians rely on their own savings and investment speaks about their desire to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. It presents an opportunity for financial service providers to facilitate this by offering adequate financial products that help citizens build their retirement funds early on. Information about what are the correct strategies for building a retirement nest is key, so that Malaysians can start planning for their retirement early.” said Griseri.


The top five biggest concerns that Malaysian consumers fear about aging is losing physical agility (59%), losing ability to care for basic needs (58%), losing self-reliance (53%), being a burden on family members or friends (51%) and not having enough money to live comfortably (48%).

When asked if the respondents became too old to care for themselves and cannot live alone, what would be their most realistic living arrangements ; nearly two in five respondents says that they plan to live at home with their spouse (38%) while about a quarter said that they will stay with their children (23%) followed by staying in a nursing home (15%), living in an assisted living facility (14%) and living at home with professional help (6%).


Three quarters of Malaysian consumers say it is difficult to find restaurants with handicap accessibility (76%) while seven of 10 respondents say they do not see advertising that reflects older consumers (71%). The results also revealed that as the 65-and-older demographic increases in size and spending power, retailers, brand marketers and service providers have opportunities to better support the health and well-being of aging consumers.

The survey also unearthed that two thirds of Malaysian respondents find it difficult to navigate assistance from service-oriented industries like transportation (67%) and housing (65%). Additionally, 53 percent of Malaysian consumers (when thinking about the product or service needs of the aging consumer) have trouble locating packages that are easy to open. However, half of Malaysian consumers find it easy to locate food items that feature clearly labeled nutritional information (50%) and restaurant menus which are easy-to-read (51%).

Results from the survey also indicated a high percentage of demographic claim for both fully and partially meeting the needs of aging consumers in Malaysian retail stores through ample lighting (78%), large print advertising signage (72%), product promotions catered for smaller-family needs (71%), handicapped bathrooms (70%), handicapped parking (69%), easy-to-reach shelving (68%) and benches to sit (65%).

“Overall, the social and economic changes of our aging population present many opportunities for Malaysian marketers, service providers and manufacturers. The winners will be those who will be able meet these needs by tailoring services and products for elderly consumers and helping retirees lead a fulfilling life.” said Griseri.


The Nielsen Global Survey about Aging was conducted between August 14 and September 6, 2013, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. In Malaysia, the sample size is 504. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60-percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.


Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit