Monthly Archives: May 2017

Investing for Retirement – Local or Abroad?

Now that you’re retired (or soon-to-be-retired) and no longer receiving a salary, how do you approach your investment portfolio? Experts have a golden rule when it comes to investing post-retirement: you can’t earn back your retirement funds without a steady income. For this reason, you better make sure you are making wise and safe investment decisions.

When you’re working with an active income, but your investments did not do as well as you had hoped, you still have a margin of adjustment. You could work longer and postpone retirement. Once you have retired, that is no longer an option.

Hence, following events such as the Greek debt crisis, Britain’s ‘Brexit’ and China’s recent market crash (albeit recovering), making investments overseas may seem like a risky endeavour and structuring your investment portfolio 100% locally based sounds like a safe bet.

On the other hand, reports from Khazanah Research Institute and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) show that the average Malaysian is retiring with insufficient funds. Compiled with other economic factors – such as the falling value of our Ringgit, the rising cost of living, care and medical inflation – you can’t help to wonder if perhaps you should take your chances and diversify your portfolio across countries.

If you’re in the midst of deciding whether to make an investment locally or abroad, here are a couple things to consider first.

Know your investment objectives
Whether to invest locally or abroad, it really depends on your investment objectives. You need to know the reason why you want to invest overseas. Making investments overseas does indeed carry various additional risks such as foreign exchange risk & geo-political risk. Therefore, as an investor, you would expect higher rate of returns to compensate for the risks taken.

However, if your retirement needs are already met or can be satisfied by a purely local portfolio, then making an investment overseas isn’t necessary.

4 Building Blocks to International Investments
There are good reasons to add international exposure to your investment portfolio. By broadening your investment horizon, you can tap on opportunities that are not available in Malaysia such as global conglomerates and high-growth emerging economies. Besides that, investing overseas can also add to the diversification of your portfolio.

But as a retiree (or soon-to-be-retiree), your retirement fund is critical to ensuring your quality of life and ability to live with dignity as you go down the journey of ageing. Hence, your decisions to make investments is especially critical at this stage in life. You need to be cautious and make prudent decisions to ensure it lasts.

If you have considered every angle and decided an international investment is what you need, decide on where you may need the spending. Keep in mind these 4 building blocks when constructing your investment strategy:

1. Understand the Risks
It is crucial to understand the risks involved in investing overseas. In addition to carrying all the general risks inherent to any underlying investments, there are also risks unique to investing overseas that you need to evaluate. Namely:

• Currency risks
• Political, economic & regulatory risk
• Selling time
• Additional costs
• Information risk
• Legal remedies

If you are concerned about any of these risks and need clarification, it is highly recommended that you seek professional financial advice before you invest overseas. Remember, as a retiree or soon-to-be-retiree, the aim is secure your quality of life during retirement. Its’ better to be safe than sorry.

However, once you are aware of the risks and possess the information necessary to navigate them safely, you’ll find the rewards are worth the effort. Despite the risks, foreign investments are a vital part of any well-balanced portfolio. There is plenty of growth and opportunities to be found overseas to not take advantage of.

If you have done your homework and maintain a well-diversified portfolio by investing only a percentage of your total assets in foreign securities, you can take advantage of worldwide growth in today’s global economy without taking on excessive risk.

2. Research the Region & Asset Options
You need to research what kind of assets that you would want to invest in, such as stocks, bonds, properties, REITS and etc. It is especially important to know what are the costs of investing in a particular asset overseas as it may be more expensive compared to the same investment locally.

Make sure you’ve compared the cost and risk to the expected returns to identifying high-quality income.

When you have decided on the assets you will invest in, you should consider which country or region to be exposed to. Understanding the country or region, the trends and socio-political environment is vital before you invest your money. It could make the difference between loss and gain.

3. Determine & Allocate
When you have understood the risks, the options available and the country/region of choice, you need to determine how much funds you have available and allocate the appropriate portion to invest overseas. You also need to determine what is your investment horizon – that is the total length of time which you expect to hold your investment.

However, if you are a retiree who is approaching the late stage of retirement, you will likely need to de-risk your investment portfolio and scale down the foreign exposure.

Another golden rule to follow is if you don’t have enough retirement fund, investing overseas may not be your main concern or priority. Your priority is to boost your retirement fund.


4. Monitor & Review

When you have made your investment, be sure to constantly review and monitor the portfolio. As foreign investments are more sensitive due to its additional risks, you need to ensure that it is well diversified to minimise any extreme risk or external shocks that may occur.

When to Make an Exit
Handling domestic investments can be challenging enough to deal with. Researching and analysing foreign companies puts an additional level of complexity as you have to deal with issues such as variances in legal and accounting standards, as well as obtaining up-to-date information as some foreign companies may not provide investors with the same type of information.

To navigate more securely as you make an international investment, you could outsource the management of the international portion of your portfolio to a professional who is well versed in the country or region of your interest.

The bottom line when it comes to making an investment overseas is to know how much money does your retirement needs costs and how these needs can be fulfilled by your retirement fund. When you have identified the funds you need, determine if you have the required amount to act as a buffer to investing overseas.

If this ‘buffer’ diminishes – that is to fall below the minimum capital that you need for your retirement needs – then you should stop the investment and make an exit, unless you have a good reason to continue.

 

Written by Aged Care Group in collaboration with FA Advisory

Source: First published in Smart Investor, May 2017

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Launches Pavilion Silver Société

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 MAY 2017 – Pavilion KL, Malaysia’s premier shopping destination, known to provide unforgettable shopping experiences to visitors. Pavilion KL today launched Pavilion Silver Société, a new exclusive program for the silver society.

The Pavilion Silver Société, targeted at Malaysians 55 years and above, offers members leisure experiences, special celebrations and services ranging from workshops during festive seasons and pampering services, to birthday discounts and many more. Members of the Silver Société will receive exclusive discounts from over 250 tenants in the mall, as well as invitations to private events.

The ceremony commenced with the unveiling of the Pavilion Silver Société by Dato’ Joyce Yap, CEO of Retail of Pavilion KL. As a symbolic gesture to kickstart the programme, Dato’ Joyce was presented with a Pavilion Silver Société membership card as the first member of the esteemed programme, together with ten other valued recipients, including Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, former Minister of Tourism in Malaysia.

To continuously offer attractive benefits and activities to Pavilion Silver Société members, Pavilion KL will endeavour to collaborate with major non-profit organisations and multi-national companies to engage the target audience.

 

Dato’ Joyce Yap, CEO of Pavilion Retail Group (left) and Dr. Carol Yip, CEO of ManagedCare (wholly owned by Aged Care Group) (right)

 

The first partner to collaborate on such an initiative is Managedcare, a care platform in the business of coordinating and administration of a variety of healthcare and long-term care services to achieve optimum value in terms of quality and affordability. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Agreement between Pavilion KL and Managedcare was signed with the purpose of promoting social inclusion and enhance the holistic well-being of senior citizens through jointly organised events and activities.

The MoU will bring about mutually beneficial interests, as well as increased accessibility to learning and social events/ activities catered to senior citizens through mutual cooperation for both parties.

“It is with great pleasure that we launch Pavilion Silver Société today. Whether we are ageing or not, it does not mean that we stop indulging in an active and fulfilling lifestyle. To me, life begins when you hit 55. I hope that all shoppers aged 55 and above will embark on this journey with us and take advantage of Pavilion Silver Société” said Dato’ Joyce.

Shoppers who are interested to apply for the Pavilion Silver Société, may proceed to the Concierge
Counter located at level 3 to register.

 


 

Managedcare Sdn. Bhd.

Managedcare is in the business of coordinating a variety of healthcare and long-term care services as well as the administration of these services to achieve optimum value in terms of quality and affordability. We bring to market products and services that ease the provision and access to care, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. Managedcare is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aged Care Group Sdn Bhd.

For more information, please visit www.managedcare.com.my

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is an award-winning, world-class mixed-use urban development located in the heart of Bukit Bintang, the shopping district of Malaysia. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur blends the best of the international and local retail world with over 550 stores and eight themed precincts. Attracting over 30 million visitors annually, this premier shopping destination is a duty-free shopping paradise and the defining authority in fashion, dining and urban leisure.

Visit www.pavilion-kl.com for updates on the latest trends, offers and events.

Professionalising Care Through Public-Private Partnerships

As we evolve into different stages of life, the possibility of requiring some form of care is prevalent. There are enough facts to pressure us to do something now – without hesitation and procrastination, especially when Malaysians are facing longer life spans.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: do we have the basic care necessities? The resources in terms of facilities, manpower and knowledge to care for our loved ones and even ourselves?

To address this question, a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) was signed between University of Malaya and Aged Care Group on 18 April 2017 as both parties come together with a common goal in developing continuum care for the older generation.

Amongst the challenges faced by our ageing demographic, it is the lack of Malaysians who are keen or have the passion to work in the aged care industry that stands out. Rarer still are the care workers and professionals trained with the right skills to fuel this industry.

It should be acknowledged, aged care – no matter the sophistication of it’s infrastructure – is a labour-intensive industry. It carries a human-centred element where experience is etched into the hand that partakes the cause of care. Without that experience from which to learn from, our facilities are but ineffectual.

Beyond being simply a business, aged care is about birthing and nurturing human connections that provides warmth and personal attention, aspects that are important to the care recipient. As such, in order to elevate the aged care industry, there is an incumbent and vital need to professionalise aged care as career employment in care, hospitality and lifestyle living.

To that end, a forum on “How to encourage and attract human capital into the aged care industry” was held and organised by ACG in conjunction of the MoU with UM.

The distinguished panellists who gathered to discuss this issue at the forum were the esteemed To’ Puan Dr Safurah Jaafar, former Director of the Ministry of Health’s Family Health Development Division, Associate Professor Dr. Tan Maw Pin (Faculty of Medicine) of University of Malaya, and Simon Si, Head of Regional Communications of JobStreet. The session was moderated by Carol Yip, CEO of Aged Care Group.

 

Identify & understand the challenges

Talks regarding the lack of manpower in the aged care industry has always been a constant. The glaring reason that such talks persists is mainly due to a lack of research on the needs and nuances of the factors that would cultivate the necessary human resources in aged care.

As such, the implication to the aged care industry in terms of economic costs and social value to our communities remain unknown to us. It goes without saying that we cannot afford to be ignorant when a thriving aged care business is necessary for the betterment of Malaysia’s ageing population.

According to Dr. Tan Maw Pin, 26% (out of 1000 patients) of those who attended the University of Malaya Medical Centre’s (UMMC) emergency department in 2012 were seniors, which is an alarming statistic.

“During that period, the general senior population over 60 years old in Petaling Jaya district was only 6%. This give us a ratio of 26:6 which is extremely high if compare to United Kingdom, United States and Singapore which is nearly 1.” said Dr. Tan.

 

Dr. Tan Maw Pin further reiterated that the elderly tends to seek immediate medical attention by going to the emergency department; a distressing figure that shows a huge gap in the delivery of care due to:

  • Lack of or inadequate community care services for the ageing community in the neighbourhood; and
  • Lack of primary care services by general practitioners and nurses to elderly staying at home.

 

It also potentially indicates a lack of trained care workers or caregivers/family members at home who know how to take care of the elderly.

Carol further added that UMMC faces a large number of elderly who prolong their stay in the hospital. This is due to a lack of caregivers or family members at home to care for them.

So, how can various players in the value chain collaborate to smoothen the transitory flow of the elderly, starting at the transition from hospitals to their own homes or aged care facility (with quality care services)?

Dr. Tan Maw Pin mentioned that previously, caregiving was carried out by foreign domestic workers. “Until 2 years ago, you could pay foreign domestic workers RM600 to take care of the elderly, and most people could afford it. But things have changed and now I see the opportunity to introduce a structured approach towards caregiving.”

Among the solutions discussed, one such potential approach is to enable the provision of caregiving services at a lower cost by implementing an integrated care framework and training a large pool of care workers with certification.

Dr. Tan stressed that services offered by a caregiver or care worker should not be on a voluntary basis but it should be positioned as a career opportunity, thus creating employment for those interested to embark into the field. It could also provide job opportunities to those who have given up their previous careers to look after their loved ones.

Simon Si also shared an interesting insight: “Jobstreet.com has 30,000 jobs at any one time. With 3 million people on the database, there are only 6 jobs for caregivers out of 30,000 and 4 of them are based in Singapore. There are 360 job offers for nurses but half are for Singapore, and another quarter are for the Middle East market. The salary range for the jobs didn’t cross RM3, 000 monthly”.

With this in mind, Simon stated that the question industry players need to ask themselves is “How can the industry make the caregiving profession attractive in recognizing the fact that such a profession is highly in demand?”

In order to elevate the role of ‘caregiver’ into a career for Malaysians, there must be purpose-built facilities just like hotels and hospitals, with an attractive salary structure to remunerate the care staff.

Other criteria that were discussed amongst the panellists in regards to ‘professionalising caregiving’ involved requiring the aged care facilities to be built to standards similar to that of developed countries and creating certification of caregiving training programmes which are accredited just like a nursing course.

It was also stated that remuneration structures needed to be addressed appropriately to befit the caregivers’ professionalised status.

Currently, there are local caregiving training for individuals or nurses who wish to seek employment overseas, which clearly indicates we are already experiencing a ‘brain drain’ and a shrinking caregiving pool as other countries offer better remunerations.

 

Changing Perspectives

Celia Yeo from The Victorian State Government, Australia, who look after the services and education sector of South East Asia shared her experiences from Australia:

“Using nurses to do aged care is a waste of resources. In Australia, we have different types of certificate for different users in aged care. You would be specialised in dementia for example even if you are not a nurse.”

Edward Lim (from the audience), an engineer from Vector One proposed the idea of providing caregiving training to kids when they are still at school, “We can encourage students to take the caregiving courses in the school as part of their curriculum and introduce a points system to fulfil the subject requirements via internship. We also can partner with nursing home for their internship.”

It was also noted that Government support plays a crucial role in elevating the aged care industry. According to To’ Puan Safurah, there must be a cohesive effort by various sectors i.e. private sectors, non-profit organisations, the silver community with the relevant authorities to drive a movement action.

Mr. Yoong Yoon-Kit, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU)’s Executive Vice President responsible for the Healthcare portfolio stated that under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA), the business of aged care is mainly meant for the private sector. The government’s role is to facilitate or ensure the smooth progression of the projects by way of giving incentives (for example, from the Malaysian Development Authority (MIDA) etc.

 

Moving Forward – Taking Action

Wawasan 2020 which encompasses all aspects of life – from economic prosperity, social well-being, world class education, political stability, as well as psychological balance — is only 2 and a half years away, which leaves us little time.

Additionally, we have the Transformasi Nasional 2050 – an initiative to enable Malaysia to achieve ‘developed country’ status within the period of 2020 to 2050. The question is – can the rate of our rapidly growing ageing population afford to wait another 30 years, delaying development of a better aged care framework for ourselves?

Simon Si emphasised the importance of changing the mind set and perception of what ageing means and that building aged care facilities would have to be driven by the private sector. Innovation and technology would also be key to driving industry growth, as well as making it an attractive endeavour.

“It will be expensive and maybe only the top 5-10% of population could afford it, but the spill over effect from it is going to impact the rest of the industry. We need to make it a viable business and attractive for people to join into this industry.

Speaking with the middle-income bracket in mind, To’ Puan Dr Safurah had this to say:

“We can provide quality care by way of community care via day care centres or facilities that will charge lower rates according to the middle-income group’s affordability, while for the poorer ones, NGO’s can help out. By engaging and attracting more players into the industry, there will be economies of scale to deliver quality and affordable care services”.

On the topic of proper budgetary allocation, Dr. Tan stated that “We have enough budget to do the right things, but we keep channelling it wrongly”. Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” She emphasised that it is a ‘huge financial issue’ for the elderly that needs to be restructured appropriately as many become bankrupted by checking themselves into a private hospital or hiring 24 hours nursing services at home.

Dr. Tan further suggested that with technological innovation and well-planned care, Malaysians could engage Managedcare (a one-stop care platform) to assist them by coordinating a variety of health related and long- term care services, together with CareTRUSTTM to help individuals to allocate some monies in a living trust to pay for their care needs.

In conclusion, Carol added, “Malaysia is rated as the 6th best place to retire in the world. With the introduction of Malaysia My Second Home Program (MM2H) since 2002 and our own ageing population, we need to build human capital for this billion Ringgit industry— The Silver Industry. Together, we can implement an integrated care framework that is supported by a large pool of trained human resources”.

Aged care services for future Eco World projects

Eco World Development Group Bhd is discussing with Aged Care Group Sdn Bhd (ACG) to offer services to the property developer‘s older buyers in future projects, including retirement homes.

Eco World‘s Ijok development in Selangor, may become the first to offer independent living and retirement homes with aged care services, leading to nursing home facilities for residents.

Eco Sanctuary, near Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, and Eco World‘s other projects are possible candidates for the niche market.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says an aged care facility usually provides accommodation and support, including assistance for day to day living, intensive care, and independent living.

Eco World has ties with ACG, through the former‘s wholly owned subsidiary, Managedcare Sdn Bhd, which is the healthcare services partner for Parque Residences condominium in Eco Sanctuary.

Called the Eco Sanctuary Care Hub, the pilot project will offer 24/7 nurse-oncall services and a care manager to attend to requests from the condominium residents.

ACG builds and assists in designing townships by integrating healthcare and aged care services to achieve specific design standards.

This makes the homes adaptable, accessible and safe for the aged to live in.

Source: Focus Malaysia, 29th April – 5th May 2017

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