Based on a recent study in the US, Malaysia was regarded as one of the countries to spend retirement in, for less than RM9,000 a month. However, Malaysians seem to disagree.
With food and rental prices on the rise after the Covid-19, some Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang folk are saying that a household income of about RM10,000 is needed to live a comfortable life.
"My husband and I consider ourselves quite lucky to have a household income of RM10,000, which is just nice for both of us. The bulk of it goes into servicing the loan for our house and two cars.
"After paying petrol, bills and for groceries, we can still set aside some money for personal savings and for our parents," said a 35-year-old, private tutor.
41-year-old, mother of three, who works in the private sector said her household expenses include about RM1,000 for groceries, RM3,400 for car and housing loans, RM700 for Internet and utility bills, RM1,000 for investment, RM500 for her children's education expenses and RM300 for petrol.
This is not including other expenses like eating out, shopping for clothes, car servicing, tuition fees and extracurricular activities, as well as emergency funds.
The monthly expenses for an eight-person household are about RM10,000, she said: house loan RM3,400, auto loan RM700, daughters school fees RM460, petrol RM600 (for two cars), food-related expenses RM2,200, phone bill RM140, utilities RM600, broadband RM150, and insurance RM900.
This is based on 35-year-old from Kuala Lumpur.
Another; housewife from Kuala Lumpur said she and her husband have had to live more frugally since having three children. Their monthly household expenses are RM12,000.
In Penang, single mother and restaurant manager, 47, is hoping for a 30% increase in her monthly salary of RM3,000 in order to make up for the rising cost of living.
She has two sons, the youngest is pursuing tertiary education while the eldest works in Kuala Lumpur.
"We are able to still make ends meet with our combined income of RM7,000. In order to live comfortably, though, we need to get another RM3,000," she said.