Nearly half of Malaysians surveyed (49%) are not optimistic about ageing, and do not look forward to it.
While almost half of Malaysians are not optimistic about ageing, in a global study by Ipsos surveying 30 countries, the nation was the seventh most optimistic about going into their 'twilight years'.
Interestingly, despite the relative optimism, Malaysia is ranked fourth when it comes to its citizens worrying about getting old.
A significantly higher percentage of Malaysians compared to the rest of the world opined that they worry about getting old. About three in five (62%) Malaysians (compared to 52% globally) worry about getting old. In comparison citizens of India (45%), United States (48%) and United Kingdom (50%) worry less about getting old.
Despite this worry, a higher percentage of Malaysians still feel it is possible to prepare for old age (76%), as compared to the global average (64%).
One of the reasons for this is that 85% of Malaysians (global average: 57%) expect to be fit and healthy in their old age.
Further, technological developments are also believed to make the lives of Malaysians easier in their old age, according to 60% of those surveyed.
How old is 'old' to Malaysians?
Based on findings, the age of 56 is the point Malaysians consider to be the onset of their 'sunset years' - in comparison, this is 10 years earlier than the global perception, whereby most people in other countries believed it started in their late 60s or early 70s.
What can HR possibly do to address this mindset?
As the workplace is where people spend the better part of a week, HR policies and the company culture - how older colleagues are viewed and treated - can play a part in the perception towards ageing.
For instance, with the top concern of getting old being not having enough money (30%), if employees know they are provided with sufficient monetary or medical benefits, or retirement support, they may not worry too much about how to prepare for old age.
Further, with losing mobility (26%) being the second top concern, organising talks for staff on health, active living and active ageing, as well as encouraging participation in activities, could potentially change the perception towards growing old, and increase optimism towards it.
Lead image and infographics / Ipsos *Note: To view full resolution, open infographics in new tab.