Malaysia’s middle class require about RM1.5 million of assets to be financially secure, according to a survey by AIA. In their survey titled “Hopes and Aspirations of Malaysia’s Middle Class”, Malaysians have higher expectations when it comes to achieving financial security compared with other countries like Thailand (RM360,000), Philippines (RM864,000) and Indonesia (RM451,000).
In Malaysia, 53% believe that they could achieve financial security in their lifetime while 47% view financial security as a never-ending pursuit. Having said that, Malaysia’s middle class placed health as their top goal in life (68%). A total of 38% stated a happy marriage as top priority while 35% rated saving for retirement is the most important goal in life.
Meanwhile, about one-third (33%) of the respondents considered enjoying a comfortable retirement as the most difficult goal to achieve in life and 55% are worried that they will not be able to save enough for retirement. At the same time, most (73%) middle class in Malaysia believe the children should be responsible to support their parents financially in their old age and more than half (57%) are currently supporting their own and/or their spouse’s parents.
The AIA Middle Class Index (MCI), which measures respondents’ sentiments in ten aspects of life situations, showed a score of 60.5 for Malaysia, indicating that the country's middle class were positive that their life situation will improve over the next 12 months. However, this figure is lower than other countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand. Issues such as affordability of healthcare, unexpected emergencies and the cost of housing are their main concerns.
The survey include 3,000 respondents from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines.