Insights + interviews

2 In 5 Not Confident About Retirement

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At the official launch of DBS Bank and Manulife Financial Asia’s 15-year regional life bancassurance partnership, the two companies released the results of their research study conducted to understand the retirement aspirations and challenges faced by individuals in Asia.

Known as the DBS-Manulife Retirement Wellness Study, the survey was conducted on 6,000 people aged 40 to 60 in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan. The study included a “Retirement Wellness Index”, which measured retirement preparedness among pre-retirees based on three key pillars: namely health, wealth and social aspects.

The Retirement Wellness Index is a weighted average of various attributes across the three pillars, taking into account respondents’ current behaviours and expectations towards retirement, as well as the influence of each attribute. It is calculated on a 100-point scale, with a higher score suggesting better preparation towards retirement.

In terms of who would feel the most prepared for retirement, topping the class of six is Indonesia, with the country scoring 72 points. Among the top concerns of the Indonesians during retirement are the ability to afford medical cost (28%) and not knowing who would be providing them care during retirement (28%).

Comparatively, for the developed countries, Singaporeans, Taiwanese and Hong Kong residents, feel relatively less prepared across all aspects of retirement, with Hong Kong scoring the lowest at 39 points. As for  Singapore, which scored 46 points compared to the regional average of 56 points, two in five pre-retirees do not feel confident about their preparations for retirement. Although 77% have tried to figure out how much they need to save for retirement, only 19% are fully aware of the exact amount needed. More than half (56%) of those who have started retirement planning did not seek any form of advice.

Key findings for Singapore:

  •  Two in five respondents are not confident about their preparations for retirement.
  • Among those who have started retirement planning, more than half (56%) did not seek any form of advice.
  •  Only 36% believe they are able to pursue a comfortable retirement with their savings and investments, while 30% expect that they will have to downgrade their current lifestyle and habits when they retire.
  • 38% are worried about their ability to afford medical costs when they retire, while 32% are unsure about how much to cater for health care in retirement.

In Singapore, a total of 1,008 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), aged 40 to 60-years-old took part in the Study which was conducted online by research firm, Nielsen, in November 2015. Demographic quota s were set, based on age, gender and monthly household income. This
is to ensure national representation in the country.

Richard Vargo, Regional Head of Bancassurance, DBS Bank, said, “The ‘DBS-Manulife Retirement Wellness Study’ provides an insightful look into the retirement attitudes and challenges faced by one of the most dynamic regions in the world. Retirement in Asia is a hot issue; populations are ageing, workforces are shrinking, and many are underestimating the amount they need to lead the retirement lifestyle that they want. For example, Singaporeans hold high expectations for their retirement years, but many are leaving it too late to make their hopes a reality. We encourage Singaporeans to seek professional advice early to plan and review their options for their retirement.”



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