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Citi Singapore Financial Quotient (Fin-Q) Survey 2014

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Most Singapore residents are optimistic about their financial future but lack a formal retirement plan.

Citi recently conducted an online survey on making smart financial decisions and having good financial habits, with a sample size of more than 500 Singapore residents. The Citi Fin-Q survey seeks to understand the financial literacy of consumers, and covers key components such as attitudes towards their financial future, methods in budgeting, approach to savings, insurance needs and retirement savings. For 2015, the survey has been extended to include portfolio financing and investment, two important themes that offer in-depth insights to the consumer’s financial concerns in today’s economy.

One of this year’s key findings shows that a majority of Singapore residents (74%) are satisfied and optimistic about their financial future but lack a formal retirement plan. Only one person out of three (31%) has a formal retirement plan that is developed in consultation with a financial professional, and just a small percentage of the respondents (23%) say that they know exactly how to handle money if given a lump sum to invest. Men (34%) are also found be more likely to have a formal retirement plan than females (28%).

According to the survey, more than two-thirds of the respondents (65%) are confident with their retirement savings, and (32%) of them know how much they will need in order to retire and are on track while a further (46%) report having started saving for retirement. While Singapore residents recognise the importance of retirement savings, less than a majority of them (47%) make it a habit to save a partial amount of their income, and there are even some people who rarely save at all (11%).

As consumers’ increase their understanding about personal finances and how to manage it, they realise that there are some uncertainties that come about with life events and that relying on their retirement savings alone is inadequate. The survey also found that Singapore residents are starting to explore other alternatives to increase their wealth and a majority of them (78%) believe that getting themselves adequately insured is an important part of wealth management, with health insurance identified as their most important need (ranked first by 53% of the respondents), followed by life insurance (ranked first by 41% of respondents).

With a longer average life expectancy for both genders, it’s more important than ever to include wealth management in the equation when devising a viable retirement plan that will provide sufficient savings to meet the rising costs of living and increasingly more expensive medical expenses among other reasons, which is why two-thirds of the respondents (65%) think that being able to secure access to investment capital and funds plays a vital role in building wealth.

When it comes to portfolio financing, half of the Singapore residents (50%) would consider borrowing up to as much as 50% of their net worth in order to grow their wealth, while two-thirds (62%) of respondents say that they would pledge some of their assets to purchase insurance if they could be shown how this would help to increase their overall wealth. Financial institution (52% top 3 ranking) tops Singapore residents’ preference for obtaining investment news and advice, followed by online media (48% top 3 ranking) and independent financial planners (48% top 3 ranking).

About Citi Fin-Q Survey 2014

Citi commissioned the Fin-Q Survey with independent research firm JLR of Sydney Australia, who conducted online interviews from October 8 to 19, 2014 with 524 Singapore residents, randomly invited from across age and income groups and split 50/50 by gender. To qualify to participate, all respondents had to be over 18 years of age and have either a bank account or own a major credit card.

As part of the survey, respondents had to answer a questionnaire that consisted of over 70 questions covering a range of topics related to making smart financial decisions and having good financial habits. Respondents were awarded points depending on their answers, with 100 as the maximum number of points achievable. The average Citi Fin-Q score for Singapore residents was 59.9 out of a possible total score of 100, which was up slightly in the past year setting a new high.

The demographic data shows that males outscored females and that the average Fin-Q score tended to increase according to the individual’s age, income and retirement savings.




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