Singaporeans do not appear to be prepared to retire, as many polls conducted over the years have suggested. Even though many have a retirement plan in place, they simply lack sufficient funds to get them through the post-retirement years comfortably. The following statistics serve as a wake-up call and reminder of the importance to plan ahead.
Two-thirds of retirees have inadequate savings to upkeep their lifestyle till their expectancy age
According to Nielson research, most Singaporean retirees are not confident that their retirement savings can tide them through the very end. As reported, this is the consequence of having underestimated their lifestyle needs and expectancy. Already, within the few decades from 1960 to 2015, life expectancy in Singapore has increased from 59 to 80 years old in males, and 63 to 85 years old in their female counterparts. If this trend persists, life expectancy will reach 90 years in time to come. This implies a greater need for us to plan for our retirement much earlier, to ensure that we do not outlive our financial resources.
One-third of Singaporean adults have not planned for retirement at all
In the same report, nearly half of those who have yet to plan for retirement reportedly failed to have done so because they do know the retirement options available. About one-fourth claim that they do not know when they should start saving for retirement and how much retirement saving is required.
Four-fifth of working Singaporean adults have not enquired about retirement planning from financial advisors
You would think that one would take steps to understand the importance of retirement savings if he or she is unclear about when to start or how much to save. However, only a staggering 18% of Singaporean working adults have tried to learn about the importance of retirement planning to start accumulating funds for one’s non-working years. This is a worrying figure as negligence towards one’s retirement could trigger deep societal issues if more Singaporeans do not address this concern. Instead of leaving one’s retirement to chance, more Singaporeans working class must be educated of the importance of retirement planning to tackle increasing hospitalisation costs and heftier caregiver costs.
60% of Singaporeans need to work beyond their retirement age
Of which, about 38% in this group, as surveyed by BetterTradeOff (BTO) believe they need to work beyond the retirement age of 67, while another 27% believe they have to work until they are 70 years old. This is owing to late and inadequate retirement planning.
20% of young Singaporeans do not place retirement savings to be a priority
Young working Singaporeans aged 25 to 35 place emphasis on short-term savings for their first property over long-term savings for retirement. Owing to high property prices, buying a home or paying a mortgage often derails one’s retirement plans. Apart from housing, priority goes into day-to-day expenses. This is also one of the biggest obstacles towards retirement planning – the focus on short-term needs over far-off goals. For this group of Singaporeans, retirement feels like a distant goal that does not require much attention yet. However, with quality of life and travel being some of the top aspirations for Singaporeans post-retirement, young Singaporeans have to place greater emphasis on retirement planning to live out their future aspirations comfortably.
75% of Singaporean mums have not started to plan for retirement
In a Singaporean Mums Retirement Aspirations Survey 2015, 75% of 600 mums surveyed have not yet considered their retirement plans. Of which, nearly half believe that they can rely on their children in their aged years.
These figures highlight the challenges in proper planning and a lack of understanding among many Singaporeans on the real and tangible need to address retirement issues before they rear their ugly heads. As life expectancy and cost of livings continue to increase, the need to save and plan for one’s post-retirement years becomes ever more critical.
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