The Future of Retirement Choices for later life. Singapore Report

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1 The Future of Retirement Choices for later life Singapore Report

2 The research The Future of Retirement is a world-leading independent research study into global retirement trends, commissioned by HSBC. The global report, Choices for later life, is the eleventh in the series and represents the views of more than 16,000 people in 15 countries. The findings in this Singapore Report are based on a nationally representative survey of 1,000 people of working age (25 and over) and in retirement, and was conducted online by Ipsos MORI in August and September All references to retirees refer to people who are semi or fully retired.

3 Key findings Over three in five (62%) working age people plan to semi-retire before fully retiring, compared to 34% of current retirees who initially semi-retired. More than four in five (81%) retirees say they have been unable to realise at least one of their hopes and aspirations since retiring. Nearly a fifth (18%) of working age people say that it is better to spend all your money and let your children create their own wealth, while just 12% say that it is better to save as much money as possible to pass on to the next generation. Two thirds (66%) of working age people plan to leave an inheritance to their children, while less than a fifth (18%) have received one. Over four in five (85%) working age people and almost three in five retirees (59%) provide regular financial support to at least one other person. 3

4 The rise of semi-retirement The reality of retirement is evolving and semi-retirement working fewer hours and/ or changing jobs is becoming more widespread. Traditionally, retirement meant a sudden switch from a busy full time work routine to a more relaxed lifestyle. Many of today s working age people are seeking a more gradual transition to life after work. Easing into full retirement While only 34% of retirees semiretired before fully retiring, over three in five (62%) working age people are planning to semi-retire before they stop work completely. Just under a quarter (24%) expect to switch current job and working hours to full retirement and 15% expect that they will never be able to fully retire. There are differences between men and women, with two thirds (67%) of working age women planning to semi-retire, compared to 56% of men. A higher proportion of men (27%) are instead planning an immediate move from full-time work to full retirement than women (20%). Younger generations are more likely to be planning a period of semi-retirement: two thirds (67%) of working people aged plan to semi-retire before they stop work completely, compared to 56% of those aged 45+. The life of a semi-retiree Of those planning a period of semi-retirement, three in five (60%) want to stay in the same job but work fewer hours. Over a third (35%) are planning a change in career as well as reduced hours and for the remaining 5%, the plan is to semi-retire by changing jobs but working the same hours. Younger working age people are more likely to be planning a change of career with fewer Over three in five working age people expect to semi-retire 24% 62% 15% Fully retire straight from work Semi-retire before fully retiring Never fully retire Q. Realistically, when do you expect to be able to afford to fully retire from all paid employment? (Base: Working age people) Q. Which of the following best describes your plans before you stop paid employment completely? (Base: Working age people) 4

5 62% of working age people plan to semi-retire before fully retiring More people semi-retired by choice than necessity To keep active/keep my brain alert 37% Like working 28% Didn`t want to retire full time immediately 27% To spend more time with family and friends 27% 15% Could not afford to retire full time 15% Health reasons /physical demands 18% To reduce stress 27% To maintain a comfortable lifestyle Q. Why did you move from working full-time into semi-retirement before retiring fully? (Base: All who semi-retired) hours when they semi-retire: over two in five (42%) of those aged have this plan compared to just over a quarter (28%) of those aged 45+. Likewise, this is more popular for those with children: over two in five (43%) parents have this plan compared to less than a third (30%) of those without children. Choice or necessity? For many people, semi-retirement is a positive choice. Over a third (37%) of retirees say they chose semi-retirement to help them keep physically and mentally active before stopping full-time work, while over a quarter (28%) say they like working. For others, semi-retirement was more of a necessity. Almost three in 10 (27%) retirees say they wanted to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and almost one in five (18%) chose to semi-retire to reduce stress levels. For 15% semi-retirement was prompted by health reasons or physical demands. 5

6 The hopes and dreams of a new retirement generation Retirement can mean the freedom to spend more time doing what you want, with whom you want and many working age people aspire to do just that. Around three in five working age people want to spend more time with friends and family (61%) and go on frequent holidays (57%) in their retirement. Two in five want to take more exercise/play more sport (40%) or learn a new skill/ hobby (39%). Many working age people also want to focus on selfimprovement and giving back to society when they retire. Two in five (40%) plan to take on charity/ voluntary work, around a fifth (22%) want to undertake home improvements/gardening, one in 10 (10%) want to learn a foreign language and 9% want to go into further education. There are differences between the aspirations of younger and older working age people. Three in five (61%) of those aged want to take frequent holidays in their retirement, compared to just over half (52%) of those aged 45+. Over two in five (43%) younger people hope learn a new skill/hobby, compared to 35% of older people. While older working age people have a greater desire to continue working when they retire, it is younger generations that have more entrepreneurial plans: more than one in five (21%) pre-retirees aged plan to start a business when they retire, compared to just 11% of those aged 45+. Conversely, two in five (41%) of the older generation plan to continue working to some extent, compared to 29% of their younger counterparts. 81% of retirees have been unable to realise at least one of their hopes and aspirations since retiring 6

7 Reality bites Achieving retirement aspirations may be more difficult than expected for some. More than four in five (81%) retirees say they have not yet been able to realise at least one of their hopes or dreams for retirement. Unachieved aspirations include taking frequent holidays (21%), extensive travel (21%) and buying an expensive item (16%). Some retirement aspirations are more likely to have been achieved than others. Two thirds (67%) of retirees say they have been able to spend more time with family and friends in retirement, over two in five (42%) have been able to do more exercise/play more sport and over a quarter (26%) have taken up a new skill/ hobby. Retirees have been unable to realise some of their hopes and aspirations Frequent holidays 21% 39% Extensive travel 21% 15% Buying a new car/other expensive item 16% 2% Starting a business 14% 6% Living abroad 14% 10% Continuing to work to some extent 13% 14% Learning a foreign language 13% 7% Home improvements/gardening 10% 19% Charity/voluntary work 7% 23% Writing a book 7% 1% Learning a new skill/hobby 6% 26% Further education 4% 5% Taking more exercise/playing more sport 4% 42% Spending more time with friends and family 4% 67% Not achieved Achieved Q. Many people have specific hopes and aspirations for their retirement. Which, if any, of the following have you been able to realise since retiring? (Base: Retirees) Q. Which, if any, of the following hopes and aspirations have you been unable to realise since retiring? (Base: Retirees) 7

8 You can t take it with you When considering whether to spend all their money or set it aside for the next generation, seven in 10 (70%) working age people take a balanced view, believing that it is better to spend some of their money and save some to pass on to their children. Attitudes towards spending and saving are divided However, nearly a fifth (18%) think it is better to spend all their money and let their children create their own wealth, while a smaller proportion (12%) feel that it is better to save as much money as possible to pass on to the next generation. The difference between spending all your money and saving everything for the next generation results in a spend versus save gap of 6% 18% 12% Save as much money as possible to pass on to the next generation The divide is more prominent among those with no children: a quarter (25%) of working age people with no children believe it is better to spend all their money, while 12% think it is better to save as much as possible to pass on to the next generation (a gap of 13%). While for those with children, the gap is just 1%: just over one in 10 (13%) believe it is better to spend all your money, compared to 12% who believe it is better to save for the next generation. The divide is also more prominent in the North East region, where almost a quarter (23%) of working age people believe it is better to Spend all your money and let the next generation create its own wealth 70% Spend some and save some money to pass on to the next generation Q. Which of the following statements best describes your attitude to spending and saving? (Base: Working age people) 8

9 spend all your money and let the next generation create its own wealth, while 11% believe it is better to save as much money as possible to pass on to the next generation (a gap of 12%). In the Central region, the gap is 3% (16% versus 13%) and in the West region it is 4% (16% versus 12%). The joy of giving Despite an overall preference for spending, almost two thirds (66%) of working age people expect to leave an inheritance to their children, while nearly two in five (39%) expect to receive an inheritance in the future. In comparison however, less than a fifth (18%) have actually received one. Younger working age people feel more confident about leaving an inheritance to their children, with over seven in 10 (71%) of those aged expecting to do so, compared to 61% of those aged 45+. Younger generations are also more confident of receiving an inheritance: almost half (48%) of year olds expect to receive one, compared to three in 10 (30%) working people aged 45+. Among working age people expecting to receive an inheritance in the future, over two thirds (69%) say it will help to fund their retirement and almost one in five (19%) expect it will completely or largely fund it. More men than women expect an inheritance to fund their retirement: 74% of men expect an inheritance to fund their retirement to some extent compared to 64% of women. 69% of working age people who are expecting to receive an inheritance say it will help to fund their retirement 9

10 Supporting dependants For working age people, financial decisions are usually more complex than simply spending their money or saving it. Over four in five (85%) provide regular financial support to someone else, with over half (51%) financially supporting a parent(s), and three in 10 financially supporting children under 16 (30%) or a spouse/partner (30%). A fifth (20%) also provide financial support to one or more grown-up children (aged over 16). Most working age people provide regular financial support to at least one dependant Parent(s) 20% 51% 2% Grandchildren 30% Despite no longer being in paid employment, almost three in five (59%) retirees continue to provide regular financial support to others. Three in 10 (30%) support their spouse/partner, a quarter (25%) support grown-up children and nearly one in 10 (9%) support parent(s). One or more grown-up children (aged 16+) 30% Elderly relative or friend Spouse/partner 3% Financial concerns in retirement The prospect of on-going financial responsibilities or being financially dependent weighs on people s minds. Almost three-quarters (74%) of working age people are worried about being able to support their family or friends financially in retirement, while two thirds (67%) have concerns about being financially reliant on family or friends in later life. One or more children aged under 16 85% Support at least one person Q. To whom, if anyone, do you currently provide regular financial support? (Base: Working age people) 10

11 These concerns weigh more heavily on those furthest from retirement: over four in five (81%) pre-retirees aged are concerned about being able to financially support family and friends and over three-quarters (76%) worry about being reliant on them for support in retirement. This compares to 66% and 59% respectively for those aged 45+. Retirees share these concerns. Over half (56%) are worried about being reliant on family or friends for financial support, while half (50%) of retirees are concerned about being able to support their family or friends financially in retirement. Healthcare costs are also a significant source of worry. For nine in 10 working age people, the cost of healthcare (90%) and becoming ill and unable to generate income (86%) are significant concerns for later life. Over three-quarters (78%) of retirees are also worried about the cost of healthcare and 65% are concerned about the cost of a care home/nursing home. 50% of retirees worry about being able to financially support their family or friends 11

12 Location, location, location For working age people, plans for retirement can include a change of scenery, with almost two in five (37%) planning to move once they have stopped working. The desire to move is stronger among younger people: 46% of those aged want to move when they retire compared to just 28% of those aged 45+. Climate is also important. Nearly a quarter (24%) of working age people say better weather is a motive for moving in retirement and a similar proportion (21%) say they want to broaden their horizons/cultural experiences. Broadening horizons/cultural experiences has a greater appeal among younger people (25%) compared to those aged 45+ (15%). Working age people without children are more likely to want to move for a more relaxed Among working age people who plan to move when they retire, more than half (53%) plan to move from their town or city to a rural area. However, the buzz of city life remains attractive to others, with almost a third (32%) planning to move from their town or city to another one. Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand are top retirement destinations for working age people Destination market for retirement (%) Why move? Australia Malaysia New Zealand There are many reasons, both personal and practical, why working age people want to move when they retire. 43% 27% 23% Quality of life is important, with nearly two thirds (66%) of working age people seeking a more relaxed lifestyle in retirement. Almost half (48%) want to benefit from a cheaper cost of living and nearly two fifths (38%) from lower housing costs when they retire. Home market Family exerts a strong influence on relocation plans. Nearly one in five (19%) working age people are planning to move in retirement to be closer to their family Singapore Q. Which of the following countries would you like to retire to? (Base: Working age people who plan to move to another country when they retire) 12

13 lifestyle. Nearly three-quarters (74%) give this as a reason for relocating in retirement compared to three in five (60%) working age people with children. The desire to broaden horizons/cultural experiences is also stronger for those without children (45%) compared to those with children (17%). Passport control While more than one in 10 (12%) working age people plan to relocate within the same country, a further 26% plan to move abroad when they retire. Of these, over two in five (43%) plan to move to Australia in their retirement, while Malaysia (27%) and New Zealand (23%) are also popular destinations. Men are more likely to set their sights on moving to another country when they retire. Almost three in 10 (29%) have this plan, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of women. 37% of working age people plan to move when they retire 13

14 Practical steps towards a better retirement Here are some important insights and practical actions drawn from the research findings, which may help today s retirement savers plan a better financial future for themselves Be realistic about your retirement aspirations More than four in five (81%) retirees have been unable to realise at least one of their hopes and aspirations since retiring. Retirement can offer many choices. Decide what kind of retirement you want and be honest with yourself about how much it will cost. Review your long-term working plans Over three in five (62%) working age people plan to semi-retire before fully retiring. Consider at what age you can realistically afford to fully retire, and if you expect to semi-retire or keep working for longer. Consider your wider financial commitments Over four in five (85%) working age people, and half (50%) of retirees, provide regular financial support to at least one other person. Providing financial support for family members your partner or spouse, your children, your ageing parents may be a reality through your working life and into your retirement. Consider your own and your family s long-term financial needs, and make sure to include both in your retirement planning. Have a clear retirement plan Over two thirds (69%) of working age people who have received or expect to receive an inheritance are expecting it to help fund their retirement,. However, less than a fifth (18%) of all working age people have received an inheritance. Consider how you will fund your retirement and don t bank on receiving an inheritance. Make sure you have a realistic financial plan in place and seek professional financial advice if you need help. 14

15 15

16 HSBC Holdings plc 2015 All rights reserved. Excerpts from this report may be used or quoted, provided they are accompanied by the following attribution: Reproduced with permission from The Future of Retirement, published in 2015 by HSBC Holdings plc. HSBC is a trademark of HSBC Holdings plc and all rights in and to HSBC vest in HSBC Holdings plc. Other than as provided above you may not use or reproduce the HSBC trademark, logo or brand name. Published by HSBC Holdings plc, London HSBC Holdings plc 8 Canada Square, London E14 5HQ 16

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