The average Singaporean starts saving for retirement at 32 and continues for another 29 years - nine more years than their predecessors who saved an average of 20 years and started later at age 39.
This was one of the key findings in HSBC's Future Of Retirement: Generations And Journeys report.
It sought the views of more than 18,000 people in 17 countries, including 1,008 Singaporeans who are working or retired.
Despite the longer and earlier period of saving, 41 per cent of the Singaporeans of current working age wish that they had started to save earlier while 38 per cent have stopped saving due to various difficulties.
Said Matthew Colebrook, head of retail banking and wealth management, HSBC Bank (Singapore): "Unfortunately, in many instances, life events are also getting in the way from setting aside money earlier or in a consistent manner."
He added that the report released yesterday reveals a degree of tunnel vision among Singaporeans with cash savings and property being the key investments of choice - often at the exclusion of almost any other asset class.
"But all asset classes' performance will rise and fall as the current softening of the Singapore property market and low deposit rate environment show us. This speaks volumes for why it is important to seek diversification in a savings plan," he added.
Of the Singaporeans polled, the majority use cash savings, supplemented by day-to-day salary and a property downsize to fund their retirement.
Of the working age Singaporeans, 60 per cent expect to draw on cash savings to fund their retirement.
The report also finds that 21 per cent of Singaporeans (compared with the global average of 6 per cent) expect to downsize or sell a property to help them fund their retirement.
Findings also show that 23 per cent of pre-retirees have not started saving (on par with the global average of 24 per cent), including 10 per cent who are aged 60 or over.
This article by The Business Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.
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