Saving for retirement the top financial goal for those in Asia: Survey

Some 46 per cent of people in the region are not confident about saving enough money to support themselves until the age of 80, the Prudential Relationship Index for 2017 showed. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - Saving for future retirement is the highest-ranking goal among Asians, the Prudential Relationship Index (PRI) for 2017 showed.

Prudential Corporation Asia's PRI, which studies the strengths and weaknesses of the primary relationships, looked at nine markets this year - Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the PRI, 50 per cent chose saving for future retirement as the highest-ranked goal, with travelling with family (47 per cent) close behind. Some 46 per cent of people in the region are not confident about saving enough money to support themselves until the age of 80.

The majority of those in the markets surveyed shoulder the responsibility of financially supporting their loved ones. Some 53 per cent cover their parents' daily expenses, but only about a third of Asians expect their children to support them financially in their old age. In Singapore, only 24 per cent expect their children to do so.

Meanwhile, 83 per cent of those polled expect to use their own personal savings and assets in their old age.

The overall average PRI score for 2017 is 71 out of 100, up one point year on year, which indicates that relationships in Asia meet 71 per cent of people's needs and expectations. People in Cambodia are the most satisfied with their personal relationships, with a PRI score of 86, followed by Vietnam and the Philippines which tied for second (79). Singapore was in eighth place with a score of 64.

The survey also showed that the most common cause for argument (37 per cent) was money. However, the PRI 2017 revealed that couples who pool their money together have a better relationship (a score of 74) than those who keep their finances separate (a score of 58).

In addition, 56 per cent said that working with a financial agent to plan their finances helps improve relationships.

Some 80 per cent of those in Asia say that technology growth has made financial planning simpler and better. But findings show that time spent on digital devices is the fourth-leading cause for arguments between a couple (29 per cent).

Overall, the majority of people in the region are more optimistic about personal finances than their love life, with expectations for improvement in their love life and personal finances at 56 per cent and 67 per cent respectively over the next few years.

Anthony Shaw, chief customer and marketing officer (insurance) at Prudential Corporation Asia, said: "The level of relationship satisfaction remains at a high level this year across Asia. Money continues to be the leading source of tension for couples in Asia and the findings reveal that greater transparency regarding financial affairs benefits relationships." He added: "Whilst the advancement of technology has made financial planning easier, attentiveness to their partner is the major source of arguments for one-third of couples in the region."

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