Recent research shows that one fifth of all European expats based in Singapore have no financial strategy in place for their retirement. With their focus predominantly fixed on the here and now, many fail to designate any of their regular income to a retirement plan or any other savings scheme that could prove essential later on in their lives.
Surveyed expats’ income was being spent on their love of tourism and that they stated that they’d much rather travel the world whilst still young.
Somewhat surprisingly, at least 73% said they were capable of saving more, had more spare cash and actually earned more since moving to Singapore, which certainly brings further perspective to the findings. Around 30% said they saved nothing at all, whilst 83% admitted to saving at least a fifth of their income, although this was solely to pay for their current travel-based plans and activities.
Standard Life Singapore’s CEO Neal Armstrong spoke of the daily challenges and alternative attractions that are responsible for deterring Singapore’s would-be expat savers: “At first glance, the results of our survey are promising and show that respondents are taking a step in the right direction by saving more … However, as recently reported, Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, making it easy to fall into the trap of spending more on short-term lifestyle luxuries, the abundance of nearby travel temptations and the commitment of returning home to visit family … This certainly seems to be the case for nearly a quarter of respondents who prioritise lifestyle choices over planning for their future.”
But could a failure to adequately invest in the future be brought about by anything other than their hedonistic approach to life? Perhaps fear of the unknown or a failure to comprehend the importance of saving towards a pension fund could come into play; perhaps commonplace misgivings about financial investment are to blame for the deficit.
By Anthony Standring
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