A survey by HSBC published this week has found that familial ties remain strong among Singaporeans, but better planning for retirement is urgently needed.
The HSBC survey found the majority of Singaporeans are financially supporting their elderly parents. Despite getting financial support from their children, Singapore's elderly still experience some degree of financial difficulties. They are also less tech-savvy when it comes to managing their finances and many do not have a professional inheritance plan in place.
This research took the views of more than 2,200 people in Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK. It aims to understand the concerns and needs of mass and mass affluent consumers who are supporting their parents in terms of inheritance planning and everyday life.
Proper planning can take much of the stress out of both saving for retirement and caring for retirees.”
Alice Fok, head of customer propositions and marketing at HSBC Singapore, said: "The covid-19 pandemic has put extra pressure on the ‘sandwich generation' - those who provide care and financial support for both their children and elderly parents - making smart, long-term wealth planning more important than ever."
"Proper planning can take much of the stress out of both saving for retirement and caring for retirees."
The survey's key findings include:
- 84% of Singaporeans pay for their parents recurring costs, higher than global average (69% - affluent and 59% - mass)
- Similar to their global peers, 1 in 2 (49% - affluent and 50% - mass) Singaporeans said their elderly parents have suffered some financial difficulties in retirement
- Most Singaporean seniors (44% - affluent and 60% - mass) rely on written documents to manage their budget, higher than global average (38% - affluent and 49% - mass)
- Singaporeans' biggest concern in parent care is becoming more responsible for their parents' decisions as they age
The survey showed that Singaporeans are still encountering considerable difficulties in helping their parents plan for old age. Key difficulties are helping the elderly understand the planning process (42% - affluent and 40% - mass) and the pros and cons of wills and trusts (41% - affluent and 36% - mass).
An area of concern is that while most affluent Singaporeans (63%) are tapping on banks and law firms to prepare their inheritance plans, only 43% of mass Singaporeans are getting professional help.
Fok added: "Part of ensuring a happy and comfortable retirement for our parents is being able to reassure them that their legacy is safe and secure. Working alongside a trusted advisor will help families balance various considerations including financial goals, obligations and aspirations."