Business

Millennials more prepared for retirement than middle-aged Singaporeans

Over 60 per cent of those polled save more than 20 per cent of their salary

Millennials in Singapore are more prepared for retirement than middle-aged Singaporeans, a new report has found.

More than 60 per cent of the millennials surveyed by digital wealth management platform Syfe said they saved more than 20 per cent of their salary.

"At this stage of their life, millennial respondents aged 25 to 34 seem on track for a comfortable retirement - provided they maintain their current savings rate and relatively low debt level until retirement," said the report on retirement readiness of Singaporeans released yesterday.

But the picture was not as rosy for the majority of the 1,000 respondents aged 25 to 60. Six in 10 scored at the lower range of the retirement readiness index, indicating that they would need to take additional steps to boost their retirement savings beyond current levels.

Almost 40 per cent were "significantly behind" on their retirement preparations, and only nearly one third were considered very well prepared.

"This trend may be a reflection of the widening income gap in Singapore. Left unchanged, it also suggests that retirement inequality will only worsen as people become older with varying levels of savings," the report cautioned.

MORTGAGE BURDEN

Among the older respondents, only about half were able to save at least 20 per cent of their salary for retirement.

This could be due to the greater financial responsibilities of these respondents in the sandwich generation as 74 per cent were currently paying off a mortgage, said the report.

The survey found that respondents who owned their homes were less prepared for retirement than those who rented.

Nearly 30 per cent of the home owners surveyed saved less than 10 per cent of their salary and were deemed very ill-prepared for retirement.

The report pointed out that while a home may represent a financial asset in the long-term, it is essentially a financial liability until the mortgage is paid off.

The respondents across all income brackets - ranging from $3,000 a month to more than 10,000 a month - were equally worried about funding their retirement.

All of them did not expect to be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement.

Syfe founder and chief executive Dhruv Arora said: "Misconceptions about expectations in retirement and a lack of real financial literacy have left many in a difficult position where they may not be able to reach their own goal - often without them even knowing."

BUSINESS & FINANCE