SURVEY REVEALS THAT SINGAPORE MUMS HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR RETIREMENT
While mums are organised in making monthly provisions in their budgets for expenses such as dining out, family vacations and enrichments classes for their kids, they are not setting aside funds for their own retirement.
A recent survey finds that mums in Singapore have unrealistic expectations of retirement; with approximately two in five expecting their children to care for them when they retire, while 75% of mums have not yet started planning for retirement.
The survey, targeting a group of over 600 mums in their 30’s, both stay-at-home as well as full-time working mums, found that despite having a lifespan of almost 20 years post retirement, the average Singaporean Mum fails to plan for it.
This information is from the Singaporean Mums Retirement Aspirations Survey 2015, conducted by theAsianparent.com’s Insights team in collaboration with AIA, Singapore.
SURVEY REVELATION #1: Out of sight, out of mind
An alarming 75% of mums in their 30s shared that retirement planning had not even crossed their minds. This translates into worrying proportions; it means that 3 out of 4 Singaporean mums have no clue how they will support themselves in their retirement!
SURVEY REVELATION #2: Happy illusions
69% of mums believe they will need less than $3,000 and 38% of them believe that they will need less than $2,000 to run their monthly expenses after they retire. While 51% of mums expect to downgrade their lifestyle post retirement, 25% believe that they will retain the status quo.
Interestingly, 24% of mums expect to upgrade their lifestyle post-retirement. Since average household expenditure for Singaporeans is $4,724*, the assumptions are unrealistic at best, showing a disconnect about how much they need in their post retirement lifestyle and planning sufficiently for it.
According to AIA Singapore, retirement planning should start as early as possible for women as they have a higher life expectancy though they tend to have shorter income earning years. Individuals are advised to start a retirement plan and put aside monthly savings to ensure that they can enjoy an independent and comfortable retirement.
SURVEY REVELATION #3: No contingency plan
In spite of health being the topmost concern of most mums in Singapore, contingency planning is almost zero. Should an unexpected or unfortunate situation occur, such as one being diagnosed with a critical illness like cancer, 50% of mums said they would make use of their retirement savings for their post-cancer lifestyle while 40% drew a blank on what they would do for the same. Only the remaining 10% of mums said they could face and survive a cancer situation and have the means of paying for their post-cancer lifestyle.
“The usually savvy Singapore mum who is making the right choices for her children, and seems to be in control of situations, appears not to plan for her own retirement. From this study, it’s clear that there should be more public awareness about the importance of retirement planning” said Ameetess Dira, theAsianparent.com’s Regional VP of Strategy & Client Services.
Additional findings from the Singaporean Mums Retirement Aspirations Survey 2015 show:
- 64% of mums cite day-to-day cost of living for not building up their retirement savings; 38% have not even thought about it and 21% have left the planning to their husbands;
- Health is a top concern of all mums; healthcare expenses, living in poor health and unexpected emergencies are the top 3 post-retirement concerns;
Children obligated to provide financial support?
Of the 56% mums who do not plan to rely on their child for financial support, 75% expressed that they didn’t want to be a burden. However, of those who are planning to rely on their child for financial support, 52% say that it is because they believe that it is the child’s responsibility to provide for their parents.
This presents a challenge especially for one-child families, a trend which continues to increase**, where the single child may have the financial stress of caring for two elderly parents as well as his/her own family.
It was also worth noting that:
- Post-retirement, mums want to spend time with family (77%), travel the world (72%), pursue new interests/hobbies (57%) and spend more ‘me’ time (52%);
- Mums’ current top spends include dining out, followed by vacations and enrichment classes for kids;
- Even if they need to save for their retirement, mums are least willing to forego enrichment classes for kids and hobbies, followed by premium coffee/tea.
From the results of this survey, it’s clear that Singaporean mums are not paying enough attention to their personal retirement security. We hope this survey helps mums realise that financial planning is crucial as it has huge implications in terms of health, satisfaction and personal enrichment in their retirement.
Ms Ho Lee Yen, Chief Marketing Officer, AIA Singapore said, “As a mother myself, it is unsurprising that the survey reveals that Singaporean mums are always giving and prioritising the needs of others before themselves. What many of us fail to realise is that, in the long run, this may be detrimental to the entire family. This is why AIA Singapore, as The Real Life Company, is introducing even more initiatives to encourage women to get themselves adequately protected and prepared for retirement so that they will continue to lead a fulfilling life with family in their golden years.”
* Singapore Household Expenditure Survey conducted in 2012/2013
** ‘Population Trends 2014’ (September 2014) Singapore Department of Statistics. Information available at: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document library/publications/publications_and_papers/population_and_population_structure/population2014.pdf