Retirement planning in Hong Kong not enough

Respondents in a Zurich International Life survey think HK$20,000 a month is enough to survive retirement.
High net worth Hong Kong Chinese are in danger of missing the mark when it comes to ensuring a financially secure retirement, according to a research report released by Zurich International Life.

The Zurich Wealth Monitor, a research probe into the attitudes and future plans of the companyÆs key customer groups, surveyed 400 high net worth Hong Kong Chinese on their attitudes about financial planning and lifestyle. The report reveals that 37% of Hong Kong Chinese are not confident of being able to completely meet their financial needs upon retirement.

The consensus ideal retirement age of the respondents is 54 for women and 57 for men. ThatÆs well below the norm of 60 for civil servants in Hong Kong and 65 for members of the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme who want to claim payment of accrued benefits.

The report shows that younger people in Hong Kong are more attuned with their retirement needs even if itÆs still a long way away for them. Around 73% of the 25 to 29 year olds surveyed said they prefer to save for their future rather than spending now. A slightly lesser portion, or around 67% of those in their early 30s, said the same.

The report shows that the average age to start retirement planning is around 27 for Hong Kong males and around 27 for females. The report also showed that the consensus expected monthly expenses upon retirement was HK$20,000 ($2,600).

ôFinancial planning for retirement is a priority for the Hong Kong Chinese and it begins at an early age,ö says Zurich International chief executive officer Martin Davis. ôHigher costs of living and lifestyle aspirations and a need to provide a sound education for the younger generation means that the need to start saving for retirement early shouldnÆt be taken lightly.ö

The report shows there is reluctance among the respondents to seek financial advice from recognised channels. Most rely on family and friends. Only 16% rely on insurance companies as their source for financial advice, 11% on independent financial advisors, 9% on brokers, and 9% on private banks.
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