Singapore—For a country that has a good percentage of the wealthiest people around the globe, there is still a significant number of Singaporeans who face financial insecurity, according to a new survey, which shows that one out of every five Singaporeans—or 20 percent—would not survive even one month if they lost their current employment.
In a study of regional financial health, Go Bear recently carried out a survey of more than 4,000 respondents from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
The good news is that the results show that Singapore showed the highest level of financial health among the four locations surveyed, with a mark of a 68 out of 100 based on the GoBear Financial Health Index (FHI). In comparison, Hong Kong’s score was 64, Thailand’s was 61 and Indonesia’s was 60.
However, the survey also showed that 45 percent, or nearly half of all Singaporeans do not possess an emergency fund that can sustain them for six months. Storing up an emergency fund of at least three months’ living expenses is a common piece of advice given by experts, just in case someone loses their job or experiences an unexpected medical crisis. As it turns out, twenty percent of Singaporeans do not even have this, according to a recent survey commissioned by GoBear.
One industry analyst, behavioural finance and market psychology expert Wong Kon How, surmises that this is due to the fact that for many Singaporeans, their assets are locked away in CPF accounts or property ownership.
When asked regarding their attitudes toward investments, one-fourth of all the respondents said they believe that investing is a risky endeavour. Additionally, 20 percent, or one out of every five respondents said they actually keep cash at home in a piggy bank.
Moreover, more than one out of every two respondents (54 percent) said that the cost of living today outpaces the income that they earn.
The survey results from 1,028 Singaporeans between the ages of 18 and 65 were released on November 1. It showed that these are the top three financial priorities of Singaporeans”
Putting away money in savings
Reaching financial independence
Building up an emergency fund
Furthermore, a sizable percentage (41 percent) of Singaporeans said they do not feel optimism regarding their financial future. According to Mr Wong, these insecurities may stem from pressures they feel from society.
He said, “This past year, GDP growth in Indonesia was 5.05%, while in Singapore it was only 0.6%. As a developed nation, we’re limited when it comes to our GDP growth since we can’t rely on the supply and demand of natural resources like other countries. Instead, we’ve invested our future on other high value-added activities in the manufacturing and services sectors. But this leaves our talent under constant pressure to keep up and stay competitive in a space where opportunities are narrow and limited.
On top of that, we’ve become accustomed to a certain quality of life and feel the added pressure to keep up appearances within our community. And it’s all of this pressure combined that’s led to our lack of financial optimism.” -/TISG