SINGAPORE: An October 12 report on the website of Singapore Management University asks the question, “Are Singapore’s young seniors prepared for retirement in a super-aged society?” showing the results from a yearly symposium on successful aging.
Only 34 percent of Singaporeans say that their retirement preparedness is good, while 27 percent do not have a retirement plan at all, as shown by a new study published by the SMU Centre for Research on Successful Ageing or ROSA.
The research looked into the economic and health characteristics of the Pioneer, Merdekah, and Majulah generations in terms of the impact of successful aging. This was done through a survey of 6,430 Singaporeans from the ages of 53 to 78 in January this year and drew data from the Singapore Life Panel® (SLP), which examined financial adequacy and other characteristics, concentrating on young seniors, meaning those born in 1973 or earlier.
Professor Paulin Straughan, Director of ROSA, said that the center is “committed to analyzing the traits of silver societies and how we can better reap the dividends of longevity from an evidence-based approach. With this study, we gain a good grasp of the main concerns of each generation and the areas where interventions may be most effective.”
Here are some of the symposium’s key findings: Among young seniors, around 80 percent agree or slightly agree that they have sufficient knowledge about how to conduct their retirement plans, and 78 percent agree or slightly agree that they regularly save for their retirement.
While around one-fifth (22 percent) of young seniors characterize their retirement plan as robust, 28 percent do not have a retirement plan at all and 50 percent say they have some form of a retirement plan.
Around 74 percent agree or slightly agree with the statement that their retirement savings are on track and about 63 percent agree or slightly agree that they have enough endowment plans for their retirement needs.
Interestingly, the study also shows that individuals belonging to the Pioneer generation are more likely to live alone compared to other generations. Almost one-fifth of the older adults from the Pioneer generation are widowed while only around 11 percent of younger seniors have lost their spouse.
The study also shows that CPF amounts decrease as people get older; at the same time, healthcare becomes more expensive. Chronic diseases and disability are more widespread among older seniors, but the study underlined that about 20 per cent of young seniors experience some form of disability of varying severity.
The symposium recommended additional social opportunities for older seniors from the Pioneer generation to combat isolation. As for the Merdeka generation, half of whom are working, “policies should promote part-time work, retraining, and financial incentives. Skill development programs and tailored initiatives can empower them for suitable job opportunities and community engagement through volunteering.”
For young seniors, “policymakers and researchers might consider the changing meaning of work and retirement, as well as the broader psycho-social implications. Additionally, there is a need to educate this group about more up-to-date wealth management strategies beyond traditional legacy insurance,” the study, which can be accessed in full here, added.