FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Eight in 10 Singaporeans are supporting their parents financially: HSBC

This is higher than the global average of six in 10 workers.

Eight in 10 Singaporeans are financially supporting their elderly parents, underlining the financial difficulties faced by Singapore’s elderly as well as the need to provide better retirement support.

A total of 84% of affluent and 80% of mass Singaporeans pay for their parents recurring costs, a survey by HSBC found. This is higher than the global average of 69% for affluent and 59% for mass individuals, respectively.

Affluent respondents are those who earn equivalent to more than US$100,000, whilst mass respondents are those who earn between US$30,000 to US$99,000 in equivalent currency.

One in two respondents shared that their elderly parents have suffered some financial difficulties in retirement.

Singaporeans also expressed that their biggest concern in parent care is the fact that they are becoming more responsible for their parents’ decisions as they age, HSBC noted.

About 42% of affluent and 40% of mass respondents said that they struggle to help the elderly understand the planning process. Two in five or 41% of affluent and 36% of mass respondents also expressed difficulties in explaining the pros and cons of wills and trusts to their parents.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put extra pressure on the ‘sandwich generation’—those who provide care and financial support for both their children and elderly parents—making smart, long-term wealth planning more important than ever,” said Alice Fok, head of customer propositions and marketing, HSBC Singapore. “Proper  planning  can  take much  of  the  stress  out  of  both  saving  for  retirement  and caring for retirees.”

The bank expressed concern that only 43% of mass Singaporeans are getting professional help to prepare for inheritance plans compared to 63% of affluent Singaporeans. 

“Part of ensuring a happy and comfortable retirement for our parents is being able to reassure them that their legacy is safe and secure. Working alongside a trusted advisor will help families balance various considerations including financial goals, obligations and aspirations,” Fok added.

Singaporean seniors often struggle with their finances partly due to being less tech-savvy than their children, says HSBC. Currently, 44% of affluent and 60% of mass elderly continue to rely on written documents to manage their budget, higher than global average of 38% and 49% for affluent and mass residents, respectively.

HSBC’s research took the views of more than 2,200 people acrosse Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and United Kingdom.

Photo courtesy of Matthias Zomer (Pexels).

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