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Strong family ties boon and bane to Singaporeans' financial future: HSBC

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Strong family ties are important in Asia, but they also mean Singaporeans are having to provide financial support for their family members that extend beyond levels seen in Western cultures, says Ian Martin, chief executive of HSBC Insurance in Singapore.

THE majority of Singaporeans still provide their family with financial support at the expense of their own financial future, taking a toll on their finances, lifestyle and emotional well-being, says an HSBC survey on Singaporeans' financial security.

In Singapore, 77 per cent provide financial support to their family, compared to 48 per cent in the UK and 44 per cent in the US.

Close to half of Singaporeans still provide for children who are over 18 years old, and 72 per cent still financially support their living parents.

Those who regularly support their family members use half their disposable income to do so. Additionally, 46 per cent of Singaporeans have to put off their own aspirations and 42 per cent feel guilty if they spend on themselves instead of their family.

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Strong family ties are important in Asia, but they also mean Singaporeans are having to provide financial support for their family members that extend beyond levels seen in Western cultures, says Ian Martin, chief executive of HSBC Insurance in Singapore.

But the emotional strain on the giver is "more than" made up for by "the 'feel good' factor of being able to provide the family", says HSBC.

According to the survey, 57 per cent of Singaporeans believe they are a good provider, while 54 per cent feel appreciated by their family members.

The survey included more than 13,000 people across 13 countries and territories, including about 1,000 respondents aged 25 and above from Singapore.

HSBC says that people can identify their priorities, assess their finances, plan for the whole family and talk about the future to mitigate future uncertainty.

It projects that by 2024, Singapore will be classed as a "super-aged" country, where one in five people are aged 65 or older.

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