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Wealth succession proves tricky for some top execs: BT poll

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RETIREMENT PLANS: Besides travelling, being with loved ones and pursuing hobbies, survey respondents would like to pick up skills like cooking.

Singapore

ONE in five business leaders have failed to consider wealth-succession plans, a survey by The Business Times has found.

This is despite their strong belief in the importance of educating the next generation on wealth management and financial planning.

Conducted last month, BT's online survey on financial planning and money management received 100 responses from top executives across a variety of sectors.

While 48 per cent of them said they know how to go about planning for wealth succession, 21 per cent said they have not put much thought into it. Another 15 per cent believe preparing for wealth succession is a daunting process.

But the task would seem less so if they have two pieces of information, they said - how to distribute one's assets, and how to write a will.

Some are also interested in ways to rebalance their portfolios based on their life stage.

When it comes to retirement planning, however, respondents seem better prepared. At least two-thirds have started preparing for retirement by investing in financial products such as stocks and shares, unit trusts and bonds.

In addition, around three-quarters said they have invested in property, in addition to setting aside money in savings, fixed deposits or retirement savings.

But four respondents confessed to not having taken any steps to prepare financially for their retirement. Two said they did not know how to invest for retirement; one said there are more important current priorities and the fourth admitted to not having thought about retirement yet.

Indeed, when it comes to financial readiness for retirement, responses among business leaders were mixed.

Over half (57 per cent) of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that their savings and investments would be enough to cover their long-term care and medical expenses.

On the other end of the spectrum, 7 per cent said they did not know how to go about planning for retirement.

More than a fifth (22 per cent) of them were somewhere in the middle; these executives have savings and investments but do not think these will be sufficient in retirement.

Meanwhile, the top three activities respondents would like to engage in when they retire are travelling, spending more time with family and friends and pursuing hobbies.

While not as big a priority, some respondents said they would like to learn a new skill - like woodworking or cooking - in retirement.

Of the 100 top executives who responded to BT's survey, 58 per cent declared an annual income of over S$180,000, 12 per cent earned less than that, while the rest declined to disclose their pay.

The full results of the survey will be published on Sept 21, in collaboration with Citibank Singapore.