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Habit of "giving while living" detrimental to retirement goals in Singapore: HSBC report

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Singaporean retirees are falling short of their retirement goals due to their ongoing and prolonged financial support of their families, said HSBC on Tuesday in its Future of Retirement report.

Singaporean retirees are falling short of their retirement goals due to their ongoing and prolonged financial support of their families, said HSBC on Tuesday in its Future of Retirement report.

This "giving while living" phenomenon is also affecting inheritance plans, said HSBC.

Its global research study of over 16,000 people in 15 countries - including 1,000 in Singapore - looks into retirement trends. The Singapore edition was conducted in August and September last year.

According to the survey findings, 81 per cent of Singaporean retirees (versus the global average of 73 per cent) have to let go of one or more of their retirement goals due to budget constraints in retirement. This, HSBC said, is "a potential consequence of prolonged financial support of family, particularly children".

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The report shows that almost three in five retired Singaporeans are providing ongoing financial support to dependants; a quarter of these retirees regularly give to grown-up children (25 per cent) and grandchildren (5 per cent).

Said Matthew Colebrook, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Singapore: "Singaporeans' strong family ties are playing a role in the rise of the 'living inheritance' phenomenon where parents are supporting children into adulthood.This adds another dimension to the already complex financial pressures faced by Singapore retirees."

On the inheritance front, the report shows that 66 per cent of pre-retirees intend to leave an inheritance to their children - this is in contrast to the global average of 74 per cent.

As for receiving an inheritance, only 18 per cent of pre-retirees here have done so. This is significantly lower than the global and regional averages of 32 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

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