Results of a new survey from FTLife paints a rather bleak picture about Hongkongers' views when it comes to financial security in a post-pandemic world. Namely, concerns about retirement and healthcare are of chief importance.

The “Retirement Planning and Confidence Survey” was conducted in December 2020 and interviewed 405 working adults aged 20 or older in Hong Kong to get their thoughts on how the pandemic has affected their retirement planning and wealth management. 

Among the respondents, 70% of them said they "lack confidence in retirement" — a startling number and four times higher than the 16% who expressed the same feelings pre-pandemic. Chief among their reasons are rising medical expenses (53%), lack of stable income (52%) and managing expenses (50%).

Among younger residents (20 to 29), there is a self-reported lack of financial knowledge and wealth management, especially when it comes to saving for the future. About half (52%) of them lack knowledge on investment products and nearly three-fifths (59%) admit do not know how to do mid- to long-term financial planning. Perhaps more concerning, 73% of the younger respondents claim to have no saving habits at all.

Despite all this, 55% of Hongkongers still desire a stable income in retirement, and 41% of those acknowledge that a qualifying deferred annuity plan is a suitable first step to get there. 62% of respondents plan on subscribing to one in the upcoming year.

“Our latest survey found that Hongkongers’ confidence in retirement dropped during the pandemic and many young people did not have regular saving habits. This may result in missing the best timing to save for retirement and to achieve the rolling effect of compound interest. Regardless of any economic cycle, it is best to plan retirement early. For Hongkongers with limited amount of capital and little investment experience, they can consider subscribing to a qualifying deferred annuity plan to start saving early. They can enjoy tax deductions while taking the first step to plan for retirement," said FTLife chief commercial officer and chief product officer Christine Yeung.

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