The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted Singaporeans to re-evaluate their attitudes towards retirement and retirement planning, especially those between 31 to 40 years old, according to a survey conducted by the Fullerton Fund Management.

The study, which polled 1,000 Singaporeans aged 21 and above on their evolving perception on retirement, saw 42% of those between 31 and 40 years old – the largest group – looking to kick start their retirement planning.

The participants had minimum personal incomes of $3,000 and own some form of investment as well.

Retirement, which used to be seen as the end of working life and “door closing”, is now being redefined as a “new life stage” by 8 in 10 Singaporeans, where they look forward to a meaningful retirement and desire financial freedom to pursue the life of their dreams.

This includes spending quality time with loved ones, starting a new venture, travelling, or spending time to learn and grow.

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Through the same study, more Singaporeans now realise the importance of being financially prepared for their retirement.

Many now recognize that it is no longer enough to rely on traditional sources of retirement income such as their savings amassed in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

According to survey findings, some 53% of Singaporeans aged between 21 and 40 years now expect to get the most out of their retirement income through investment returns.

As such, attitudes towards risk and returns are evolving as well, especially for younger Singaporeans who have the luxury of being able to invest over a longer period of time.

For instance, 64% of Singaporeans aged 31 to 40 years are willing to forego guaranteed capital for higher potential returns.

That said, investors, according to the study, also appreciate the resilience of diversification in their portfolios, after the financial volatility brought about by the pandemic.

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Stronger financial literacy brought about by the prevalence of digital tools is also another factor that has empowered younger Singaporeans to begin their financial planning journey.

Over 80% of those aged between 21 and 40 years old mentioned that they would have delayed financial planning without digital resources.

Over 90% in the same age group recognised that digital tools play an important part in their financial planning process, and have given them more confidence to make financial decisions.

“Singaporeans are redefining the whole idea of retirement and how to get there. Retirement is no longer viewed as a door closing. In fact, more people now look forward to financial freedom so that they can pursue a retirement lifestyle of their choice, and to learn and grow,” says Jenny Sofian, CEO of Fullerton Fund Management.

“There are also significant shifts in attitudes towards risk, with more Singaporeans counting on investment returns to fund their retirement. Technology and digitalisation are also influencing the way in which Singaporeans make investment decisions. In order for Singaporeans to grow their nest egg, they will need to plan ahead and build a sound investment portfolio to achieve their retirement goals,” she notes.

Vincent Chan, head of multi-asset at Fullerton Fund Management adds that “Integrated and personalised digital tools will play an increasingly vital role in Singaporeans’ financial literacy and retirement planning”.

“Digital tools and intelligent technologies will also be key in helping consumers manage and formulate their financial plans more effectively.”