29 October 2020

HSBC Survey: Supporting elderly parents

**8 out of 10 Singaporeans contribute money to their elderly parents**
**Almost half said their elderly parents have suffered some level of financial difficulties**
**Most elderly in Singapore are reliant on written documents to manage their budget**

A recent survey by HSBC found that familial ties remain strong among Singaporeans. Majority of Singaporeans are financially supporting their elderly parents. Despite getting financial support from their children, Singapore’s elderly still experience some degree of financial difficulties. They are also less tech-savvy when it comes to managing their finances and many do not have a professional inheritance plan in place.

This research took the views of more than 2,200 people in Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and United Kingdom. It aims to understand the concerns and needs of mass and mass affluent consumers who are supporting their parents in terms of inheritance planning and everyday life.

Ms Alice Fok, Head of Customer Propositions and Marketing, HSBC Bank (Singapore) said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has put extra pressure on the ‘sandwich generation’ – those who provide care and financial support for both their children and elderly parents – making smart, long-term wealth planning more important than ever. Proper planning can take much of the stress out of both saving for retirement and caring for retirees.”

Key findings:

  • 8 out of 10 (84% - affluent1 and 80% - mass2 ) Singaporeans pay for their parents recurring costs, higher than global average (69% - affluent and 59% - mass)
  • Similar to their global peers, 1 in 2 (49% - affluent and 50% - mass) Singaporeans said their elderly parents have suffered some financial difficulties in retirement
  • Most Singaporean seniors (44% - affluent and 60% - mass) rely on written documents to manage their budget, higher than global average (38% - affluent and 49% - mass)
  • Singaporeans’ biggest concern in parent care is becoming more responsible for their parents’ decisions as they age

Taking the first steps towards legacy planning

The survey showed that Singaporeans are still encountering considerable difficulties in helping their parents plan for old age. Key difficulties are helping the elderly understand the planning process (42% - affluent and 40% - mass) and the pros and cons of wills and trusts (41% - affluent and 36% - mass). An area of concern is that while most affluent Singaporeans (63%) are tapping on banks and law firms to prepare their inheritance plans, only 43% of mass Singaporeans are getting professional help.

Ms Fok added: “Part of ensuring a happy and comfortable retirement for our parents is being able to reassure them that their legacy is safe and secure. Working alongside a trusted advisor will help families balance various considerations including financial goals, obligations and aspirations.”

Understanding that family matters most to our customers, HSBC Singapore offers a full range of investment and insurance solutions to support working adults and their ageing parents with their financial needs, including legacy and estate planning.

In addition, HSBC Singapore has enhanced its Premier proposition to include new benefits and features geared at making it easier for customers to secure the financial future of their loved ones. In particular, Premier Family Banking was introduced in December 2019 to enable customers to extend Premier privileges to their spouse and children when they set up individual Premier accounts for their family members at a lower Total Relationship Balance of SGD30,000. The proposition refresh is part of HSBC Singapore’s ongoing effort to improve our solutions and offerings through the lens of our customers.

Top tips for a better retirement:

Reframe how you think about retirement:
It’s easy to put off planning your retirement so reframing how you view it is important. Think of it as a chance to pursue your passions and have new adventures. Make sure you make the most of it by planning ahead.

Visualise the retirement you want:
Think about the kind of retirement you want. Do you want to go travelling, move home, take up a new hobby or even start a new business? Having a broad idea of how you’d like your life in retirement to look will allow you to plan for it more effectively.

Ask the experts:
Nobody expects you to be an expert in saving and investments, so use free online advice or seek professional financial advice to help you plan and cost out your retirement plans. This will help you decide on the right approach. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – get clarity before making decisions.

From managing to planning:
Managing your finances is not enough – you need to plan where you can save money and how much. Use online tools such as savings calculators and budgeting apps to help to identify the changes you can make today that will cut costs and then direct the savings to your future.

Start an honest conversation:
If you are anticipating support from your family or children during your retirement, start a conversation with them ahead of time. An upfront discussion on what kind of assistance might be needed and when, can help to manage expectations and ensure your retirement goes smoothly.

Media enquiries to
Betty Fong, HSBC Singapore | +65 6658 4103 | betty.c.y.fong@hsbc.com.sg

Note to editors:

HSBC surveyed and analysed over 2,200 respondents in Canada, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and United Kingdom between November 2019 and February 2020 to understand the concerns and needs of mass and mass affluent consumers who are supporting their parents in terms of inheritance planning and everyday life. Respondents are over 40 years old and earn an annual income of USD30,000 or equivalent. They are also currently supporting one or more parents, expect to support one or more parent in the next five years, or have supported in the past.

About HSBC Singapore

HSBC Group’s history in Singapore dates back to 1877 when its founding member, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, opened its first branch on the island. A qualifying full bank, HSBC in Singapore offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including retail banking and wealth management; commercial, investment and private banking; insurance; forfaiting and trustee services; securities and capital markets services. One of the earliest banks to establish in Singapore, HSBC today is a prominent player in Singapore's financial services sector serving the banking needs of multi-national corporations, home-grown businesses, private banking clients, institutional and retail customers. In May 2016, HSBC locally incorporated its retail banking and wealth management business in Singapore and established, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited. HSBC Singapore has a retail network of 10 dedicated HSBC Premier Centres and 2 HSBC Jade Centres including a Premier International Centre as well as many locations across the island providing self-service terminals.

About The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,956 billion at 30 September 2020, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

1 “Affluent” participants were defined by earning over USD100,000 or equivalent in domestic currency

2 “Mass” participants were defined by earning between USD30,000 & USD99,000 or equivalent