Stressed about the future? Planning for retirement early can ease your anxiety

Although Singapore has fared better in the pandemic than many other nations, Singaporeans are suffering from increasing levels of stress and anxiety about the future. The pandemic has not just given rise to a healthcare but also a mental health crisis with job loss, a volatile economy and uncertainty about the next wave of COVID-19 taking a heavy toll on mental wellness.

Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need to examine the factors which affect mental wellbeing as well as identify ways to help people feel more in control of their lives. 

Between March and April this year, HSBC Life conducted the ‘+Factor’ Study to gain insights into the physical, mental and financial well-being of over 10,000 people across Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China and the UK. 

31 per cent of the Singaporean respondents considered Covid-19 to be a key source of stress in their lives. Unsurprisingly, about 1 in 4 Singaporeans reported that the pandemic has had an impact on their mental and physical health.

In addition, 31 per cent of the Singaporean respondents were worried about the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, reflecting their uncertainty about how lasting the pandemic’s damage will be on the economy and on individuals’ finances.

Rising healthcare costs are also a major concern

The cost of medical care was also rated as one of the key concern, with 76 per cent of Singaporean respondents worried about rising healthcare cost.

As healthcare costs typically rise with age, the affordability of medical care is a key concern in retirement planning, especially for those who are financially supporting elderly family members. The sandwich generation, who juggle the dual financial commitments of caring for both children and aged parents, experience a particularly high degree of anxiety, with 81 per cent of respondents from this demographic being worried about not being able to afford medical care if there were to be an illness in the family and 73 per cent reporting that they would be worried about medical bills if they were to fall ill.

With anxiety about finances and healthcare costs playing such a major role in Singaporeans’ apprehensions, it makes sense to have a financial plan to see where the gaps are and how to better prepare for the future. 

Financial health and mental health are interlinked

The study demonstrates that financial stress can have a profound impact on one’s psychological state, and that financial health and mental health are closely intertwined.

It comes as no surprise, then, that 51 per cent of the respondents who reported their mental health as being very poor were also worried about not having enough funds for retirement. Conversely, being financially fit can have positive knock-on effects that make a person more resilient to difficult situations and more confident about succeeding in other areas of their lives.

The survey results suggested a positive correlation between financial health and mental health. Taking steps to improve one’s financial situation, such as through retirement planning, could have a positive impact on one’s psychological well-being.

Planning for retirement can help tackle anxiety

While the trajectory of the pandemic remains uncertain, one of the things Singaporeans can do to cope is to take active steps to plan their finances.

Retirement planning can offer a sense of control and help to promote peace of mind about the future. There is evidence to show that those who plan for retirement are financially fitter overall.

The study found that saving for retirement was the one of the top motivators for managing financial health, with 55 per cent saying that their motivation was to achieve their desired living standards in retirement.

For those hoping to boost future retirement income, signing up for one of HSBC Life’s savings and retirement plans can be a good starting point. Such plans offer a simple way to build up a retirement nest egg while helping the user’s money grow and protecting it from inflation.

Plan for the future with HSBC Life’s comprehensive range of savings and retirement solutions

Life can be hard when one is constantly worrying about retirement and fearful about the future.

HSBC Life takes the stress out of retirement planning with solutions that turn it into an easy process, freeing up your energy to focus on other aspects of your life.

Each of these HSBC Life plans can help you effortlessly accumulate wealth for the future and pave the way to better holistic wellbeing.

To find out which plan would suit you best, visit www.insurance.hsbc.com.sg or make an appointment with a HSBC Relationship Manager for personalised financial planning advice here.

The above products are underwritten by HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Limited (Ref.No.195400150N).

This article contains only general information and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any specific person. 

The HSBC Life +Factor Study was conducted by Engine Group. The mental wellbeing was tracked using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale© (“WEMWBS”), respondents were given a mental health score (‘very low’, ‘below average’, ‘average’, ‘above average’). WEMWBS was developed by the Universities of Warwick, Edinburgh and Leeds in conjunction with NHS Health Scotland. ©University of Warwick, 2006, all rights reserved. Financial fitness was measured using the FinFit methodology previously developed by The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited https://www.hsbc.com.hk/finfit/ through which respondents are evaluated on 15 questions across 4 areas including financial habits, financial knowledge, financial planning, financial security. Figures have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Information is correct as of October 8, 2021.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.