HSBC Report reveals real retirement concerns

24 September 2013

A recent report by HSBC confirms what many financial experts around the world have been saying for some time: people are not saving enough for their retirement years.

Generating an adequate income in retirement remains a major challenge for most people, given the financial conditions created by the global economic downturn. With social security systems set to become less generous, people will need to rely increasingly on their own retirement savings.

The latest in HSBC’s The Future of Retirement Report series, “Life after Work?”  covers 15 countries and 16,000 people, comparing the experience of recent retirees with the expectations of those still working. Shockingly the report reveals that nearly 1 in 8 people around the world believe they won’t be able to afford to fully retire. This figure increases in Singapore with 17% believing they will never be able to enjoy retirement, dropping to 1 in 10 in the UAE.

Other findings from the report include:

  • 12% of working age people expect never to be able to fully retire
  • 64% of semi-retirees wish they had worked full-time longer
  • 69% of retirees expect to leave an inheritance to their children
  • 52% saw their outgoing stay the same or increase on retiring
  • 66% saw their income fall on retiring, and 21% saw it fall by more than a half


With the benefit of hindsight, there are a number of lessons that future retirees can learn from the real life experience of today’s retirees. In our industry we always try and drive home the message that the earlier you start saving for retirement, the bigger the retirement pot, largely due to compound interest. This advice is echoed in the report, with 53% of retirees saying that this was the best financial advice they had ever received.

Other useful advice included:

  • Save a small amount regularly
  • Buy only if absolutely necessary
  • Spend only what you have
  • Buy your own home as soon as you can afford to


Having examined the experiences of today’s retirees and compared them with the expectations of today’s retirement savers, four main conclusions emerge from the Report which could help you to prepare more effectively more effectively for your own retirement: 

Action 1 - Don’t rush into retirement.
Taking early retirement does not always turn out to be a positive move. Indeed, continuing to work is often recognised by retirees as a good way to keep mind and body active.

Action 2 - Don’t rely on one source of retirement income.
Relying on multiple sources of retirement income is a good way to avoid income shortfalls.

Action 3 - Be realistic about your retirement outgoings.
Don’t assume that your outgoings will fall when you enter retirement. Hidden costs, such as healthcare, might see outgoings actually rise after you stop working.

Action 4 - Plan your retirement with family in mind.
Family will become more important over time, given the trend of retired people who retain financial responsibility for other family members.

To download a copy of the full HSBC report, please complete the following form. If you have any retirement concerns contact your local Globaleye office today or email

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