Downturn puts retirement on ice

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2009, 12:00am

One-fifth of Hongkongers feel they will have to work six years longer than they intended before retirement because of the financial turmoil, a survey has shown.

They have also trimmed their retirement budgets, with one in five respondents expecting to have to live on HK$5,000 a month or less.

This emerged from a telephone poll of 501 people conducted by the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme for MassMutual Asia, a consulting firm. It looked into people's expectations and plans for retirement and how these have been affected by the recession.

It found that one-fifth had postponed planned retirement from an average age of 54 to 60.

The average expectation for their retirement budget had fallen to HK$9,851 from HK$10,813 in a similar survey last year.

The survey also found nine out of 10 respondents underestimated the amount of money they needed to retire. More than 60 per cent would save only half or less than the amount required. More than 30 per cent had not started to plan for retirement.

On the use of retirement planning tools, the survey found 70 per cent chose bank deposits.