Poor health seen as barrier to happy retirement in the UAE

HSBC’s The Future of Retirement 2016 shows that 46% of UAE pre-retirees believe poor health will make saving for retirement more difficult

The majority of residents in the UAE are facing the risk of going into retirement with health issues that could prevent them from fulfilling the aspirations they have for later life.

HSBC’s The Future of Retirement 2016 report reveals that nearly eight out of ten pre-retirees in the UAE (78 percent) say that lack of free time and work commitments are preventing them from leading a healthier lifestyle.

As a result of which, almost half (46 percent) of the working age population believe that poor health will make saving for their retirement more difficult.

With over half of UAE pre-retirees (61 percent) unable to predict how much they are likely to spend on healthcare in retirement, the study reveals that unless working age people take practical steps to improve their wellbeing, they risk being financially unprepared for a comfortable retirement. 

This year’s research reveals that people in the UAE may not be able to experience “a retirement bounce”; an improvement in their health during early retirement.

In fact, even with more time to spend on healthy living, the UAE is the only country among the 17 countries surveyed, where the difference between respondents rating their health as good for their age is lowest for retirees than pre-retirees.

The Future of Retirement: Healthy new beginnings, a survey of more than 18,200 people across 17 countries and territories including more than 1,000 in the UAE, assesses retirement trends globally and identifies the key issues associated with ageing populations and increasing life expectancy around the world.

The survey shows that 29 percent of pre-retirees aged above 45 years would like to retire in the next five years in order to spend more time with their family, enjoy the freedom to travel or pursue other interests, or join their partner in retirement, among other reasons.

Despite this desire, 22 percent believe that they will not be able to retire in the next five years due to financial commitments and other life events.

Commenting on the findings, Gifford Nakajima, Head of Wealth Development, UAE and MENA, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said: “While previous reports showed that pre-retirees find life events, such as buying a home, one of the biggest barriers to retiring, the new findings show that there is more to that.

"A bigger concern that working age people do not seem to identify with, but is increasingly prevalent among retirees, is that healthcare costs and issues will have a significant impact on their hopes to live a comfortable retirement."

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