Indonesians are well prepared for retirement, Singaporeans less so: Survey

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Pre-retirees in Indonesia can put their feet up, while Singaporeans should be a little more focused on preparing for their golden years, according to a DBS-Manulife survey.

Of workers across six Asian countries, Indonesians were the best prepared for a comfortable retirement, the "Retirement Wellness Study" found.

The study created an index based on three key retirement issues: health protection, wealth building, and the ability to have an enriched life after retiring, that was calculated on a 100-point scale. More than 6,000 respondents aged 40 to 60 years old, across Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, India and Indonesia, took part in the study.

Indonesians scored the highest on the index, with 72 points, followed by Chinese, which was just 3 points below at 69. The study also found that both Indonesians and Chinese were most confident about their current health and that their healthcare needs would be met during retirement.

But retirement is not looking like a bed of roses for Hong Kong workers (39 points), Singaporeans (46 points) and Taiwanese (47 points), whose scores revealed they were significantly less prepared for retirement.

"Singaporeans hold high expectations for their retirement years but many are leaving it too late to make their hopes a reality," said Richard Vargo, regional head of bancassurance at DBS Bank.

With a higher cost of living in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, known as the Asian tigers, respondents could perhaps be less confident about retirement.

A 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey found for the second consecutive year that Singapore was the world's most expensive city, based on price comparisons across a basket of goods and services.

Hong Kong also made the Economist's top 10, coming in as the 9th most expensive city.

In December, the Hong Kong administration launched a public consultation on a retirement protection scheme designed to help it cope with its aging population and ensure proper care for retirees, the South China Morning Post reported.

High property prices in the three countries may also make it more difficult for residents to pay off their mortgages pre-retirement in order to maximize post-retirement income.

Property prices in the three countries have nearly doubled since 2009, according to statistics from Knight Frank and CLSA. This was despite governments in all three countries implementing property cooling measures.

Across the region, respondents scored 56 points (out of 100) on the DBS-Manulife Retirement Wellness Index, and are best prepared in the areas of health protection, while less confident about wealth building for their golden years.

- CNBC's Nyshka Chandran contributed to this article

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