Want to retire early? You may not be able to

Most people aged 45 or over would like to quit work and retire within the next five years, but two in five of them will be in no fit financial state to be able to do so, according to a HSBC report out on Wednesday.

The U.K. bank surveyed 18,000 people online across 17 countries worldwide and found that sixty-five percent of employees would like to quit work within the next five years, but 38 percent felt unable to do so, largely for financial reasons. hope

Social security retirement couple worried
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"Financial barriers are preventing many people from retiring when they would like to — or, in some cases, at all. Almost one in five people fear that they will never be able to retire fully," Charlie Nunn, head of wealth management at HSBC, said in a news release accompanying the report.

The report came as governments in countries around the world mull how to bear the cost of aging populations. U.S. President Barack Obama is set to propose measures in his upcoming budget to encourage Americans to save for retirement, such as making it easier for workers to keep savings when they switch jobs.

Argentinians were the keenest to retire soon, according to HSBC, with 78 percent hoping to retire within the next five years, compared with 77 percent of French people, 75 percent of Chinese and U.K. people and 72 percent of Americans.

Respondents in the Middle East were least keen to retire, with only 15 percent of Egyptians and 29 percent of people living in the United Arabs Emirates aspiring to do so within the next five years.

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The French were the most likely to want to retire but feel unable to do so, followed by Argentinians.

More respondents wanted to give up work for good in order to travel and pursue personal interests than to spend more time with family. Nearly one in three said they were bored of the everyday routine of work and almost a quarter said their job was negatively impacting their physical or mental health.

"People should consider these aspirations when planning for retirement and ensure they are making sufficient financial provisions for this new chapter in life. Even small amounts saved today can lay the groundwork for a comfortable retirement tomorrow," Nunn said.

Of those who would like to retire but were unable, 64 percent blamed insufficient savings, with dependents and excessive debt also cited.

In Asia, Indonesian pre-retirees are best prepared for a comfortable retirement, according to a DBS-Manulife survey out this month, trumping those in Hong Kong and Singapore, where costs of living can be very high.

HSBC advised aspiring retirees to start saving early for retirement, assume that it will be a long and active one and consider how to pay for potential healthcare needs, as well as take early steps to improve one's health.

Percentage of those aged 45+ who would like to retire in the next five years:

  • Argentina 78
  • France 77
  • China 75
  • U.K. 75
  • Canada 74
  • Australia 74
  • Brazil 73
  • U.S. 72
  • Mexico70
  • Malaysia 69
  • Singapore 68
  • Taiwan 61
  • India 61
  • Indonesia 58
  • Hong Kong 57
  • UAE 29
  • Egypt 15