- The Business Times
Living 100 years or more used to be quite a feat for the average human being, yet in the medically advanced world we now live in, becoming a centenarian has increasingly become a possibility for many.
However, with that reality comes the increased costs to sustain a certain life quality.
A UBS study spanning 10 countries and 5,000 millionaires, including 415 in Singapore, found that 53% of wealthy individuals around the world expected to live to 100 years old.
In Singapore, 46% of these millionaires said they were expecting to live to see their 100th birthday, and 66% were concerned by healthcare costs related to living to such a ripe old age.
Other concerns include having less wealth to pass on to successors, and working longer hours to afford a certain lifestyle retirement.
Concern over the cost of living a long life is also causing these wealthy individuals to change their lifestyles, long-term investment choices and legacy plans for younger generations.
According to the study, Singapore millionaires plan to allocate 30% of their wealth in retirement to healthcare costs.
Almost half or 45% of Singapore millionaires said they were planning to adjust their long-term financial plans, and 46% said they were adjusting their spending patterns as a result of life expectancy.
In addition, 41% have or will make more long-term investment decisions, with equities, bonds and real estate seen as strong places to invest long-term.
Legacy planning is also starting earlier, with 51% planning to give more away while they’re still alive.
A large majority (85%) of these investors believed that working is good for health, and 68% are working beyond retirement age or plan to do so.
At the same time, as many as 92% say that health is more important to them than wealth.
Noting the importance of advanced wealth planning, Hartmut Issel, head of Asia Pacific equities and credit at UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment office, said: “It is heartening to note that many Singaporeans already have a financial plan in place, and are adjusting their investment portfolios in preparation for a longer life span.”
“We would recommend that investors start wealth planning early, and ensure that they have a well-diversified investment portfolio,” he added.
Globally, Singaporean millionaires were found to have the strongest sense of duty to use their wealth to improve the health of the wider society, with 65% having invested in an area of health in order to generate a positive social impact.