People in Asia seek to extend health span for longer, healthier retirement: Manulife survey

| 30 Mar 2023

According to a survey by Manulife, the vast majority of respondents (92%) said they are willing to spend more to prolong their health span. Investing in exercise and healthier diet are the main ways people seek to improve their health. Furthermore, with mental health issues on the rise, mindfulness activities, such as yoga and brain training, are also popular ways of self-help.

The Manulife Asia Care Survey 2023 showed that for more active healthcare approaches, body checks (45%), early diagnosis services (31%), seeking professional advice (29%) and regular online health enquiries (23%) are all popular. The challenge is the cost, particularly when more than a third (37%) worry about loss of income or job in the event of serious illness.

In tandem with their health planning, most respondents have personal finance goals. The top three goals among those participating in the survey are saving for: retirement (49%); a rainy day (42%); and for healthcare or medical needs (32%). Saving for retirement was particularly high in Singapore (63%).  

Cash savings and bank deposits (81%) are cited as the main way for people to achieve their goals, followed by personal insurance (59%). Regionally, family support (42%) is a key source to achieve these goals too.

Insurance is popular in the region, with nearly three quarters (70%) owning an average of three types of insurance, and 79% saying they intend to buy insurance in the coming 12 months. Out-patient health (30%), life, accident (both 26%), and hospitalisation and critical illness (both 25%) are the most in demand.

About 70% of respondents are confident of achieving their financial goals, with just 14% not expecting to do so. Those in Hong Kong (57%) and Singapore (52%) are the least confident compared with other markets such as China (81%) and Indonesia (88%).

The respondents, who have an average age of 41, also expect to achieve their retirement savings targets within a relatively short timeframe. A third believe they will reach their retirement target within five years, while around one third (26%) expect to do so in the next five to ten years.   

Mr Damien Green, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Asia, said, “Given the average life expectancy in the region is over 75 and that their expectation is to retire at 60, the expected time required to achieve their retirement savings needs may well be unrealistic. It’s better to play safe, starting to save earlier and for longer, and then people can enjoy greater peace of mind and a more comfortable lifestyle later on.” 

The survey polled 7,224 people, aged 25 to 60 years old from seven markets across Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam in December 2022 and January 2023.