Many of the middle class in the markets surveyed are active financial planners. Sixty-six per cent of them invest in equities, bonds or mutual funds, 62% invest in retirement savings plans, 53% contribute to regular savings accounts, and 43% invest in real estate.
The middle class in the markets surveyed tends to have high levels of property ownership and savings. Eighty-three per cent of those surveyed in the North Asian markets own their homes, either with or without outstanding mortgages.
While the majority of the middle class in the markets surveyed do plan to retire and are active financial planners, many (45%) are concerned about not being able to save enough to comfortably do so. The percentage of those concerned about not being able to save enough to retire is the highest in Korea (77%) and Taiwan (51%), however, they are the same two markets with the largest percentage of those who plan to retire someday, at 76% and 75% respectively.
The view on the amount required for retirement ranges widely from US$0.92 million in Taiwan, which amounts to 17 times the average yearly household income communicated by the middle class in that market, to almost US$4 million in Korea, or 50 times the average yearly household income communicated by the middle class in Korea. Hong Kong’s middle class believe they will need about US$1.72 million (HK$13.4 million) to retire comfortably, compared with US$1.4 million (HK$11 million) in 2013. The 2015 figure for Hong Kong is 17 times the average yearly household income communicated by the middle class in the market. On average, they are saving US$1,228 (HK$9,553) every month toward retirement.
Nevertheless, over half of the middle class (52%) in Hong Kong do not plan to retire. Of the 52% who do not plan to retire, 47% say that is because they do not think they will ever have enough savings to retire.
Among those saving for retirement in Hong Kong, 71% do so by investing in equities, bonds or mutual funds, 58% invest in real estate, 57% invest in a retirement savings plan and 50% contribute to a regular savings account. Seventy-four per cent of the middle class respondents in Hong Kong own their own home.