Skip to main content Skip to notification content

6 June 2024

Manulife Survey Unveils Shifts in Family Financial Dynamics Among Singapore Respondents; Younger Generation Prioritises Experiences Over Future Financial Security

●      Singapore respondents have low confidence of achieving their wellness goals in three areas (physical, financial and mental)

●      Young people embrace experiential living, prioritising lifestyle choices like travel over retirement planning

●      The average desired number of children is 1.5, and with children still being seen as "great investments" for old age, it underscores the urgency for independent retirement planning

SINGAPORE – The Manulife Asia Care Survey 2024 uncovered findings that Singapore respondents still predominantly see children as "great investments" for retirement. This reliance on children for future financial support is likely to create additional strain on the younger generation today.

The survey also revealed significant gaps in wellbeing goals and financial confidence among Singapore consumers, highlighting deep-rooted concerns over economic and healthcare uncertainties across all age groups. This year's findings indicate a pronounced 14-point gap in the Manulife MyFuture Readiness Index, with the average wellbeing score at 69, compared to a higher aspirational level of 83 over the next decade.

Despite having these future aspirations, fewer than two-thirds (61%) of Singapore respondents report confidence in achieving their top financial goals. Primary concerns driving this uncertainty include increasing healthcare costs, inflation, and rising cost of living, each affecting 81% of the population, with economic slowdown affecting 77%. These issues emphasise the need for enhanced financial planning and tailored financial product offerings to bridge the gap between existing readiness and future aspirations.

Youth in Singapore Embrace Experiential Living Philosophy - An Anomaly in the Region

The survey also outlines a stark contrast in lifestyle preferences among the youth in Singapore. Those aged 25-29 express more confidence (74%) in achieving their financial goals compared to the total respondents (61%). However, it seems that these younger respondents have significantly different goals from the other groups.

This group prioritises 'enjoying overseas vacations' and 'maintaining current lifestyle' over more conventional financial goals – a trend not observed among their peers in other parts of the region. While saving for a rainy day is the top financial goal (37%) for this group, enjoying overseas vacations is the close second at 34%, perceived as more important than other objectives such as purchasing a new home and maintaining current lifestyle.

To support their lifestyle choices, 35% of these young adults take on a second job, and more of them (45%) invest in stocks and other financial products than their older counterparts.

Mark Czajkowski, Chief Marketing Officer of Manulife Singapore, says, "The younger cohort presents an interesting study in motivation and shifting cultural dynamics. Their preference for short-term experiences over long-term financial security signals a need for the financial sector to rethink how we can better cater to the evolving needs of younger consumers in Singapore, ensuring they can balance present enjoyment with future security. The early years of working are one of the best times to start thinking about future financial security – we need to bring this message across to our younger consumers clearly."

Breaking the cycle of financial obligations and expectations on children

Reflecting evolving societal norms and shifting priorities, the Manulife Asia Care Survey 2024 highlights worrying trends in retirement planning. The average desired number of children indicated by respondents is 1.5, with over half (57%) of married respondents without children expressing hesitation or uncertainty about starting a family.

Significantly, 60% of respondents intending to have children view them as "great investments", (in contrast to 45% of married couples without children). Among those who already have children, the perception of children as investments is also high, with 60% affirming this view, suggesting a traditional financial expectation from family members.

Interestingly, while respondents expect financial support from their children, they see the responsibility of supporting dependent parents as a financial burden, with 55% of respondents expressing this sentiment. It appears to suggest that Singapore respondents are trapped in a cycle of financial obligations to parents and subsequently the financial dependency on their children. Also, the expectation of financial support from elderly parents may well result in additional financial strain on the younger generation.

"These insights shed light on the need for discussions around financial independence and proactive retirement planning," Czajkowski added. "As societal norms and expectations evolve, it's important that individuals plan for their retirement independently, reducing traditional reliance on children for financial support. Our findings not only highlight unique demographic trends but also reinforce the importance of starting early and effective financial planning strategies."


- End -


Note to Editors

  • The Manulife Asia Care Survey engaged 1,038 residents of Singapore aged 25 to 60 years old in January and February 2024. For more information, visit this link.
  • The Manulife MyFuture Readiness Index is a weighted average of the estimated future physical, mental, and financial wellbeing scores of Singapore respondents, taking into account the relative importance of each of the three areas of wellbeing (physical, mental, financial) rated by respondents.



About Manulife Singapore

Established in 1899, Manulife Singapore provides insurance, retirement and wealth management solutions to meet the financial needs of our customers across their various life stages. Customers can readily access our solutions through our extensive multi-channel distribution network. In addition to our established agency force, we distribute our products through a number of specialist partners, including banks and financial advisory firms. For more information on Manulife Singapore, visit


About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our Global Wealth and Asset Management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2023, we had more than 38,000 employees, over 98,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 35 million customers. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions.


For additional information, please visit

For media queries, please contact: 

Eveline How
Manulife Singapore

AKA Asia