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Have you made the time to set goals for your future self, say, in 10 years? A decade-long journey is equal to 5.25 million minutes in our everyday life. You have the chance to take care of your future self with every moment.

The Manulife Asia Care Survey 2024 shows how people across Asia perceive their current and future physical, mental, and financial well-being, and how Manulife can be their partner for progress. Manulife surveyed more than 1,000 Singapore respondents in January 2024.

Singapore respondents have high aspirations for their future physical, mental, and financial well-being but they are unsure if they will achieve  their desired levels of  well-being.

They feel most unprepared for their 'financial' well-being in ten years, with 14 points' difference between their 'desired' and 'expected' future well-being.

Singapore respondents also rank mental well-being as the most important and financial well-being as the least important. In fact, mental well-being, physical health, and future health indicators are equally important, as mental health can also serve as a sign for future physical ailments.

Let's take a deeper look at what challenges they are facing:

Embracing solo: The rise of singlehood

Financial concerns of those not planning to get married


The wedding and other ceremonies / traditions cost too much money


Do not have stable or good income.


Housing is a big concern.

For many in Asia, financial insecurity remains a major deterrent to starting a family. 

The Asia Care Survey 2024 reveals that 25% of respondents do not intend to get married, with worries about financial constraints, including the high cost of housing, wedding expenses, or insufficient income. 

Over 50% of the over 25s and single worry about a lack of savings




Insufficient savings



Unexpected medical expenses



Reduced income



Insufficient health insurance coverage



Providing for dependent parents



Respondents who are single and over 25 appear to have more financial concerns than those who are married. Single respondents are more anxious about their savings, unexpected medical expenses, and reduced incomes.

Financial literacy is also lacking among singles




Saving products



Insurance products 



Investment products 




The financial literacy of single respondents is lower than those who are married. Furthermore, only 58% of single respondents versus 71% of married respondents have a financial planner. Not having a financial planner could be a key reason for their greater concerns on their financial well-being and could also explain their lower financial literacy.

Shifting family dynamics: couples opting for child-free lifestyles

What keeps Singapore couples child-free?
Most are worried about added responsibility and education costs.

Personal concerns


Too much responsibility to raise children.


I want to have more free time for myself.


I don't like kids in general.


I want to focus on my career.

Financial concerns


Education costs too much money.


Healthcare for children costs too much money.


I don't have stable / good income.


It will delay my retirement plan.

When it comes to expanding a family, among those who are married without kids, 9% are unsure at this stage. For many, this decision extends beyond financial concerns and is based on personal reasons.

Interestingly, 33% of married respondent would rather have pets than kids in their family.

Are children great investments as future providers?

42% Disagree


55% Disagree

Married without child(ren)

40% Disagree

Married with child(ren)

There is a noticeable shift in Singaporeans' mindset, where having children is no longer viewed as an investment. The traditional notion of considering children as a future income source or 'insurance' is evolving; parents are less likely to rely on the next generation to provide for them in their old age.

Ageing without children: what are the concerns?

51% None

25% Having no children to take care of me and my spouse

20% Having no children to look after our healthcare needs

18% Having no children to keep us company

12% Having no children to provide for us

What can I do?

Secure your future. Start planning today.

Empowering personal choices beyond financial fears.

As family costs continue to rise, more people are choosing to remain single or not have children. Moreover, the decision to get married or have children is a deeply personal one, which should be guided by personal choice, not financial fears.

With a long-term investment and retirement plan tailored to your goals, you have the freedom to plan a family on your own terms. 

Two things you can do now.

The most effective way for you to minimise the risk of running out of money in retirement is to maximise the two things you can control before retirement: start saving earlier and save more.

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