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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:

These are the top 3 financial goals of Singaporeans


Enough emergency savings


Enjoy financial freedom or security after retirement


Enough savings for my healthcare or medical needs

The top three long-term financial goals Singaporeans want to achieve are having enough savings for emergencies, having sufficient funds for their healthcare or medical needs, and enjoying financial freedom or security after retirement.

Over 80% thinks that the financial threat comes from rising healthcare costs


Rising healthcare costs


Rising cost of living


Economic slowdown


Increase in interest rate

Singaporeans are most concerned about rising healthcare and living costs. At regional level, people believed that  healthcare costs have increased by more than 20% in the past 12 months. This leads to the huge gap between their future expected and desired financial well-being.

At the same time, with the rising cost of living eroding people's purchasing power and reducing disposable incomes, Singaporean perceive the highest inflation rate in grocery costs and eating out spending. 

In response, over 56% chose to reduce their non-essential spending, instead of reducing their investment and insurance expenses.

73% of respondents agree that even in an inflationary environment like now, insurance is still essential and necessary. 75% agree it is important that their insurance policy coverage and benefits keep up with the rising costs of living.

How will people achieve their financial goals under inflation?

Cash is still king when inflation bites

68% Cash savings or bank deposits

42% CPF

40% Investment in stocks, bonds, and other similar financial products

38% Savings or endowment insurance

31% Life insurance

31% Health and critical illness insurance

Nearly 70% of respondents rely on cash savings and bank deposits rather than other investment tools to achieve their goals.

Over 50% of respondents are reducing non-essential spending to shield themselves from inflation

Cuts in daily life spending

56% Reduced spending on non-essential items

55% Cut back on dining-out expenses

41% Reduced the amount of entertainment activities

34% Lowered consumption of luxury products or services

Cuts in investment and insurance spending

14% Reduced investment in different financial products

13% Cut or reduced my own insurance expenses

10% Cut or reduced my family's insurance expenses

What can I do?

Take care of your cash by investing it. 

History tells us that equities, bonds, and some income-oriented investments have the potential to deliver higher long-term returns than cash and can potentially outstrip inflation.  

While investment returns for these asset classes have varied from year to year, over the long term they've compounded to reach levels that tend to beat inflation and are higher than the current nominal rates for time deposits. 

Invest regular amounts to smooth the effects of market volatility.

To navigate any market volatility, investors can also diversify their risk exposure with dollar-cost averaging. Over the long term, this strategy of investing set amounts at regular intervals over time can lower the amount you pay for investments and smooth out fluctuations that affect their portfolio. 

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Cash is king?

Amid volatile market conditions and higher interest rates, seeking security by burying your savings in a deposit account could be tempting.