Expats 'less hopeful of early retirement'
Manama, August 6, 2008
Almost two thirds of expats living in the Middle East hope to retire before they reach 60 but far fewer are confident of doing so, says a survey.
The research from Zurich International Life (ZIL) shows that despite an average of 60 per cent of expats in the Middle East targeting an early retirement age, only 56 per cent believe they will be able to achieve it.
Expats in Bahrain are the most optimistic with 71 per cent confident of retiring at their target age, followed by Qatar with 49 per cent and UAE – the most pessimistic- with 48 per cent.
In a bid to redress the discrepancy expats across the region are taking matters in to their own hands with the research showing that an average of 35 per cent of respondents have started their own pension plan.
The second phase of the Zurich Wealth Monitor - a study into the future plans of 700 expat professionals living in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar – reveals that 56 per cent of respondents are using their extra income to supplement their retirement fund.
But with more than half (54 per cent) of all expats preferring to rely on friends, family, work colleagues or their own judgement for financial guidance, are they following the best course of financial action?
Paul Haran, Zurich’s Middle East regional director commented: “In today’s current economic climate, expats are well advised to take responsibility for their financial future. Whilst it is not surprising to find a gap between the ideal and the realistic retirement age, it is encouraging to see so many expats taking steps to redress the imbalance. However we would always recommend expats seek professional advice to help them understand how best to achieve their financial goals.”
Tim Searle, chief executive officer of financial adviser Globaleye added: “Providing for one’s retirement is a major consideration and should be reviewed as part of an overall financial plan. With today’s current economic climate adding an extra layer of uncertainty, there has never been a more opportune time to take stock and consider one’s future financial health. We can help with tailored financial guidance.” -TradeArabia News Service