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GCC HNWIs 'most active wealth managers in old age'

Dubai, October 3, 2010

GCC High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are the most enthusiastic about working later in life, though the “Nevertirees” are a global phenomenon, says a new report.

Barclays Wealth, in its latest Insights report, The Age Illusion: How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement, shows that HNWIs in Saudi Arabia (92
per cent), UAE (91 per cent) and Qatar (89 per cent) illustrated the biggest desire amongst global respondents to keep working in later life.

The research also shows that the concept is popular, but to a lesser extent, with the UK (60 per cent of respondents) and US (54 per cent) showing a desire to carry on working. Switzerland (34 per cent), Spain (44 per cent) and Japan (46 per cent), on the other hand, are the least likely to continue working post-retirement age. To some extent, this can be explained by age differentials — 59 per cent of millionaires in the emerging markets are under 45, compared with just 16 per cent in Europe and 21 per cent in the US.

GCC respondents’ desire to keep on working may also reflect different social attitudes to the concept of retirement itself.  Europe has now had five decades or more to adapt to the concept of provisioned-for retirement at around age 65. In contrast, this concept does not have deep roots in the Middle East region.

“This represents a step change for wealthy people. Whilst previous generations looked to create their wealth early on in life with a view to enjoying it when they retired, this report reflects a different attitude, with people wanting to continue to challenge themselves well beyond the traditional retirement age. Indeed, many Nevertirees prefer to be actively engaged and challenged and are not bound by their age with regards to continuing their working life,” stated Soha Nashaat, chief executive of Barclays Wealth Middle East.

Sixty per cent of wealthy individuals polled in the global survey say that they plan to become a Nevertiree, shunning traditional retirement, instead of continuing to work, start businesses and take on new projects in their later years.

The findings show that the concept of Nevertirement is expected to grow in popularity over the coming decades, with over 70 per cent of respondents under the age of 45 saying that they will always be involved in some form of work.

The report also identifies  GCC HNWIs as the most concerned about succession planning compared with the rest of  the world.

Nearly 100 per cent of respondents in UAE and Saudi Arabia feel financially responsible for their children.  For example, a majority of respondents in the GCC indicated that they wish to leave a sizeable amount of their wealth to their children when they die. HNWIs in the region also mentioned that their next generation will live wealthier lives than theirs, and they are encouraging their children to make their lives a success.

The research also shows a trend for the very wealthy to feel more financially responsible for their children than other wealth groups – notably almost all HNWIs in Qatar (94 per cent) and the UAE (91 per cent) agree that passing on their wealth to the next generation is important.

On the other side of the spectrum, wealthy individuals in developed economies do not feel that they are financially responsible for the next generation, with Switzerland (38 per cent), Japan (41 per cent) and the US (44 per cent) at the bottom of the list.

The survey also reveals that GCC HNWIs want their children to have a better understanding of their money, which may explain their visible trend of active portfolio engagement in later life.

The study showed that HNWIs in the GCC spend a ‘significant’ amount of time managing their portfolios, in comparison to other nations, and suggests that this trend extends to later life.

“Even though many people may continue to work well into their later years, they should not shy away from succession planning. In many cases a longer working life means that people should make decisions about succession planning much sooner,” Soha Nashaat added.

These findings are particularly interesting when compared with respondents’ views on their children’s prospects. Wealthy individuals living in developed countries are less optimistic about the prospects for their children than those in developing economies.

Just 35 per cent of respondents in the UK and 26 per cent in Switzerland feel that their children will be wealthier than them, whilst 80 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 73 per cent in India are confident that their offspring will increase the wealth of the next generations.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: economy | investment | finance | Barclays Wealth report | HNI |

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