Investing in financial health and skills to secure your future

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Source: Re-imagining 100 study, Prudential Singapore

The fear of not being financially ready for a longer life has grown during the pandemic, as reported in a recent survey.

According to life insurer Prudential Singapore’s recent study, “Re-imagining 100: The pandemic’s impact on longevity”, 43 per cent of respondents are worried that their salary or wage-earning prospects have deteriorated as a result of Covid-19.

The sandwich generation is the worst hit, with one in two Singaporeans (51 per cent) aged between 35 and 54 reporting a deterioration in their financial well-being since the onset of the pandemic.

“The economic uncertainties created by the pandemic has led to considerable financial stress and intensified the pressure faced by this group of Singaporeans. As a consequence, their health – both mental and physical – has also suffered in the past year,” says Prudential Singapore’s CEO Dennis Tan.

There is, however, a silver lining: Singaporeans are paying more attention to long-term financial strategies.

Ms Susan Soh, chairman, Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS) and co-head of Asia-Pacific, Schroders, observed higher activity and volumes on online wealth platforms in the past 18 months. More people are also actively managing their portfolios and diversifying their holdings as a de-risking strategy amid market turbulence.

To save up for retirement, many older Singaporeans are topping up their Central Provident Fund (CPF) retirement savings, says Ms Lim Sia Hoe, executive director of the Centre for Seniors, an advocacy and support organisation for seniors.

With disruptions caused by the pandemic, it is more important than ever to not just grow the nest egg, but also to keep investing in oneself.

Says Ms Joy Lim, 44, personal assistant at Prudential Singapore: “In the past year, I took up courses on machine learning and data management even though my job doesn’t require me to do so. I applied what I learnt and was able to complete my tasks more efficiently. This has also made me realise that with my new skills, there are more roles that I can consider in future.”