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Are UAE residents prioritizing retirement planning?

A survey finds residents over 45 years old more inclined towards retirement planning.

Are UAE residents prioritizing retirement planning?
[Source photo: Pankaj Kirdatt/Fast Company Middle East]

Financial priorities for UAE residents are changing. A recent Zurich survey sheds light on these changing financial priorities, particularly their anticipated annual bonuses and retirement planning.

The survey reveals a significant increase in the number of residents expecting a bonus in 2024 compared to last year (68% vs. 48%). Emiratis are most optimistic about receiving a bonus (78%), followed by Arab expats and Asians (65%).

Additionally, the expected bonus amount has jumped, with 77% expecting up to $6,800 compared to 32% expecting up to $5,400 in 2023.

While saving for children’s education remains the top priority for 37% of respondents, followed by holiday spending (34%), there’s a notable decline in prioritizing retirement savings (22%) compared to last year (34%). This trend reflects a generational gap, with residents over 45 years old showing a higher inclination towards retirement planning (30%).

The survey reveals that nearly 70% of respondents aim to retire in the UAE, with younger residents between 18-24 years demonstrating the strongest preference (89%).

While only 4% currently invest through dedicated retirement savings plans, the survey highlights a growing awareness of future financial security. This is evident in the surge in retirement planning prioritization among individuals aged 45 and above, many of whom have lived in the UAE for over two decades.

A staggering 61% haven’t sought financial advice, indicating a need for improved financial literacy and preparedness. 

Starting a business (44%) and maintaining their current lifestyle (37%) are the top retirement goals, while 61% express concerns about their financial comfort post-retirement. The survey suggests that 22% believe saving 16-20% of their salary is sufficient, while 31% believe 6-15% is enough.

With 73% aiming to retire between 50 and 65, the survey emphasizes the importance of early planning and dedicated savings plans to achieve financial security in retirement.

Younger individuals (18-34 years) exhibit a higher risk tolerance and favor non-traditional investments (56%), while older respondents (45+) prioritize traditional options (63%) and safeguarding retirement funds (22%).

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