According to a new study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, seven out of 10 global respondents (69%) believe they will achieve all of their financial goals for the future, while nearly half (47%) of Taiwanese respondents do not believe they will do so, higher than the global average of 31 percent with no confidence and the second-lowest confidence level in the Asia Pacific region.
“Preparing for one’s financial future has implications that go beyond personal needs,” said Oliver Rust, senior vice president, Global Financial Services, Nielsen. “Understanding consumer sentiment on the saving strategies used to fund financial goals provides insight into how consumers are responding to the challenge of ensuring financial security.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries to evaluate how consumers around the world are preparing for current and future financial expenses. Nielsen evaluated 16 different saving and investment strategies used to fund a range of 14 long- and short-term financial goals.
Retirement planning is the one financial goal to which Taiwanese respondents (23%) say they allocate the highest monthly contribution, while 15 percent allocate the most to a first-time property purchase, and 10 percent invest allocate the highest amounts to health-related issues on a monthly basis.
“According to ‘Population Projections for R.O.C. (Taiwan): 2012~2060’ released by Council for Economic Planning and Development in 2012, Taiwan is now an aging society and will become an ‘aged’ society by 2018. Saving for retirement, as a result, is the first priority for Taiwanese consumers,” said Seren Su, senior director, consumer research, Nielsen Taiwan.
In order to achieve their retirement goals, Taiwanese respondents use local currency as the primary investment strategy to fund this target (58%), followed by whole life insurance (55%), company pension (46%) and saving plans (40%).
“Compared to other countries, Taiwanese consumers are relatively heavily relying on various insurance programs to fund their future retirements. Investing in private pension plans and government retirement schemes rank higher elsewhere around the world,” said Su.
More than one-third (35%) of Taiwanese respondents believe they will need at least 20 years to save enough for retirement, while 27 percent of global respondents believe they can achieve sufficient retirement savings in fewer than 20 years.
“This shows the Taiwanese are less confident about their ability to prepare their future retirement funds,” said Su.
Across all 14 goals reviewed, global respondents’ intentions to save in the future are stronger than current saving activities for all but one goal—health issues (42% active savers vs. 41% future savers).
Plans to save in the future are strongest among respondents in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa regions, especially for intentions to fund their children’s futures, higher education, first- and second-time property purchases, personal luxuries, financial legacy, and new businesses. In North America and Europe, future saving intentions were comparatively lower for funding higher education, starting a business and preparing for certain life events, such as marriage or having a baby.
“The greater number of respondents planning to save in the future versus saving now suggests an opportunity to better educate consumers on the saving and investment strategies that will help them meet their financial goals,” said Rust. “It also shines a light on the growing wealth accumulation among consumers in the more developing regions of the world and their aspirations for upward mobility with a more secure financial future.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies was conducted between August 14 and September 6, 2013, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers, and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.