Global Investor Study

Hong Kong investors save 11% of their salary for retirement - is it enough?

The Schroders Global Investor Study finds that even established investors are not putting away enough for retirement.


A major study has found, Hong Kong non-retired investors are saving an average 10.8% of their salary specifically for retirement. However, they thought they should be saving an average of 16.6% of their income in order to live comfortably after retired.

The Schroders Global Investor Study (GIS) 2017, which surveyed more than 22,000 people who invest, including more than 500 respondents in Hong Kong, found the proportions of income saved for retirement were highest on average in Asia, at 13.0%, and lowest in Europe, at 9.9%. In the Americas, the average investor saved 12.5% of their income for retirement.

The study also found respondents remained optimistic on the outlook for returns. Hong Kong investors anticipated their investments would return 9.0% a year on average, over the next five years. Returns are influenced by how much risk is taken with a portfolio, which in turn dictates the type of assets that are bought. However, the study found that Hong Kong investors are currently averse to taking too much risk due to the uncertainty caused by international events:

  • 54% do not want to take on as much risk in their investments now.
  • 48% have put more money in cash than they had before.

Schroders’ Lesley-Ann Morgan said:

“People in some countries tend to invest more cautiously and may therefore see lower returns. In Germany, for instance, pension savers have a preference for bonds, which typically have delivered lower returns.”

“The pension savings gap is further compounded by the fact we’re in an age of low rates and low returns. To reach their goals, people will need to save even more than savers did in previous generations.

"Such savers will need to contribute even more to ensure they realise their retirement goals.”

“The most powerful tool available to savers is time. Start saving at an early age and it makes an incredible difference to the eventual size of your retirement account. The miracle of compounding, where you earn returns on your returns, adds up over 30 or 40 years of saving.”

Do investors know they need to save more?

95% of Hong Kong retired investors said they wished they had invested more for their retirement, and 61% of non-retired investors did acknowledge the need to do more. They thought they should be saving an average of 16.6% of their income in order to live comfortably in retirement, higher than the 10.8% average they say they are currently investing.

The study found that on average, Asian investors were investing the highest proportion of salary for retirement, which is 13%. Investors in Indonesia and Singapore have the highest saving rates in the region, which are 15.4% and 14.6% of their incomes, respectively. South Koreans were saving the least, in Asia, putting aside 10.2%.

Investors’ retirement expectation

Hong Kong non-retired investors said they expect to fully retire at an average age of 60.6 but would like to retire almost two years earlier at the age of 58.9. Retired investors said they had expected to fully retire at the age of 55.6 but actually retired at 60.1.

Non-retired Asians expect to fully retire at the age of 61.0. Thai investors are most optimistic and expect to retire at 58.0. Japanese investors are most pessimistic and expect to retire at 64.3.


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