6 November 2023

HSBC ‘Quality of Life’ Report: Malaysia findings

More than half, or 57% of mass affluent Malaysians surveyed say that they are concerned about retirement. The top three retirement concerns were a decline in physical health, followed by higher healthcare costs and inflation eating into the value of their retirement savings.

More than half, or 57% of mass affluent Malaysians surveyed say that they are concerned about retirement according to the inaugural HSBC Quality of Life report.

The survey, which explores the concept of a good Quality of Life across different generations of mass affluent individuals in nine markets, found that the top three concerns that mass affluent Malaysians have when thinking about retirement were a decline in physical health, followed by higher healthcare costs and inflation eating into the value of their retirement savings.

Nevertheless, Malaysia’s mass affluent aspire to retire early at 57 years of age— three years shy of the mandatory retirement age in Malaysia of 60 years. The aspired retirement age for Malaysia at 57 years was also the lowest amongst the 9 markets surveyed, with the UK having the highest aspired retirement age of 62 years, four years shy of the UK state pension retirement age of 66 years.

The mass affluent individuals surveyed were also split on plans to work after retirement, with 44% saying they will work after retirement, 44% saying they will not, and a remaining 12% are undecided at this point.

To retire comfortably, the respondents said that they would need average retirement savings of around of RM3.9 million, which was lower than Hong Kong (RM5.2 million) and Singapore (RM4.4 million) but higher than the UK (RM3.6 million) and the UAE (RM3.3 million). Millennial respondents (age 25-39 years) in Malaysia said they need an average of RM4.86 million to retire comfortably, Gen X (age 40-54 years) RM4.53 million and boomers (age 55-69 years) RM2.57 million.

Respondents cited personal savings, followed by retirement savings schemes and individual stock fund and bond investments as the top sources of income that they would expect to rely on once they retire. The report also unveiled a Quality of Life Index which comprises three factors that consumers consider most important to having a good quality of life—Physical and Mental Wellness, and Financial Fitness.

Other key findings from the HSBC Quality of Life Report include:

  • Out of 100, respondents in Malaysia scored 77 on the overall Quality of Life Index which was higher than the overall score across nine markets of 75—but lower compared to other markets such UAE and India (both 80)
  • There is a strong co-relation between financial fitness and mental well-being. Across the 9 markets, the survey found that the financially fit are 4.3 times as likely to score above average on the mental wellness scale, while those scoring above average on mental wellness are 1.9 times as likely to be financially fit than those scoring low on mental wellness.
  • Malaysian respondents cited salaries and wages as their top source of wealth, followed by dividends, inheritance, profits from businesses and property rental.

Linda Yip, Country Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC Malaysia said: “The Quality of Life survey paints an interesting representation of the holistic needs of the mass affluent in Malaysia—being financially fit is important to them, but so is their physical and mental wellbeing. They aspire to retire early but are also cognizant that they would need to build significant financial savings to retire comfortably. They are also concerned about their physical health and medical inflation that could eat into their retirement savings.

“This underscores the importance of financial planning—relying on just salaries and inheritance as sources of wealth may not be sufficient in the long run, therefore it is important to build a diversified and solid financial portfolio. Contributing to a pension plan is a great start, and so is investing in financial assets that work in your favour. It is important to consult a wealth advisor who can identify your financial needs and tailor a personal plan.”

At HSBC, we have a dedicated team of Relationship Managers and wealth advisors that assist our Premier customers in wealth planning for the future. Moreover, our wealth management products and services are tailored to the risk appetite and financial needs of our customers that may include providing for children’s education, retirement planning, intergenerational wealth transfer solutions and growing personal wealth. We also offer bespoke financial solutions to cater to the wealth management needs of high net worth and sophisticated investors.

HSBC was recently named the “Best International Bank in Malaysia” at the Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2023.

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Supriya T Surendran
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Note to editors:

About the HSBC Quality of Life Report
HSBC launched its inaugural Quality of Life Report, on Sep 18, 2023, which surveyed 1,779 mass affluent individuals across 9 markets: USA, Mexico, UK, UAE, India, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. In Malaysia, 200 mass affluent individuals with investable assets of between USD100,000-USD 2 million, were surveyed. 38% of those surveyed were Boomers (age 55-69), while 32% were Gen X (age 40-54), followed by Millennials (age 25-39) at 30%.

HSBC Malaysia
HSBC’s presence in Malaysia dates back to 1884 when the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited established its first office in the country on the island of Penang, with the permission to issue currency notes. HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad was locally incorporated in 1984 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, founding member of the HSBC Group. In 2007, HSBC Bank Malaysia was the first foreign bank to be awarded an Islamic banking subsidiary license in Malaysia, namely HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad. HSBC Malaysia offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including Islamic financial solutions. HSBC Malaysia has also led innovation in Malaysia by introducing Malaysia’s first ATM and Electronic Touch Banking in the early 1980s. Today, HSBC Malaysia has launched innovative solutions such as HSBCnet for secure banking for businesses, Trade Transaction Tracker and Facial Recognition on supported mobile phones.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of $3,021billion at 30 September 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.