The Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (Manulife ISI) survey found that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of Singapore millennials aim to purchase local property, with 40% intending to do so for investment purposes to generate rental income. The millennials, defined as those who are currently between the ages of 25 and 34 years, favour investing in property as a means to achieve financial security though their satisfaction with rental yield is the lowest in Asia.
58 % are satisfied with the rental yields compared to an average of 78 % in Asia. The highest satisfaction levels with regard to rental yields were in Indonesia (97%) and the Philippines (92%). A statement by Manulife said this suggests that Singapore millennials who bank on rental income may need to seek other alternatives.
The latest Manulife ISI survey was conducted in September and October 2016, and was based on 500 online interviews in markets including Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore. Respondents were middle-class to affluent investors aged 25 and above, who are the primary decision makers of financial matters in the household and currently have investment products.
The study found that Singapore millennials were more optimistic about their retirement prospects than older generations – eight out of 10 believe they will be able to maintain or improve on their current lifestyle when they retire. In contrast, older investors tended to lower their expectations as they drew closer to retirement – 44% above the age of 50 expect to scale back their lifestyle in retirement.
Millennials, however, do recognise that financial and health concerns may challenge their retirement aspirations. 74% plan to continue working in a full-time or part-time job after retirement, and expect their work income to contribute close to 20% of their retirement income.
But more than half feel their health condition may not allow them to continue working.
Millennials may also become the “sandwich” generation, expected to care for their children and ageing parents. More than a third (34%) believe they will need to support their children and their parents even after they retire, as opposed to 8% for those aged 50 and above.
44% do not expect to receive any financial assistance from their children. Half of millennials expect they will still be carrying debt or a mortgage in retirement.