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Dedicating Wealth to Preserve Health
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Dedicating Wealth to Preserve Health

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But when fruit doesn’t cure what ails you, a solid health and wellness plan might just do the trick. China, which is on pace to produce 37.5 million metric tons of apples in 2013, leads the globe in terms of saving for health-related issues (63%), with the greater Asia-Pacific region close behind (55%), according to findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies.

From a global perspective, actively saving for health concerns ranks comparatively higher in Asia-Pacific than anywhere else, as the global average is 42 percent. Saving now for health issues is also a priority among consumers in developing regions, encompassing 41 percent of respondents in the Middle East/Africa and 38 percent in Latin America, while North Americans and Europeans were less likely to save now for health-related issues (33% and 24%, respectively). The Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries about current and future financial goals and the strategies we use to prepare for them.

Asia-Pacific respondents reported a diversified strategy for saving for health issues, using a mix of local bank accounts (55%), whole life insurance (39%), pure-term life insurance (28%) and saving plans (24%). The most diversified strategy, however, was reported in the Middle East/Africa region, where consumers were more focused on a greater number of investment products than on local bank accounts to achieve their goals. In this region, eight investment products prompted response rates from at least 20 percent of respondents: local bank accounts (39%), whole life insurance, government-initiated products (both at 25%), pure-term life insurance (22%), company pension (22%), savings plans (22%), private pension (22%) and investment-linked insurance (21%).

Time is of the essence when it came to considering the amount of time needed to fund health-related issues among more than half of the Latin American (55%) and Middle Eastern/African (54%) online respondents who said they were less than one year away from achieving this goal. A longer time span was necessary for half of respondents in Asia-Pacific (50%), North America (50%) and Europe (46%), who were three or more years away from feeling secure that they have saved enough to achieve this goal.

“Funding for health care is a significant issue among consumers in many developing countries, where assistance from health plans or government sources are not heavily relied upon or available,” said Oliver Rust, senior vice president, Global Financial Services, Nielsen. “These consumers are taking their health seriously and aren’t hesitating to take the necessary means to reach the next level of financial security. They’re actively investing at a higher rate, diversifying their investments to create more predictable outcomes, and focusing on achieving them sooner rather than later.”

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The report also contains insight into saving/investing strategies used to fund other goals, including:

  • Health issues
  • Loss of job/income
  • Marriage
  • Having a baby
  • Personal luxury purchase
  • First-time home purchase
  • Start-up a business
  • Upgraded property purchase
  • Retirement
  • Children’s future
  • Higher education
  • Financial legacy
  • Second home purchase

Other findings include:

  • Insight into global saving strategies for short-term, long-term and life-event goals.
  • Time table for now vs. future saving intentions.
  • Quick-reference scorecards by saving goals.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Saving/Investing report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.