Regardless of where we live or how much money we have in the bank, staying on track to reach our financial goals takes a dedicated commitment. To get a pulse on the current and future financial goals that drive saving and investment strategies around the world, Nielsen conducted a global study of 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries. The findings reveal that when it comes to saving for retirement, North American and Asia-Pacific respondents are the most actively engaged savers, with 39 percent in both regions currently focused on saving for their golden years. Less than one-third of respondents in Latin America (32%) and Middle East/Africa (30%), and one-fourth of respondents in Europe (26%) are presently saving for retirement. In Europe, 40 percent of respondents said they have no intention of saving for retirement, compared with the global average of 22 percent.
Respondents who were unable to commit savings to their retirement plans currently may still have their eye on the prize. Every region surveyed indicated that they plan on saving for retirement in the future, with more than half of Latin Americans (52%) leading the charge, followed by respondents in the Middle East/Africa (49%), Asia-Pacific (47%), North America (41%) and Europe (35%).
“The difference in public and private retirement benefit programs gives context to retirement saving sentiment reported by consumers around the world,” said Oliver Rust, senior vice president, Global Financial Services, Nielsen. “When Americans retire, public-issued retirement benefits are typically much less than the amount they earned while they were employed; by comparison, Europeans rely on a greater share of their income. But that’s changing in some European markets where mandatory employer pension plans are put in place in order to replace government plans in the longer term. Now more than ever, a greater reliance on private savings is needed to compensate.”
Across the globe, a diverse portfolio of products and services were deployed when it came to the saving and investment strategies used to fund retirement. In the Middle East/Africa, 14 of 16 different investment products were used by more than 20 percent of respondents, with local bank accounts (60%), company pension (41%), government-initiated products (40%) and whole life insurance (40%) the most popular options. In Asia-Pacific, 12 products were deployed among more than 20 percent of respondents, with local bank accounts (64%), company pension (49%), whole life insurance (37%), private pension (36%) and government initiated products (35%) most relied on.
As would be expected, the time frame to achieve financial goals for retirement was longer than other shorter-term goals. Half of all respondents said it would take 10 years or more to save enough for retirement, with Europeans (56%), North Americans (52%) and Latin Americans (52%) exceeding that average.
Other findings include:
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Saving/Investing report.
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.