Many want to retire abroad

Theresa Tan
The Straits Times

Two-thirds of Singaporeans polled in a recent survey said they have considered retiring in another country with a slower pace of life and lower cost of living.

And 75 per cent of them were between 21 and 34 years, according to the survey, commissioned by the Tsao Foundation, a non-profit organisation.

The survey on aging polled 300 people from 21 to 55 years. It was carried out in June and July to gauge Singaporeans’ level of awareness and preparedness for aging.

It also found that:

  • 58 per cent are prepared for ageing and feel confident.
  • 80 per cent say they have started saving for retirement.
  • 92 per cent do not expect their children to live with them in their old age.
  • 90 per cent want to spend their old age at home, and not in a nursing home.
  • 79 per cent feel they will be financially independent and do not have to rely on family, government or social support.
  • 50 per cent feel comfortable with the physical and social support here.


While the survey did not ask the respondents why they felt that way, Dr Mary Ann Tsao, president of the Tsao Foundation, said the findings have huge implications for society. For example, Singapore has to examine if there are enough services to help the elderly who live alone.

She added: ‘The findings have demonstrated that people are generally confident about their own level of preparedness for retirement but, as a society, we may have gone only halfway towards making people feel comfortable with the country’s physical and social support for ageing.

‘This may be why some people feel less committed to living out their days in Singapore. And if so, this raises important questions for the public, private and people sectors, and for all Singaporeans.’

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