Wealthy Singaporeans are placing retirement savings at the top of their savings priorities list, according to a new survey. They are less worried about emergency plans and are placing more emphasis on long-term savings for retirement.

The latest Investor Attitudes Report by Friends Provident International (FPI) found that about seven in 10 say that saving for the long term is the most important priority for them.

This was up from the six in 10 who placed a priority on retirement savings, in the same survey six months ago.

It also found that about four in 10, or 41 per cent out of 556 Singaporeans interviewed, believe they require a nest egg of $800,000 to $1.6 million.

They were either "aspiring affluent" individuals - who have total investable assets of between $80,000 and $199,999 - or the affluent, who have total investable assets of $200,000 to $1 million.

Total investable assets refers to all financial assets including cash, bonds and pensions.

It does not include Central Provident Fund savings, homes, collectibles and consumer durables.

The survey was conducted online and via the phone from Feb 25 to March 8 this year, and those interviewed were aged 18 and above.

This latest survey contrasts with another survey by HSBC, which found that more than four in 10 Singaporeans have not set aside a single dollar for retirement.

Singaporeans were not saving mainly because of the high cost of living, HSBC said.

IPP Financial Advisers' managing director of investment and research, Mr Albert Lam, said that the contrast was probably because the regular guy is looking at survival, not retirement, "due to asset inflation that is eating up so much of people's cash".

"When I interact with a lot of wealthy people, I find out they make their money either in property or business," he said. "Very few people make their money from saving. Inflation is increasing so much faster than what they can save."

The managing director of Ebenezer group which specialises in marine survey and inspection services, Mr Lawrence Kim, 31, agreed, saying that "as a businessman, I would want to invest a lot more than save a lot more".

He added: "At least $2 million would be required for me to live comfortably to the age of 85. I still want to live a comfortable life and continue to drive my Ferrari."

Almost half, or 45 per cent, of the interviewees made their own decisions regarding their retirement nest egg, while about one-quarter relied on guesswork.