So much for getting a complete break after a lifetime of working

The overwhelming majority of Singaporeans surveyed in a recently released poll expect to work during their retirement. At 69 per cent, the figure here is well above the average across the region, the poll found.

Across Asia, only 55 per cent of people polled by insurance giant Manulife expect to work part- or full-time during their silver years. 

"While working past the age of 65 is becoming more commonplace, many ageing workers will find this more difficult than they anticipated," said Ms Annette King, president and chief executive of Manulife Singapore. 

She added: "They often fail to consider the limited employment opportunities for their age group. And for a significant portion, health concerns ultimately prevent them from working." 

The Manulife study is a quarterly poll covering Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. In each market, 500 interviews were conducted. The interviews were done online in all the markets except for Malaysia and Indonesia, where the survey was done face-to-face. 

Those surveyed are middle-class to affluent investors aged 25 years and above, who are the primary decision makers of financial matters in the household and currently own investment products. 

Singapore investors said they expect to be in retirement for 18 years on average, but their estimated savings will last only 12 years, leaving a six-year funding gap. 

This amounts to a savings shortfall of $250,000 per person on average in today's terms, based on investors' own calculations, the study found.

Ms King said: "The shortfall threatens the security and lifestyle of Singapore's workforce when they retire. In our view, even those who have started planning are underestimating their needs."

She added that one should work towards having retirement savings to last at least 20 years, especially with life expectancy increasing.

Only 11 per cent of those surveyed said they are certain of being able to afford a comfortable retirement.

But 41 per cent believe they are ahead of schedule or on track to achieve their financial goals.

While 20 per cent of local investors polled expect to rely on their children for financial assistance after retirement, only 11 per cent feel comfortable doing so.

FINDINGS

69% expect to work after age 65

11% are sure of affording a comfortable retirement

41% think they are on track to achieve retirement goals

20% expect to rely on children for financial help