Singaporeans, more than five other regional nationalities, worry about retiring comfortably - and also feel they need more money for their nest egg.

A new report by AIA, which aimed to analyse the attitudes of the middle class, found that 55 per cent of Singaporeans felt they would not have enough to enjoy their golden years.

That was the highest of all six markets surveyed and above the regional average of 44 per cent. The study covered 3,000 respondents from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

Singaporeans also felt they needed the most for retirement at US$898,330 (S$1.1 million). Malaysians came in next at US$583,380 while the Vietnamese said they would need US$493,100.

"I suspect this is also a function of what is comfortable (to the respondents) in the long term. So Singaporeans, naturally... expect a much higher quantum as compared with the other markets," Mr Ng Keng Hooi, regional chief executive of AIA, said at a briefing yesterday.

Singaporeans also had the highest average monthly household income at US$6,492, according to an index compiled by AIA. Thailand was next at US$2,128 and Malaysia was third at US$2,011.

In spite of their higher income, saving up for retirement was the top challenge for Singaporeans, ahead of other goals such as starting a business or travelling the world. They felt they would need $1.7 million on average to be "financially secure", said AIA.

Singaporeans have dipped their fingers into a wide variety of investments to plan for their retirement. Most, or 55 per cent, had their assets in cash, while 53 per cent had invested in equities, bonds and funds. AIA said 51 per cent had a retirement plan while 47 per cent said they had holdings in property.

"From the survey, we see Singapore's middle class desires to be financially stable and healthy enough to be able to celebrate and experience life with their families, but they are also pragmatic about how much wealth is... enough for a comfortable retirement," said AIA Singapore chief executive Tan Hak Leh.

Across the six markets, good health remained the most important goal for respondents, while "happiness in marriage" and a "better life for their children" were next - all ahead of the primary goal of accumulating wealth as a motivation for life, the survey showed.