(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of residents in the UAE are failing to plan for their retirement, according to research results released on Sunday by Zurich International Life.
In a survey of UAE residents conducted by YouGov, it was revealed that only about 33 per cent of UAE residents had a formal retirement savings plan - other than the end-of-service gratuity.
Zurich cautions that the findings are concerning, as lack of financial preparation will have a significant impact on their future income in retirement.
"It would appear that too many UAE residents are either wrongly assuming that the end-of-service gratuity or their property assets will provide enough funds to finance their retirement or, worse still, are ignoring the need to safeguard their financial future," said Jawed Barna, chief executive officer at Zurich International Life, Middle East and Africa.
Barna said that residents in the UAE should consider prioritising long-term planning over short-term need in order to secure the retirement they want.
"Many people dream about their retirement and see it as an opportunity to spend more quality time with family, travel around the world and have more spare time to devote to new hobbies and reignite old ones. But the dream of retirement can quickly turn into a nightmare unless you have a formal financial plan or pension in place to fund the end of your working life" warned Barna.
According to the Zurich survey, even older respondents were not preparing for their retirement; 60 per cent of respondents aged over 40 said that they did not have a retirement plan or pension in place.
"It is particularly concerning that 60 per cent of UAE residents aged over 40 do not have a retirement plan. People should not wait until later in life to start planning for retirement," cautioned Barna.
"The best financial advice I ever received was to start saving for my retirement in my 20s. It's the best way to build up a bigger retirement fund for later in life, as you add more contributions over your lifetime and they have longer to grow. Even if you can only afford a small amount, it helps to form a healthy savings habit," he added.