Life begins at 50 in Singapore

Insurer-led study finds Singaporeans are becoming more optimistic towards ageing

Life begins at 50 in Singapore

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Singaporeans are undergoing an attitude shift towards ageing, with respondents aged 40 to 65 expressing more optimism regarding their advancing age, according to a study by NTUC Income and NielsenIQ.

The study, titled Redefining the prime of life, found that three in four (76%) respondents in this age group said they do not feel old at all. Similar proportions agreed that “age is just a number” (75%) and “growing old isn’t as bad as people think” (72%). Four in five (81%) respondents said they want to embrace their later years with “energy and zest”.

Marital and family status seemed to have an influence on respondents’ satisfaction. Among those who were married and have children, 79% felt that their lives were the same or better than before they turned 40. For singles, only 63% agreed with this sentiment.

While the common saying is “life begins at 40”, Singaporeans seem to push that even further. Almost half (48%) of respondents believe that the prime of their life is beyond 50. Close to half (46%) of respondents believe that they are currently in the prime of their lives, while one-third (31%) of the respondents believe that they have passed their prime, and one-fifth (23%) believe that they have not attained the prime of life.

Financial wellbeing (49%) was the top factor when it comes to attaining prime of life, followed by being free of stress (47%) and having the freedom and time to do the things one wants (44%).

“Knowing that Singaporeans aged 40 to 65 are enthusiastic about getting older is empowering, as it signals an innate drive to take both proactive and preventive actions to age successfully,” said Marcus Chew, chief marketing officer of Income. “We want to be an enabler in the national ageing agenda to help Singaporeans prolong their good years, prepare for, protect, and pursue quality and fulfilling lives in their later years. The insurance industry is typically skewed towards a younger demographic, as traditional underwriting is designed to target the younger set as its primary customers. Such an approach will prove increasingly obsolete when older customers become a norm. In this regard, we have overhauled our thinking as an insurer and we see great benefit in empowering older Singaporeans to be physically, mentally and financially ready for the years ahead.”

According to data from the World Economic Forum, Singapore is one of the fastest-ageing societies in the world, with an average life expectancy of 83.9 years. It is also one of the most prepared to deal with this demographic shift, with extensive investment in lifelong learning initiatives, such as the SkillsFuture programme.

“Age is but a social construct. With improvement in life expectancy, we now live longer, and it is important that we leverage these extended years,” said Paulin Straughan, director of Singapore Management University’s Centre for Research on Successful Ageing. “It’s encouraging to see that the study revealed a sense of optimism towards ageing amongst the 40 to 65 age group. I hope this translates to more embracing proactive lifestyles that will advance holistic well-being. It is important that we plan for successful ageing and take charge of our narrative.”

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