Middle-class Taiwanese are the least optimistic about the future, compared with the counterparts in Hong Kong and China, as they aim to have better lives for themselves and their children, but are plagued with concerns and worries, according to findings in a survey by AIA International Taiwan (友邦人壽).
Only 53 percent of middle-class respondents in Taiwan report varying degrees of satisfaction with their standard of life, lower than their peers in China and Hong Kong, the survey said.
Taiwanese are more likely to feel economic pressure, especially from debts, and need to be financially secure before having children, the survey showed.
“More than than 90 percent of them voiced worries about not having enough savings and many want to have assets worth NT$25 million [US$824,538] to feel financially secure,” the company’s chief executive officer Tan Kar-kor (陳家虎) said.
As a result, 49 percent expect to retire only when they achieve a certain amount of savings, rather than when they reach a certain age, the survey indicated.
Those who say they want to retire at a certain age plan to do so when turning 60 years old, he survey said.
Middle-income earners in China are positive and optimistic about the future and not as concerned about retirement, as age is the decisive factor and most have pensions or retirement savings, the survey said.
As for life goals, 62 percent of Taiwanese assign the most importance to being healthy, followed by having peace of mind at 48 percent and a comfortable retirement at 38 percent, the survey showed.
Respondents in Hong Kong are largely positive about their quality of life and are more likely to be motivated by wealth, with owning property being a priority, the survey said.
Regarding free time, Taiwanese wish to spend time with family and cite family, health and a successful career as the three pillars of happiness, the survey said.
Chinese parents are more engaged in their children’s education, which is prioritized over savings for retirement, the survey said.
Respondents in Taiwan and Hong Kong are also family-oriented, but Taiwanese are more emotional, valuing peace of mind, the survey said, adding parents in Hong Kong are concerned about children’s future, but take a relatively hands-off approach.