Almost two-thirds of expats living in the Middle East hope to retire before they reach 60, but far fewer are confident of doing so, according to a study by Zurich International Life (ZIL).
The research found expats in Bahrain are the most optimistic, with 71% confident of retiring at their target age, followed by Qatar with 49%.
The UAE has the most pessimistic employees, with 48% certain of meeting their retirement age goal.
In a bid to redress this discrepancy, 35% of expats across the region have started their own pension plan, according to the research.
The second phase of Zurich’s Expatriate Wealth Monitor, a study into the future plans of 700 expat professionals living in the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, revealed 56% of people are using their extra income to supplement their retirement fund.
Paul Haran, Zurich’s Middle East regional director, said: “In today’s current economic climate, expats are well advised to take responsibility for their financial future. Whilst it is not surprising to find a gap between the ideal and the realistic retirement age, it is encouraging to see so many expats taking steps to redress the imbalance.”
However, he warned expats should seek professional advice to help them understand how best to achieve their financial goals.
Tim Searle, CEO of Dubai-based financial adviser Globaleye, added: “Providing for one’s retirement is a major consideration and should be reviewed as part of an overall financial plan. With today’s current economic climate adding an extra layer of uncertainty, there has never been a more opportune time to take stock and consider one’s future financial health.”
Previous Zurich surveys found 64% of expats believe they have a better lifestyle than they had at home, while 30% of UAE expats said they were cutting back on luxuries to save for the future.
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