Most vigilant retirement savers live in North America and Asia-Pacific

By BenefitsPro

By Paula Aven Gladych

A higher percentage of investors in North America and the Asia-Pacific are saving for retirement than in other regions of the world, according to a global survey conducted by Nielsen.

Out of 30,000 people surveyed worldwide for the Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment Strategies, 35 percent of respondents in North America and 34 percent of respondents in Asia-Pacific said that saving for retirement and their children’s futures was a financial priority. Thirty-nine percent of respondents in both regions said they are presently saving for retirement, which exceeded the global average.

Less than one-third of respondents in Latin America, 30 percent in the Middle East/Africa and 26 percent in Europe said they are presently saving for retirement. In Europe, 40 percent of respondents said they have no intention of saving for retirement at all, compared to the global average of 22 percent, according to Nielsen.

“Saving priorities are largely dictated by local market dynamics,” said Oliver Rust, senior vice president, Global Financial Services at Nielsen. “In markets where consumers are hit by high school fees and the lack of public school availability, a significantly larger proportion of income and savings is dedicated toward ensuring children receive a good education from an early age. For consumers in markets where public schools are the norm, we do tend to see longer-term saving strategies that are dedicated specifically to the high cost of ensuring children receive tertiary-level education.”

The survey also found that global respondents’ intentions to save in the future were stronger than their current savings activities, except when it came to health issues, where 42 percent of respondents were active savers vs. 41 percent who were future savers.

Plans to save in the future are strongest among respondents in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa, especially when it comes to saving for higher education, first- and second-time property purchases, personal luxuries, financial legacy and new businesses. In North America and Europe, future savings intentions were lower for funding higher education, starting a business and preparing for life events like marriage or having a baby.

The survey was conducted online in 60 countries between Aug. 14 and Sept. 6, 2013.

Nielsen Holdings N.V. is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement.

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