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Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index

The Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index casts a spotlight on Singapore, among other key Asian markets, to gauge household financial resilience across various dimensions. Through pillars like literacy, behavior, planning, tools, and resources, this index offers valuable insights into the financial landscape of the region. In October 2023, a comprehensive survey involving 8,000 consumers across different demographics was conducted, shedding light on the intricate dynamics of financial resilience in Singapore.

Sun Life, with its commitment to fostering lifetime financial security and healthier lives, underscores the importance of long-term planning in achieving financial well-being. While individuals may experience a sense of financial comfort during favorable times, the true test lies in their ability to navigate unexpected economic or financial shocks. This necessitates proactive planning and preparation, both at the individual and community levels, to weather these higher-impact events—a concept encapsulated in the term “financial resilience.”

The primary aim of this report is to delve into the factors and behaviors that contribute to financial resilience in Asia, with a specific focus on Singapore. By examining aspects such as financial literacy, planning, budgeting, and access to financial services, the report endeavors to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement. Armed with a nuanced understanding of financial resilience, tailored strategies can be developed to support those most in need.

The survey findings reveal a notable gap between Singaporeans’ optimism about their financial future and their actual preparedness for long-term financial goals. While optimism levels are high, there’s a concerning lack of long-term planning among many, even among the affluent segments of society. This underscores the imperative for fostering greater financial discipline and promoting the benefits of long-term financial planning across all wealth levels.

Of particular interest is the resilience exhibited by millennials in Singapore. Positioned favorably with investable assets and fewer familial obligations, millennials emerge as a promising cohort in navigating their financial futures. However, emotional factors significantly influence financial behavior, highlighting the need for enhanced financial education and access to professional advice.

Singapore’s relatively higher levels of resilience in financial planning, tools, and resources compared to other Asian markets are encouraging. However, there’s still room for improvement, particularly in bolstering financial literacy and promoting proactive planning behaviors. With confidence and behavioral change identified as key drivers of resilience, Singaporeans can chart a path towards a prosperous future, contributing to a revitalized national economy.

In conclusion, optimism must be complemented with strategic planning to unlock true financial resilience in Singapore. By fostering a culture of prudent financial management and investing in widespread financial education, Singaporeans can navigate economic uncertainties with confidence, ensuring a resilient and sustainable financial future for generations to come.

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