Hongkongers' savings



For emigration-keen Hongkongers who want to move out in five years, they will need to save more than HK$41,000 per month just to reach the lower threshold goal of HK$2.5mn, given their timeline.

In a survey of 598 Hongkongers aged between 20 and 49, it was found that Hongkongers save around HK$5,000 per month on average, accounting for nearly 25% of their monthly income.

Men were found to be more proactive in establishing savings plans than women, thus saving around HKD $1,000 more per month to reach an average total of HK$6,000.

These were among the key findings of an ESDlife survey commissioned by digital life insurer Blue, which gained insights into people’s saving habits.

The saving data was particularly important, seeing as more than two in five (>40%) of respondents revealed that they plan to emigrate from Hong Kong, with three in five (59%) stating a timeline of leaving HKSAR in five years.

As such, the majority (71%) believe that they need at least HK$2.5mn or more to emigrate, with the saving expectation going up to HK$4.9mn. Based on Blue's analysis, for emigration-keen Hongkongers who want to move out in five years, they will need to save more than HK$41,000 per month just to reach the lower threshold goal of HK$2.5mn, given their timeline.

What are Hongkongers spending on?

Hongkongers cited they have trouble saving money due to the high expenses. The main obstacles to saving money were:

  • Mortgage payment or rental expenses (37%),
  • Meal costs and entertainment expenses (30%), and
  • Shopping expenses (29%).

Those who were single agreed that cravings for food and entertainment, shopping, and travelling were the three main factors that hindered their savings.

For those married and with children, nearly three in five (57%) thought that their children's education fund was the most important factor affecting their savings behaviour.

Is there scope to save in HKSAR?

Overall, about one in 10 (10%) respondents have never given much thought to saving. In fact, nearly 40% of the respondents said they would start saving only when they have surplus funds.

Interestingly, 16% of the respondents thought they would start saving when they had to give money to their parents, and 14% of them thought they would only start saving when they were in a relationship.

Nevertheless, there were still 12% of respondents who never thought of starting a savings plan. 

Investment as a form of savings 

The survey found that 72% of the respondents have, at least once, lost just under H$100,000 due to investments. Therefore, despite the low-interest rate environment, the following are Honkongers' preferred investment tools:

  • 50% of respondents would still choose bank deposits as a savings tool
  • Investment in stocks, funds, and bonds (17%)
  • Savings insurance (11%)
  • time deposits (9%)
  • Storing at home (6%).

Despite the large number who indicated having suffered investment losses in the past, nearly 80% of them still considered high interest return rates as the primary factor in choosing a savings plan.

The remaining four criteria in choosing a savings plan included:

  • The ability to get back the fund and interest when they surrender the policy (58%),
  • The right to surrender at any time without any charges (52%),
  • Entry load (47%),
  • Flexible tenure (45%).

Charles Hung, CEO and Executive Director of Blue, noted that the survey results show Hongkongers are keen to increase their wealth income, but they often fail to choose the right savings plan due to a lack of investment knowledge or because of previous investment losses.

He further expressed hopes that they can achieve their savings goals at different stages of their lives, but also meet any urgent and unexpected expenses so that they can live easily and comfortably.

Lead image / 123RF

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