Family and health overtake professional success as most important priorities post pandemic: new Prudential and Economist Impact report

70 per cent of people in Asia surveyed say how they define success has changed in the past few years

46 per cent cite spending more time with family as the most important aspiration today

One-third of Asian respondents say they regularly make contributions to a retirement fund as a means of improving their financial health

Media OutReach – 17 May 2023 – Prudential plc (Prudential) today released ‘Fulfilling Futures – Re-thinking well-being in Asia: How outlooks on life are changing’, a report written by the Economist Impact, which looks at how people’s aspirations and their concepts of success may be changing amid longer life spans and ever-evolving challenges to health and well-being.

The report explores how people in Asia, at a time of heightened uncertainty, assess different aspects of their well-being, including their physical and mental health, personal finances, social lives, and interaction with their communities. It also explores their use of digital technology to pursue their aims in these areas.
Lilian Ng, Managing Director, Strategic Business Group, Prudential plc said, “It is clear from this research that what matters to Asians has changed in the past few years. The Covid-19 pandemic has had the effect of making people stop and think about their priorities in life.
“As a business focused on helping our customers and communities get the most out of life through making healthcare affordable and accessible and by promoting financial inclusion, understanding what impacts and influences people’s well-being will enable us to better support them in leading longer and more fulfilling lives.”
Family and health are now foremost in perceptions of well-being
The report which surveyed 5,000 residents across 13 markets in Asia found that 7 in 10 respondents (68 per cent) have changed the way they define success in life in recent years. Many cited (43 per cent) the pandemic as a key factor in re-evaluating their priorities.
Five years ago, professional success would have been their chief aspiration. That has now given way to the priority of spending more time with family which surpasses financial, career or even personal health aspirations as determinants of life satisfaction. Maintaining emotional and mental health have risen on people’s priority list as well. It has risen from near the bottom of their priority list five years ago to rank second in importance today.

Building a retirement nest-egg
As Asia’s populations start to age, financial security in retirement is a cause for concern. In Hong Kong for example, financial need is a major motivator to prolong one’s working life. Only half of the respondents from the territory (52 per cent) are satisfied with the state of their financial health today while almost three in five (59 per cent) are confident of saving enough financially to enable living to or beyond age 80.

One-third of Asian respondents say they regularly make contributions to a retirement fund as a means of improving their financial health. It is also clear from the survey responses that many people are looking to diversify their sources of income. For example, just over one-third of respondents (35 per cent) augment their savings and retirement funds by investing in equities and bonds. Meanwhile, one in three people (31 per cent) are taking the riskier route of investing in alternative digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies.
Implications for Asia’s future
As Asians’ priorities in life shift, the report outlines several recommendations that governments, employers, NGOs and other societal stakeholders can take to improve citizens’ well-being.
In preparation for longevity, governments in the region can help citizens of all ages learn new skills and nudge them toward healthier behaviours and lifestyles. Acquiring new skills can help extend people’s career longevity, keeping them productive and helping them to finance longer lives.
The report also suggests for companies to consider implementing family-friendly policies and benefits that afford employees more time to spend with, and help them care for, their families. This would allow employers to secure and retain needed talent.
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