Indian Expats neglect Retirement Planning

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A recent study says the UAE-based Non-Resident Indian (NRI) community is generally risk averse, poor at retirement planning, and not keen on seeking professional financial expertise.

The survey studied the financial habits and investment behavior of Indian expats which covered 300 respondents across the UAE. The Standard Life NRI Wealth Study figures show that only 10 percent of the group invested in retirement plans, while 75 percent were reliant on their children for old-age support. An estimated 26 percent of retirees planned to return to India, whereas 24 percent of them planned to settle down in a third country. The findings also reveal that about 22 percent of the respondents expect to continue working beyond their retirement years.

The survey highlights nearly 75 percent of respondents had three to five financial dependents. The large number of dependents may place a greater strain on finances and underlines the need for adequate financial and retirement planning.

“NRIs are seen to be a family-oriented community who rely on their children and family for their retirement years. This is simply amazing from a family bonding perspective, but it is always advisable to take professional financial advice when it comes to retirement planning.” — Chris Divito, CEO, Standard Life International Limited – DIFC

Around 90 percent of the respondents, had long-term investments. The investments were focused mainly towards illiquid assets rather than asset classes. About 77 percent of the group had invested in assets like gold or diamonds, while 55 percent chose to invest in property.  Mutual funds (19 percent) and equities (15 percent) were other investment preferences, showing the traditional approach of NRI’s. The choice of investing in illiquid assets demonstrates the NRI are not seeking professional financial advice when planning their retirement.

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