Many residents in the UAE appear to be financially unprepared for their golden years, with nearly half of them having nothing saved for their retirement, according to a survey by financial services firm Friends Provident International (FPI). 

Out of more than 1,000 respondents polled for the FPI study, 45 percent said they have not even started saving for retirement yet, although most of them (63 percent) are looking to retire early, or before they reach 60. 

Among those who did manage to put away some funds for retirement, 53 percent said the savings are in the form of general bank deposits. 

Why are people not saving ?

According to FPI’s study, many respondents in the UAE think that they don’t need to plan early for their retirement. Nearly 40 percent of those polled said they will start saving either ten years or less before they retire. 

More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents think they can continue living in their golden years with just less than $2,500 monthly allowance, while a similar percentage of people believe that $5,000 will be enough. Another 15 percent said they don’t know or are unsure of the amount required to retire. 

The findings indicate a “strong disconnect” between people’s aspirations and the reality of how much they need to survive during their retirement years, according to Stuart Shilcock, Head of Sales at FPI. 

“It is essential for everyone to prepare early when thinking about retirement,” Shilcock advised. He noted that there is compelling evidence to show that anyone who wants to retire early needs to save more and start saving early in their career. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)