Covid-19 has placed increased pressure on savings and retirement planning among Singaporeans, according to a new report.
Some 40 percent of Singaporeans are not comfortable with the amount of savings they have,  and 70 percent said the Covid-19 pandemic has made them more concerned about planning for retirement, St. James’s Place Wealth Management (SJP) said in «The New World of Wealth.»
The report highlighted the shifting expectations of work and stability, noting that 53 percent of respondents increased their savings commitment as a result of the pandemic. The main barriers preventing consumers from saving more are higher living costs (47 percent) and increasing pressure to support their families (34 percent), according to the report.
Financial Impact
At the same time, 56 percent of respondents have had to draw on their retirement savings, with 20 percent saying they did so in a significant way.
«It is concerning that within this trend we see people borrowing from the future to pay for their costs today, with a reduced focused on retirement planning,» Gary Harvey, CEO, SJP Singapore, said.
Investment Preferences 
Some three-quarters of Singaporeans said they are more cautious with their money. The pandemic has prompted investors to look for perceived safer investment options and increase diversification – 36 percent of Singaporeans said they intend to increase diversification in their portfolio (up from 33 percent in 2020), while 26 percent have decreased their exposure to risk (from 29 percent in 2020).
Investor awareness toward environmental, societal and governance (ESG) issues has grown,  with 68 percent saying that the pandemic has increased their motivation to invest responsibly.
Consumers are also looking to professionals for financial advice, with 40 percent saying independent financial advisers and bankers are the top sources of advice.

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