Lifestyle

Having an early, secure retirement is a dream for many, and a small, but growing number of people are striving to turn this dream into reality. The FIRE movement, acronym for Financial Independence, Retire Early, is essentially about aggressively tightening belts, and finding multiple sources of income in order to achieve early financial freedom.

Milieu Insight released the results of their ‘Financial Independent, Retire Early’ study, which aimed to find out how common the FIRE movement is among Southeast Asians, and the steps they are taking to achieve their goal. The survey was conducted in May 2022 with N=1500 employed respondents, aged 18-49 years old, each from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Do Southeast Asians want early retirement?

  • The bulk of respondents expect to retire in their 50s or 60s (62%); Indonesians tend to expect earlier retirement, with only 52% expecting to retire in their 50s or 60s
  • Retiring early (defined as retiring before 50s) is a possibility for 60% of respondents, but only 14% think that they are on track for early retirement – Singaporeans seem most pessimistic about being able to do so, with only 9% indicating that they are on track

Steps towards early retirement

  • Most common strategy towards early retirement is regular saving (71%), followed by ‘being careful with how I spend my money’ (63%) and ‘investing’ (63%).
  • Finding additional employment is much less common (37%) as part of strategy to retire early, but tends to skew towards Thais (54%)
  • Insurance – one way of investing – is also more common among Singaporeans (56%) and Filipinos (53%)

A look at the most common strategies for early retirement: Saving and investing

  • Among those who save regularly for early retirement, 43% save more than 20% of their incomes
  • Among those who invest, 36% indicated that more than 20% of their incomes go towards investments
  • The most common investment types are:
  • Investment funds (56%)
  • Stocks (53%)
  • Real estate (52%)
  • Cryptocurrency and NFTs, which are gaining momentum but have yet to enter mainstream investing due to their volatility, registers at 41%, and seem to be more popular in Thailand (57%) and the Philippines (54%)

Read more on Smart Investor and The Malaysian Reserve.

Methodology

Based on Milieu Insight surveys with N=1500 employed respondents, aged 18-49 years old, each from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, conducted in May 2022.

Fired up: A look at Southeast Asians pursuing the financial independence, retire early (FIRE) movement

60% see retiring early as a possibility, but only 14% think that they are on track for early retirement.
Milieu Team
June 17, 2022
MINS READ
Fired up: A look at Southeast Asians pursuing the financial independence, retire early (FIRE) movement
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Having an early, secure retirement is a dream for many, and a small, but growing number of people are striving to turn this dream into reality. The FIRE movement, acronym for Financial Independence, Retire Early, is essentially about aggressively tightening belts, and finding multiple sources of income in order to achieve early financial freedom.

Milieu Insight released the results of their ‘Financial Independent, Retire Early’ study, which aimed to find out how common the FIRE movement is among Southeast Asians, and the steps they are taking to achieve their goal. The survey was conducted in May 2022 with N=1500 employed respondents, aged 18-49 years old, each from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Do Southeast Asians want early retirement?

  • The bulk of respondents expect to retire in their 50s or 60s (62%); Indonesians tend to expect earlier retirement, with only 52% expecting to retire in their 50s or 60s
  • Retiring early (defined as retiring before 50s) is a possibility for 60% of respondents, but only 14% think that they are on track for early retirement – Singaporeans seem most pessimistic about being able to do so, with only 9% indicating that they are on track

Steps towards early retirement

  • Most common strategy towards early retirement is regular saving (71%), followed by ‘being careful with how I spend my money’ (63%) and ‘investing’ (63%).
  • Finding additional employment is much less common (37%) as part of strategy to retire early, but tends to skew towards Thais (54%)
  • Insurance – one way of investing – is also more common among Singaporeans (56%) and Filipinos (53%)

A look at the most common strategies for early retirement: Saving and investing

  • Among those who save regularly for early retirement, 43% save more than 20% of their incomes
  • Among those who invest, 36% indicated that more than 20% of their incomes go towards investments
  • The most common investment types are:
  • Investment funds (56%)
  • Stocks (53%)
  • Real estate (52%)
  • Cryptocurrency and NFTs, which are gaining momentum but have yet to enter mainstream investing due to their volatility, registers at 41%, and seem to be more popular in Thailand (57%) and the Philippines (54%)

Read more on Smart Investor and The Malaysian Reserve.

Methodology

Based on Milieu Insight surveys with N=1500 employed respondents, aged 18-49 years old, each from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, conducted in May 2022.