News release

March 13, 2024

Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Report: High confidence across all generations in Singapore but many have no financial plan beyond one year

  • Only 24% of high income Singaporeans have a financial plan for a five-year horizon or beyond.
  • Millennials in Singapore are the most confident about their financial future and most resilient generation.

Singapore (13 March 2024) – Sun Life released its inaugural “Asia Financial Resilience Index” today, which examines the financial behaviours and beliefs of individuals across the region and the barriers they face in building long-term financial security. The Index shows Singaporean millennials have the highest levels of financial resilience and that while confidence and optimism are high across all generations, many people including wealthy individuals still lack a plan of action. 

The Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index is a report based on a survey of 8,000 people in eight markets: Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Key findings for Singapore include:

Being wealthy does not automatically build financial resilience

The survey of 1,000 households in Singapore found that even the wealthiest respondents had gaps relating to preparedness, underestimating expenditure and lack of long-term financial planning. High-income respondents are almost as likely to exceed their monthly budgets as lower-income respondents (19% vs 22%). The survey also found that lower-income respondents score better (60%) than those in the high-income category (52%) in being able to cover short-term financial obligations while saving for long-term goals. 

Millennials the most resilient generation in Singapore

The survey found that millennials are the most financially resilient generation. They are more confident than older age groups when it comes to their ability to meet long-term financial goals (75% vs 68%) and more resilient in managing their month-to-month finances (71% vs 67%). They also scored higher in financial literacy compared to their Baby Boomer counterparts (52% vs 46%). 

Millennials also showed high financial resilience in managing their finances month to month compared to older generations (71% vs 67%). Despite this, only 44% of millennial respondents have a financial plan beyond the next one year, which suggests they risk falling into the same planning trap as other generations. 

Confidence outstrips preparedness

The Index found that across Asia confidence outstrips preparedness when it comes to long-term financial goals. In Singapore, 70% of respondents are confident in meeting their long-term financial goals (compared with a 69% Asia average) yet only 44% have a financial plan beyond one year ahead (compared with a 40% Asia average). 

Christopher Albrecht, CEO, Sun Life Singapore said: “The Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index gives an insight into how households across Asia are approaching their financial goals and protecting their future. It’s wonderful that so many people feel more optimistic about their finances in 2024, and this optimism deserves a plan to make it a reality. A financial plan provides simple, clear steps toward achieving their wealth goals. 

“As the pioneer and market leader of High Net Worth (“HNW’) insurance in Asia, Sun Life remains committed as the trusted insurance partner to help High and Ultra High Net Worth (“UHNW”) individuals achieve their wealth goals. Singapore’s well-regulated and highly stable environment allows us to design innovative solutions that support wealth goals. We continue to work with our clients and business partners, to ensure our solutions create robust layers of financial resilience for them in the years to come.”

The role of trust, emotion in financial resilience

Nearly half of Singaporeans (42%) reported that trust and emotion played a key role for them in making financial decisions. Financial institutions were the most trusted sources of financial information, followed by friends and family. Social media is a common source of financial advice (37%) but few have a high degree of trust toward it (10%). Over a third (39%) of Singaporeans want to educate themselves more about personal finance yet are reluctant to ask for help – only 22% currently seek professional help or advice in managing their finances. 

Michael Wei, Chief Partnership & Marketing Officer, Sun Life Singapore said: “The insights gleaned from our Asia Financial Resilience Index reaffirm our client-focused strategy within the affluent, HNW and UHNW segments. Our pioneering solutions cater to their legacy and wealth planning needs, accessible through an exclusive intermediary network of selected financial advisory firms, boutique and international brokers. Additionally, clients can explore our offerings through selected private banks, external asset managers (EAMs) and Family Offices partnered with our intermediary network.”

View the Singapore findings of the Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index here

The Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index was conducted to understand how individuals plan for and overcome unexpected high impact financial events. The survey measures financial resilience against five key pillars; confidence, behaviour, planning, tools and resources. It is based on a survey conducted in October 2023 of 8,000 people (1,000 per market) in eight markets: Indonesia, mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organisation providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2023, Sun Life had total assets under management of CAD$1.40 trillion. For more information, please visit

 Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

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