Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sun Life Financial Resilience Report: Millennials are Most Financially Literate Generation of Filipinos, but Many Lack a Plan of Action

Sun Life Financial Resilience Report: Millennials are Most Financially Literate Generation of Filipinos, but Many Lack a Plan of Action

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Sun Life Asia released its inaugural “Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index”, which examines the financial behaviours and beliefs of individuals in eight markets across the region, and the barriers they face in building long-term financial security. The Index shows that while Filipino millennials have the highest levels of financial resilience, many still lack a plan of action – a key pillar of financial resilience.

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

Millennials are the most resilient generation

The survey of 1,000 people in the Philippines found that millennials are the most financially resilient generation. They are more optimistic about their financial futures than their Baby Boomer peers (80% vs. 71%) and Gen Z peers (80% vs. 71%), but just as optimistic as their Gen X peers (80% vs. 80%). They are more likely to make financial decisions based on research than older generations (50% vs. 46%).

They are also more confident in their ability to meet their long-term financial goals compared to older generations (68% vs.60%). That said, only 41% have a financial plan beyond a year
which puts their goals at risk.

“Filipino millennials stood out in our study as the most financially resilient generation,” said Carla Gonzalez-Chong, Chief Client Experience and Marketing Officer of Sun Life Philippines.
“As a very tech-savvy generation, millennials have more tools at their disposal when it comes to financial planning and are more likely to base their decisions on research. That said, the study shines a spotlight on a worrying phenomenon that not many have a long-term financial plan in place to meet their life goals. Having a well thought out plan needs to be a priority for those looking to secure their financial future, especially in today’s ever-changing and dynamic investment landscape.”

Confidence outstrips preparedness

The Index found that across Asia, confidence outstrips preparedness when it comes to long-term financial goals. In the Philippines:

  • 65% of respondents are confident in meeting their long-term financial goals (compared with a 69% Asia average)
  • yet only 41% have a financial plan beyond one year ahead (compared with a 40% Asia average).
  • Filipinos listed retirement and savings as their second highest financial priority, but only 14% currently have a retirement or pension plan to support their goals.

“The Sun Life Financial Resilience Index provides a window into how households across Asia are approaching their financial goals and protecting their future. It’s encouraging that so many Filipinos 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 and health goals,” Gonzalez-Chong added.

The role of trust, emotion in financial resilience

Over half of Filipino respondents (51%) reported that emotion and trust played a key role for them in making financial decisions. Financial institutions were the most trusted sources of financial information, followed by family and friends. Social media is a common source of financial advice (42%), but few trust it (13%). Half (50%) of respondents want to educate themselves more about personal finance yet they may be reluctant to ask for help – as only (21%) of respondents currently seek professional help or advice in managing their finances.

Wealth is not a guarantee of financial resilience

The survey found that even among the wealthiest respondents in the Philippines, many lack preparedness and under-estimate their expenditure levels or the benefits of a long-term financial plan. High-income respondents are in fact more likely to exceed their monthly budgets (28%) than those with lower incomes (24%), and also are less confident in managing their finances to meet long-term goals than lower-income groups (69% vs 75%).

View the Philippines findings of the Sun Life Asia Financial Resilience Index here: https://sunlife.co/financial-resilience-report-PH