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Most Koreans not ready for retirement: poll

Only 9 percent of Koreans believe they are financially prepared to retire, a survey showed.

The figure is significantly lower than the world average of 30 percent ― 34 percent for Europeans and 32.5 percent for North Americans ― research firm Nielsen Company said.

The poll also showed that nearly 40 percent of Koreans are expected to retire before turning 60 years old.

The company surveyed 26,000 people in 53 countries including 501 Koreans, all of whom aged under 60.

“Consumers in Korea are in a dilemma,” said Cindy Shin, Nielsen’s Seoul-based managing director. “On the one hand, they expect to retire before they are 60 but in reality, most of them will not be able to do so comfortably.”

The primary source of retirement income would be personal savings, 60 percent of Koreans responded, whereas nearly 42 percent of Europeans would rely on government-run plans and 41 percent of North Americans would be funded by employers or other external sources.

Koreans are likely to keep saving extra cash and become more proactive in financial planning to boost income or retirement savings, she predicted.

“There is significant opportunity for companies to tailor their products and services to help them prepare for retirement,” Shin said.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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