Savings coming up short
Survey reveals struggles
The majority of expats based in Gulf are not saving enough for a comfortable retirement, despite having high incomes, a survey has found.
3,000 people surveyed said they were saving less than 20 percent of their monthly income, while a fifth said they were saving just let than 10 per cent.
The income of those surveyed ranges from Dhs40,000 to DHS 60,000 per month. “Too many expats think that because there is not tax, they can live a life of opulence and do not realise the importance of planning for the future so they can lead a similar life of comfort when they stop working.
“Most expats families are used to a life of luxury, they could be a family of three that live in a big four-bedroom villa, with a pool and other things that are not necessary. “
The amount people spend here on a daily basis is much higher that the UK, what they do not understand is, if they are making more money from their home countries they are also spending that much more money. “
According to the survey, more than 80 per cent of respondents said they aimed for a high standard of living upon retirement with enough income to pay for their desired lifestyle and added luxuries.
A lot of them want a house near the sea, play golf in their retirement, travel regularly, all things that cost a lot of money.
In order to have that lifestyle, expats need to save at least 20 to 30 per cent of their monthly income.
“If they wish to live a normal post-work life, saving 10 per cent of the monthly income should suffice, based on the individual’s needs.
A lot of expats in this region face a rude awakening when they plan their retirement.
There is a big difference between living out your life in financial security as a retiree and struggling to get by as pensioner.
This is an alarming situation that expats needs to be more aware about”.
One 45-years-old Pakistani expat, who works for Etihad Airways earning Dhs45,000 per month, said providing for himself and his family abroad does not leave anything to save.
“I just shifted to Abi Dhabi to Dubai, for cheaper rents to save money, from living I a three-bedroom to a two-bedroom apartment.” he said asking not to be named.
I live alone here and need a house for when my wife and kids come to visit from the States. I am the only working member of the family and I have to provide for their expenses in the States and mine here plus pay my debts off, which leaves no room for savings.
Another resident, a 35-year old American, said he earns Dhs42,000 a month and is able to put aside Dhs5,000.
I have four children and live in a two-bedroom apartment, the housing rent here is ridiculous.” he said.
I could have bought three houses in America for the amount I have paid in eight years in UAE.
“School fees here are very expensive too and one of my kids is special needs, not only is there no proper school for him, the restricted options demand Dhs60,000 – 70,000 per year.
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