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Retiring early still an unreachable prospect for many in UAE, poll finds

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Retiring early remains out of reach for many residents in the United Arab Emirates, a new poll has found, highlighting the need for financial preparation and professional advice on the matter.

Friends Provident International (FPI) surveyed 1,000 individuals based in the UAE and found that 44 percent of the respondents expected to retire by the time they were 55 years old and that 63 percent of them before they reached the age of 60.

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FPI also found that almost half of the respondents (45 percent) have not started saving for retirement yet and that 11 percent declined to respond on the matter.

“There appears to be a strong disconnect between the aspirations of many individuals in this survey in the UAE to retire early and the reality of how much they will need to save for retirement,” Stuart Shilcock, Head of Sales (Middle East) at FPI, said.

Over half (53 percent) of the respondents who did have some savings set aside for their retirement said that these were in the form of general bank deposits. Nearly 40 percent said that they did not feel the need to plan far ahead for their retirement, saying that they would start saving within 10 years before they reach retirement.

“It is essential for everyone to prepare early when thinking about retirement,” explained Shilcock, adding that there was compelling evidence that showed anyone who plans on retiring early will need to save more – and earlier – in their career.

Over a quarter (27 percent) believed that they could retire on less than $2,500 a month, while a similar percentage of people said that $5,000 would be sufficient. Another 15 percent acknowledged that they did not know or were unsure of the amount required to retire.

Shilcock added that younger people who took part in the survey had more realistic retirement expectations. More respondents in the 18 to 24-year-old age group said they would start saving between 15 and 20 years or 20 and 25 years before they reach retirement.

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