People in Hong Kong Face Big Gap in Achieving Desired Financial, Mental, and Physical Well-being

  • Manulife Asia Care Survey reveals a significant confidence gap in the ability to achieve financial, mental, and physical well-being over the next decade for people in Hong Kong, showing a gap of -15, -14, and -15 points, respectively
  • Strong link found between financial stress, emotional states, and physical health, underscoring need for a holistic well-being approach
  • Traditional expectations of children as future income sources are fading, with 37% of parents not anticipating financial support in old age

HONG KONG, June 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The latest findings from the Manulife Asia Care Survey have revealed a significant confidence gap among people in Hong Kong when it comes to attaining their desired levels of financial, mental, and physical well-being over the next decade. This confidence gap is further amplified by the strong link between financial stress, emotional wellness, and physical health, underscoring the need for a holistic approach to all three aspects of well-being.

In the Manulife survey, conducted between January and February 2024 with over 1,000 adults aged 25-60 in Hong Kong, respondents were asked about their confidence in achieving their desired financial, mental, and physical well-being in ten years. They aimed for scores of 85 for financial and mental well-being, and 86 for physical well-being, on a scale of 1 to 100. However, their expectations fell short, estimating to reach only 70 for financial, 71 for mental, and 71 for physical well-being. This shortfall of 15, 14, and 15 points, respectively, indicate the potential challenges individuals may face in achieving their future well-being goals.

Difficult choices in balancing financial stability and physical health amid rising healthcare costs

In addition, when asked about challenges impacting their ability to achieve desired financial well-being, 69% of respondents cited rising health costs. This concern is magnified by a perceived 18% surge in healthcare expenses over the past year, particularly in areas like out-patient services (22%), drugs (15%), and preventive healthcare (14%). These numbers highlight the significant financial burden that healthcare costs can inflict on individuals, thereby negatively impacting their financial well-being.

To counter the impact of escalating healthcare costs, the survey found that respondents in Hong Kong are resorting to various measures, including watching their diet more carefully (41%), using less expensive healthcare services (25%), delaying or skipping body checks (19%), and choosing medical insurance plans with lower premiums and fewer benefits (18%). These actions highlight the measures people are taking to address the financial strain and the difficult choices they may face when trying to balance financial stability with their physical health.

Mental well-being conditions such as stress and anxiety could impact physical well-being

Furthermore, the survey highlighted the impact of mental health on physical well-being, with stress (34%) and anxiety (28%) cited as top potential illnesses affecting future mental health. The known correlation between stress, anxiety, and various physical ailments highlights the interdependence of mental and physical health. Meanwhile, concerns about severe illnesses like cancer and heart disease represent the main obstacles to achieving desired physical well-being levels.

“Given the escalating healthcare costs and resulting financial stress, combined with the prevalence of mental health concerns, it is important for people in Hong Kong to reconsider their approach to holistic well-being,” said Patrick Graham, Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Hong Kong and Macau. “As a steadfast advocate of the ‘mind-body wealth’ concept, which stresses the importance of achieving balance in financial, mental, and physical aspects of well-being for a healthier and more fulfilling life, we are dedicated to improving the overall well-being of Hong Kong people across these aspects.”

37% of HK parents no longer expect children’s financial support in old age, and 70% intend to delay retirement

The Asia Care Survey further revealed a shift in financial expectations regarding future generations. The traditional expectation for children to serve as future income sources seems to be fading, as about 37% of Hong Kong adult respondents with children, or planning to have children, do not anticipate their children to financially support them in old age. With this shift in expectations, 70% of those married with children are looking to delay their retirement age. This change is likely to impact their expectations regarding retirement planning products and services.

“Proactive financial planning is a potent tool for addressing the evolving needs of various life stages,” added Mr. Graham. “We encourage Hongkongers not to limit themselves to saving for the future but to adopt an informed, forward-thinking financial planning approach. By consulting with a financial planner, they can uncover comprehensive solutions tailored to their long-term aspirations. This not only empowers them but also puts them in command of their journey towards a secure financial future.”

About Manulife Asia Care Survey

The Manulife Asia Care Survey was conducted via online self-completed questionnaires in eight markets: mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. A total of 8,400 people, aged 25 to 60 years old, were surveyed between January and February 2024. In Hong Kong, 1,052 people were surveyed. Each respondent either owns insurance or intends to buy insurance in the next 24 months.

About Manulife Hong Kong

Manulife Hong Kong has been a trusted name for more than 125 years. Since our operations started in Asia in 1897, we have grown to become one of the top-tier providers of financial services, offering a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to over 2.5 million customers in Hong Kong and Macau. We are committed to helping make decisions easier and lives better for our customers.

Manulife Hong Kong, through Manulife International Holdings Limited, owns Manulife (International) Limited, and Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company Limited.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our Global Wealth and Asset Management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2023, we had more than 38,000 employees, over 98,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 35 million customers. We trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges, and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

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