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This is how much longer you now need to save for retirement

CNBC CNBC 13/07/2016 Alexandra Gibbs
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Current retirees may have worked tirelessly to ensure that their retirement is financially bulletproof, yet for today's typical worker to achieve the same status, they're expecting to save for an additional seven years, new HSBC (HSBA-GB) research suggests.

Having interviewed over 18,200 people across 17 countries either online or face-to-face, the leading lender discovered that workers now expect to save for an average of three decades to feel financially secure for retirement — seven years more than the previous generation, on average worldwide.

"We are seeing, I think, a meaningful change in how investors think about retirement," Michael Schweitzer, HSBC's global head of sales and distribution, told CNBC over the phone.

"Awareness has risen. People have either witnessed or experienced the challenges of people around them who have retired or haven't planned effectively for retirement."

"Many people, particularly those in their forties are supporting others such as their children and their parents. So people see that and experience that, and there's a recognition there, that they need to take a more active role in planning for retirement and doing all they can to pad their nest egg for the future," Schweitzer added.

The news comes as U.K. citizens become increasingly concerned over their own economic future and savings, following the country's decision to leave the European Union. When asked about how this would impact U.K. retirement plans, Schweitzer said it was too early to determine what the long-term impact would be, but it was best for pre-retirees to always be ready for financial ups and downs.

In fact, concerns over global growth and an ageing population in general, make both governments and workers worldwide deliberate over what retirement will look like for future generations.

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According to the research—conducted prior to the Brexit vote—the U.K. isn't the worst off however, with pre-retirees in both Britain and the U.S. expecting to save for an additional seven years to each country's current saving average.

China's working community is expected to take on the biggest hurdle, with pre-retirees expecting to now save for an additional 14 years, bringing their average saving total up to 23 years, compared to the nine years that current retirees had saved for.

The United Arab Emirates, Australia, France and Hong Kong are also worse off, with each average citizen looking to save for an additional 10 years or more on top of their current average, to feel financially ready for retirement.

Meanwhile, Indonesia was the only country surveyed that doesn't expect to save for longer than its current average, as many pre-retirees started saving earlier, but expect to retire earlier too, according to the "Generations and journeys" report.

When it comes to how workers plan to save for their future, alternative saving methods are becoming increasingly attractive compared to relying on traditional state pensions. Cash savings/deposits, downsizing or selling property, and personal pension schemes were among some of the options people are looking into to fund retirement.

While it appears the working population is becoming more financially-conscious about retirement, over a third admitted that they wish they'd started saving earlier on. Meanwhile, 24 percent confessed they hadn't begun saving for retirement, including 12 percent of those in their 60s.

However it isn't all that easy for workers who have started to save either. Forty two percent of those who have begun saving admitted to having either faced challenges or stopped, when it came to preparing for life after work.

"For some, (retirement) is about discipline with some wanting to prioritize outgoings versus incomings and make choices about how they spend their assets. For others it's far more challenging — income levels may not give them the [flexibility] to do such things, while others have commitments they are funding," said Schweitzer.

While the way we save for retirement differs from person to person, HSBC stresses that it's essential for individuals to start saving as early as possible, even if it's a small amount.

"People need to start (saving) earlier. The earlier you start, the less impact it will have on your daily outflows, because you have more time. So if you can start in your early twenties, even if it's just £50 ($66.50) a month, it's much, much better than waiting until you're 30 to do £100 a month. You don't pick up the benefit ever, of time."

As well as starting the saving process as early as possible, the bank recommends three other measures when it comes to approaching retirement: consider the essential retirement expenses, get advice from professionals, and finally a very important step considering today's climate: prepare for financial ups and downs.

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