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25% of Young Singaporeans have less than $6000 savings? – Questionable Survey!

There are some surveys that are made to spread awareness about the services that they provide. This survey seems like one of them.

I was first alerted to this survey by my friend, published in Singapore Business Review: Disaster in the making: 4 out of 5 young Singaporeans have no savings

That is a sweeping statement to make. It is bound to perk up all our attention. Are Singaporeans between the age of 20 to 35 years old that bad?

The survey alludes:

  • 25% of young Singaporeans have less than $6000 in savings
  • 36% have no savings at all
  • 4/5 said they spend money which are suppose to be put aside for mortgage insurance
  • Only 1/3 of people plan to buy a home than to rent

Before you get shocked, take a look at the people conducting the survey:

Take a look at the services that the people doing the survey is selling.

This is a web portal for a specific needs. The people other than those browsing come to the site largely for a specific needs.

  • Credit Cards
  • Short term high interest loans
  • Car Insurance
  • Travel Insurance

When you conduct a survey you have to make sure that you get a large sample that consist of people that are not likely to skew your results.

If you conduct your survey based on these group of people, their profile are totally skewed.

If you are a prudent young Singaporean, what are the chances you will seek to compare loans. Likely, if you save well, you would think the car is an expensive thing. And you would not want to be so frivolous with credit cards.

If you survey a group of runners it is likely that you will arrive at a result that 90% of Singaporeans keeps fit weekly.

The most questionable is this:

It’s shocking but the average Singaporean graduate spends 40% of their salary on rent, while another 9% is spent on student loan repayments

Does this look like the norm for a profile of a Singaporean dweller to you? I did not get that feeling that Singaporeans have such a strong renting culture. Perhaps you guys can correct me.

All in, this sounds more like marketing rather than the usually Manulife or AIA survey you see in SPH publications.

Sometimes we should question further the methodology how the survey is carried out so that we don’t based our perception of the population on something so flawed.


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Friday 15th of August 2014

Hi all, I fall into the survey age group and fortunately, I am not in the 25%. A lot of people have doubts on the survey results and focus a lot on the survey methodology. I do agree that a biased sample does not generate a representative and accurate results. If I were to relate it to real life of what I hear from my peers, there are indeed quite some young guys do not have sufficient savings. It is difficult to quantify % but it is actually quite alarming to see people having belief that CPF is sufficient savings. TO this end, 25% does mean something...


Tuesday 26th of August 2014

Hi Ian,

Thanks for commenting and sorry for the late response. I was wondering if they do fall into an income level that they are suppose to be able to save. I think that is an important consideration because some have the heart but not the income to do it.


Thursday 14th of August 2014

Actually not only must it be large sampling, must also be random. This, might neither be large nor random, hence the survey conclusion can at best be restricted to the persons surveyed. Marketing gimmick, as you've put it in your post.


Thursday 14th of August 2014

Yeah. Manulife might be able to randomize if its a interchange survey.this one hard to visualize it being random

Richard Ng

Thursday 14th of August 2014

Personally think that the survey size is not big enough to represent the population of the young here...


Thursday 14th of August 2014

Yes that's right, or rather those people that sought the portal out is a niche group


Thursday 14th of August 2014

I've saved about 50k (not including end of the year bonus) for my wedding and renovation for the year end.

Been aiming to save at 50% of my salary and so far its relatively comfortable still.


Thursday 14th of August 2014

You have a very high savings rate,and that is not inclusive of your bonus. Most will be envious of your situation

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