With Indians continuing to put their family first, retirement planning is quickly gaining ground as financial priority as nearly 24 per cent of urban consumers are readying for their old age, a recent survey said.
"Nearly a quarter of respondents or 24 per cent say retirement is their key financial priority, representing a 140 per cent increase from 2012. In 2012, only 10 per cent categorised it as a key priority," according to 'Trends and Insights Survey into Financial Goals of Indian Consumers' released on Friday by Ameriprise India.
Ameriprise India commissioned leading market research firm TNS India to design and execute this study in India.
Nearly 700 working professionals across six cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune were surveyed to represent sample of upwardly-mobile urban Indian professionals.
Many of those surveyed have opted to put big-ticket family purchases like travelling, buying secondary homes or cars-on hold to make way for retirement planning, it pointed out.
The change is seen across age groups, with even the youngest respondents in the age group of 28-33 years are giving increased importance to retirement, with 24 per cent rating it as a key priority.
"The increasing emphasis on retirement planning among Indian consumers is a welcome and encouraging trend," Ameriprise Financial President, Financial Planning and Wealth Strategies, Kim M Sharan said.
Retirement is a complex and often an intimidating issue to navigate, but research shows that having a financial plan in place can inspire confidence and make for a smoother path to this major life transition, she added.
The study also found that single women (70%), in particular, defy conventional notion in this area by reportedly feeling financially confident at a significantly higher rate than single men (56%).
They also engage in their finances at a younger age, by investing their money earlier than single men, that is 25 years on average for women compared to 26 years for men, despite joining the workforce at the same age (24 years).
However, marriage shifts this trend as men's financial confidence increases after tying the knot and women's financial confidence decreases as they start depending more on their husbands for all financial decisions.
In general, men and women share similar financial goals and risk profiles. However, they appear to take different approaches to investing, the survey said.
"Overall, women discuss with others when deciding how to allocate their assets and tend to invest in more conservative instruments compared to men. Meanwhile, men tend to make retirement a greater financial priority than women," it said.
The survey also assessed the financial savvy of residents in six major cities, ranking them according to their financial intelligence.
Mumbai tops the financial intelligence index, followed by Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai in last.
"We have created a Financial Intelligence Index that rates the financial acumen of investors in six major cities of India. For instance, Mumbai scores high on having a diversified portfolio, utilising professional advice and investing early but shows room for improvement on goal-based planning with long-term approach," Ameriprise India Advisory Services Chief Operating Officer Kapil Narang said.
On the other hand, he said, Delhi fares well on goal-based and long-term planning, portfolio diversification and taking professional advice but investors typically start investing late.