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We spoke with Haruka Urata, Chief Scientist at the Fidelity Institute Japan, who has recently published research related to the Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey* from a Japanese market perspective. He highlighted several notable trends for workers in Japan.
Well-being is improving in Japan, but still relatively low.
In relation to the four components of well-being - health, life, work, and money - sentiment for Japanese workers is improving compared to last year, although it still remains lower in comparison to global figures.
Asia-Pacific and the Americas were the most positive regions, where 60% of respondents generally answered that they felt “good” in all four areas of well-being. However, the well-being sentiment for workers in Europe, which is strongly affected by an uncertain economic and political environment, fell from the previous year, especially in relation to sentiment around finances.
Workers in Japan are more concerned about coronavirus than global inflation.
As many regions globally continue to transition to the post-pandemic era, concerns about COVID-19 have become less of a source stress for the working population. At the same time, inflation is a growing concern among workers in Europe, where the macroeconomic backdrop is conspicuously affecting people's lives.
Conversely, health concerns continue to be a focus for workers in Japan, with the new coronavirus one of the leading causes of stress. In addition, results from the survey showed that the impact of inflation in Japan is not as significant source of stress as in Europe.
And while inflation is impacting savings behaviour globally, retirement readiness has accelerated in Japan.
Results show that rising inflation and the impact on the cost of living has influenced financial habits, in particular savings behaviours. While last year’s research results noted an increase in "corona savings" was observed globally, this year inflation has had a negative impact on people’s ability to save.
We’ve also observed the impact of inflation on retirement savings, where the number of workers globally who have delayed their retirement due to insufficient retirement savings has risen 5% compared to the previous year.
However, in Japan we found that workers continued to save, despite pressures from inflation, and retirement readiness has accelerated, particularly amongst younger workers and higher income groups. Our research indicated that fewer people in Japan reduced their savings for retirement – in fact, the research found that around one in four increased their savings.
But financial education is still needed.
Interestingly, those younger workers who are more prepared for retirement are also more likely to have sought financial advice, often seeking out money advice from friends, family, and social media sources.
While the expansion of the tax-efficient Nippon Individual Savings Account (NISA) is designed to encourage more people to save for retirement through investing, the survey results also highlighted an urgent need to develop and expand trusted financial education and advice systems for workers.
More trends for the Japanese market.
For more regional insights on employee trends across well-being, financial habits, retirement and work please visit the local site read the full report (in Japanese).
*The data collection, research, and analysis for the above markets regarding global employees was completed in partnership with Opinium, a strategic insight agency. Data collection took place between August 2022 and September 2022. The sample consisted of 20,000 respondents with the following qualifying conditions: Aged 20-75; Either they or their partner were employed full-time or part-time; A minimum household income of: Australia: A$45,000 annually; China: RMB 5,000 monthly; Hong Kong: HK$15,000 monthly; USA: US$20,000 annually; Canada: CA$30,000 annually; UK: £10,000 annually; Mexico: $4,500 MXN monthly; Ireland: €20,000 annually; Germany: €20,000 annually; Netherlands: €20,000 annually; France: €20,000 annually; Italy: €15,000 annually; Spain: €15,000 annually; Japan: 3m yen annually; Brazil: R$1,501 monthly; India: 55,001 annually; Singapore: SGD$2,000 monthly.
This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor. This information does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision, nor should it be treated as a recommendation for any investment or action.
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