The FINANCIAL — Forty is this week's happy number. As an experienced Al Barsha-based cyclist, it's great to see Emirati pride and passion communicated through a range of ways The nation's flag can be hung or a car can be adorned, told gulfnews.
Forty years on, what do Emiratis have to be passionate about? A lot.
Al Barsha is a microcosm of the UAE: big houses, wide roads, clean streets. Now add in the weather, and you have very good reason to fly the flag. Translated into fin-ancial-speak, the UAE has the fifth highest gross domestic product per capita in the world, according to the IMF.
Whichever way you look at the numbers, the figures help endorse the rumours: The UAE is a comparatively rich and peaceful place. It is easy place to live.
Nevertheless, expatriates should not expect everything on a plate! If your UAE employer is providing "the plate" during your working life: great. Good for you. An above-average income, so what more do you want? The risk is complacency about the future.For expats one of the biggest considerations is retirement planning. Comfort today, but what of the future: will you be the "retired lady and gentlemen" of your manor, or the local old-age pensioner?
Back to that number 40. In the UK, government has just upped the state retirement age to 66 from 65. Government will say that the work force is living longer; but we all know that they also don't have enough money to pay out to OAPs.
The issue isn't confined to the UK. Longevity in the mature markets means that you have the current generation of workers being taxed to pay for a number of generations of OAPs. The math does not stack.
The connection with 40, you ask? Forty will be about the number of years you should be planning to fund your retirement planning, given that you will be finishing your education in your early twenties. Buying "things" for the next few years and then saving from around the age of 25 until you are at least 65. Forty, as the number of years to save, is the number you need to focus on to become the "lady and gentleman" of the manor.
Looks like that message is being absorbed in the US, where, last week, Bank of America's Merrill Edge business issued a report stating that 52 per cent of their surveyed "mass affluent" (defined as those earning over $50,000 per annum said their "top regrets" was not saving more into retirement plans and children's college funds.