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Quality of Life means different things. Each person's perception, and their reality, are entirely subjective. The HSBC Quality of Life Report, 20231 addresses this subjectivity. The survey-based Quality of Life Index considers the relative importance individuals assign to different dimensions and their self-assessment of how they score on each.
1HSBC and Bloomberg Media Studios conducted the HSBC Quality of Life Report, 2023 in nine markets globally with a total sample size of 2,250 individuals.
The data for this article is from the ~1,800 respondents in the survey with investible assets of between USD100,000 and USD2 million.
What does Quality of Life mean? Most respondents said "a healthy body and mind" and "financial security", ahead of "quality time with family", "travel and family vacations", and even "leading a happy and meaningful life". This is a recognition that physical and mental wellness, and financial fitness are foundational to being able to do the things that really matter to people. What is important to each person is subjective and for each of us to reflect on. When asked to score the importance of individual factors that contribute to Quality of Life, people on average allocated 64 points out of 100 to physical and mental wellness, and financial fitness combined. Accordingly, our HSBC Quality of Life Index is composed of these three dimensions.
Increasingly, our clients are taking a more holistic view of their well-being. We see a strong link between physical and mental wellness, and financial fitness where all three dimensions are interconnected and improvements in all three will drive an overall improvement in Quality of Life.
Lavanya Chari, Global Head of Investments and Wealth Solutions, Global Private Banking and Wealth, HSBC
There's a strong link between these three dimensions. Exercise is recognised as a sound investment in health. Recent research shows that exercise is more beneficial for conditions such as anxiety and depression than even psychotherapy or medications2.
From the Quality of Life Index, we find those who rate themselves as physically fit are 9.3 times more likely to score above average on mental wellness versus those who consider themselves physically unfit.
Despite the adage “money can’t buy happiness,” we’re all intuitively aware that financial security can improve peace of mind. There’s even scientific evidence that suggests money can buy peace of mind - up to a point. This conclusion is consistent with the Quality of Life Index. Those who rate themselves as financially fit are 4.3 times more likely to score above average on the mental well-being scale.
The Quality of Life Index for 2023 across all respondents stands at 75 out of a maximum 100 points. Individual dimension scores that contribute to the overall score are 82 for financial fitness, 73 for physical wellness and 70 for mental wellness.
The Quality of Life Index across the nine different markets is 75. See how the markets breakdown below:
On average, individuals in the nine markets covered in our survey3 say they need USD1.17 million to have a good quality of life for the next 5 to 10 years.
Those living in Emerging markets4 are more aggressive in their financial goals than their peers in Developed markets for several reasons:
Individuals living in Emerging markets have more diverse sources of wealth, such as profits from businesses and rental income, versus those in the Developed markets who rely more on salaries.
The percentage of Emerging market individuals who want to invest to start or expand businesses (31%) is more than double the percentage for Developed markets (14%). Today, there are many start-up financing options available – from angel investors to crowdfunding, venture capital and business loans. Investigate and evaluate the pros and cons of each source to ascertain the most appropriate option for your circumstances.
Providing a good education for children is often a high priority. Parents in Emerging markets are more likely (31%) to view paying for education as an important financial goal, versus those in Developed markets (24%). Additionally, 10% in Emerging markets are even planning for their grandchildren’s education. If you plan to pay for your child’s education, put together an education savings plan that is based on a clear evaluation of the amounts required in each year, and the specific time frames involved.
3Respondents for the survey were individuals with investible assets of between USD100,000 and USD2 million.
4Developed markets covered were US, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Mexico, Malaysia, UAE, mainland China, and India were classified as Emerging markets.
It’s important to achieve a balance between physical and mental wellness, and financial fitness, to enjoy a higher Quality of Life. Wherever possible you should seek to diversify your income sources.
Do your own assessment of how you perform on the individual dimensions of Quality of Life and invest time and effort in addressing the gaps.
While money doesn't guarantee happiness, financial stability contributes to overall wellness. Work towards achieving financial fitness.
Tailor your financial plans for your specific goals and aspirations, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. Review your financial goals and performance regularly, either with your financial adviser or by using one of the many online tools available.
For more information about Quality of Life Report, visit internationalservices.hsbc.com/qualityoflife
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