The Fact Maker

Southern India’s retirement index rises up 3 points to 46: Max Life India Retirement Index Study; most positive outlook towards retirement among other regions

Chennai: Max Life Insurance Company Ltd. (“Max Life”/ “Company”) has unveiled the findings of the third edition of its retirement survey, India Retirement Index Study (IRIS), conducted in partnership with KANTAR, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. The survey revealed deep insights into the preparedness to live a healthy, peaceful, and financially secure retired life of urban Indians living in the country’s southern zone.

At 46, southern India’s Retirement Index (on a scale of 0 to 100) has increased by 3 points from 43 in IRIS 2.0. This increase is basis a significant movement in the Health Index, up from 39 in IRIS 2.0 to 43 in the current edition. In the region, nearly three out of five respondents highlight the significance of health in retirement, making it the top pivot for those preparing for retirement. The southern zone also has the highest percentage of people (76%) across zones who associate retirement with a positive outlook.

V. Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director, Max Life Insurance said, “Southern India has demonstrated consistent movement in the retirement index across three years, underlining the focus on long-term financial planning. The zone also exhibits greater awareness around precautionary, preventive, and curative health consciousness, leading to higher health preparedness. These findings are encouraging and signal an increasing awareness of retirement planning along with health, finance, and emotional well-being, which are gaining much-needed attention today.”

Southern India shows the most positive outlook with retirement and now ranks highest in the emotional aspect with an index score of 61, toppling the zones. The zone also tends to rely on children for their retirement corpus, with 22% indicating such dependence. This dependence has increased further from 19%, potentially impeding some retirement investment actions.

In terms of financial preparedness, while there is a gradual increase in the index from 47 to 48, the zone has seen a significant increase in awareness of financial instruments, including Atal Pension Yojana (up from 30% in IRIS 2.0 to 42% in IRIS 3.0), and overall Annuities (up from 28% in IRIS 2.0, to 37% in IRIS 3.0).

Key Highlights:

  • Proactive measures on the back of financial planning; younger generation gearing up for financial retirement: 91% of respondents say they should have started investing sooner, highlighting the growing awareness of the importance of early financial planning. Additionally, 65% of respondents, the highest percentage of any region, said they would tell their younger selves to begin saving for retirement sooner. According to 49% of respondents, one should start thinking about retirement planning as soon as they begin working, showing that Southern India is more dedicated to securing a comfortable retirement.
  • The retirement outlook is healthier in Southern India: To maintain their health, 4 in 10 people now turn to preventive health steps like doctor visits and routine medication, leading to sporadic medical needs. A significant increase from 35% in IRIS 2.0, 40% of respondents in IRIS 3.0 believe they will be fit and healthy during retirement.
  • Demographic variation seen among the South Zone: Southern India’s metros have looming concerns about retirement planning and savings (57% vs. 52% in India), but they also take the lead in retirement investments (63% vs. 55% in India). The respondents also engage in more physical activity (35% v/s 30% in India), have higher health insurance coverage (51% vs. 46% in India), and are more worried about loneliness in retirement and relying on family for financial support. On emotional grounds, 36% of metro residents are very concerned about retirement loneliness, compared to 33% of Indians.