About 80 percent of working Thais, especially among the “Gen Y” and “Gen X” groups, have savings just enough to last only six months if they stop working or become unemployed, according to a study conducted by the Customer Insights Centre of the Thai Military Bank.
The study was based on an online survey of working Thais aged 18-54 from the database of 35 million working Thais.
Only 20 percent of the working Thais have enough savings to last more than six months after they stop working, said the study, adding that the problem of not enough savings occurs when Thais start working (Gen Y) and carries on until Gen X.
70 percent who earn more than 30,000 baht a month, mostly private office workers and self-employed, do not have enough savings.
Mr Naris Sathapholdeja, an executive of TMB Analytics, noted that the main factor contributing to spending behavior of Thais was the changing lifestyle toward convenience, comfort, and luxury such as eating out at trendy eateries and indulgence in entertainment.
Meanwhile, Ms Nanthaporn Tangcharoensiri, chief of Customer Experience and Insights, said most Thais tend to spend more than they earn as evident from the fact that more than 50 percent of credit card holders cannot pay their monthly bills and 48 percent resort to installment buying and willing to be charged an interest rate.
Lack of discipline in spending has been blamed as the main reason for not having enough savings. Only 38 percent of working people save by having a separate book on savings before they spend while 49 percent spend before they mull savings; 13 percent never save 21 percent admit they have never thought about planning savings before their retirement.
80 percent of Thais put their savings in banks and more than half of them in savings accounts which offer low returns.
The study also shows most Thais are vulnerable to high risks from accidents and death from diseases, but they have a low level of protection against the risks despite the fact that Thailand is the world’ 13th ranking with a high rate of road accidents and increasing medical costs. However less than 10 percent of those who have savings and who don’t have bought life insurance policies.