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UAE youngsters clueless on cash
Kipp explores the question of financial education for the UAE’s younger generation: Do they really need lessons on learning the lessons of the credit crunch?
September 28, 2010 4:58 by Eva Fernandes
The moral of the old fable about the grasshopper who merrily sang his summer away while his more conscientious ant-friend scrimped to save up for winter couldn’t ring more true for our current times. While the woes of the financial crisis are sung by anyone who has a voice and used as an excuse to explain everything from the increased availability of taxis to the lack of toilet paper in public rest rooms (yes, we know), what quantifiable lessons have we in the UAE really taken away from all this?
Not many, apparently. Recent research carried out by market research company YouGov Siraj, commissioned by National Bonds, found that 74 percent of people in the UAE are still failing to save on a regular basis. Granted, the study – one of the first of its kind in the UAE – is limited in its scope (it doesn’t count the procurement of gold and property as saving), but it does beg a very interesting question: How does one cultivate a savings culture?
Mohamed Qasim Al Ali, the CEO of National Bonds, says the current phenomenon needs to be approached from a more fundamental level. Ali says “We need to inculcate an attitude of saving within society from childhood.” Among its other results, the survey found that a significant portion of the younger generation were relatively clueless when it came to matters about savings.
Which ties in with the findings of another survey. The National recently reported that wealthy residents of the UAE think they may never retire because of the financial obligations they have towards their children. Their financially ignorant children, that is. According to the Barclay’s Wealth survey, the Gulf contains the highest number of ‘nevertirees’ internationally – a term coined to describe people who continue to work in some capacity for the rest of their lives.
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