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Three in five people would expect the state, their employer or other relatives to provide financial support to their family if they lost their income, according to new research from HSBC.

But reality does not always live up to expectations – and while some employers and public bodies may provide support now, relying on them for the future can be risky. Half of people admit that they would not be able to manage well financially or do not have any specific provision in place if something unforeseen were to happen, such as losing their job or long-term illness.

The Power of Protection Confidence in the future report, which examines attitudes towards financial protection, is based on the views of more than 11,000 people in 12 countries and territories around the world.

By taking simple steps now, you can ensure you are better prepared to provide for the people who are important to you

Only two in five of those surveyed said it should be their responsibility to support their family financially if they were no longer able to earn. People in the US are the most likely to take personal responsibility, while those in China, the UAE and Argentina are the most likely to expect others to shoulder the burden.

Charlie Nunn, Group Head of Wealth Management, HSBC said: “It is the most natural feeling in the world to want to make sure you and your family are protected. By taking simple steps now, you can ensure you are better prepared to provide for the people who are important to you, whatever happens.”

People gave a range of reasons for not having taken out insurance. Some said that they know or fear it is too expensive, that they do not know where to start or that it is not a priority. Others said they are simply too busy to think about it.

The survey also asked people about their worries for the future. The biggest concern was their health, followed by their long-term financial security, quality of life and ability to manage when older.

For some people, family members came first: 32 per cent said that providing for their children is a major concern. An average of 8 per cent said that their pets are among the things in life that they worry about most.

Read the full report The Power of Protection Confidence in the future (13-page PDF, 6.4MB).

Preparing for the future
The Power of Protection Confidence in the future report identified four actions that may help people to better prepare for the future:

1. Identify your biggest concerns
Review the financial protection you have in place today. See if it is enough to cover any concerns you have about providing for you and your family's lifestyle, home, health and future, if something unexpected should happen.
2. Know your future aspirations
Think about your aspirations for the future. Seeking professional advice could help you understand what protection you may need to put in place to achieve them.
3. Have an action plan
Once you understand what protection you have and what you need, explore the options available and take action to bridge the gap.
4. Review it regularly
Employer and state provision may not be sufficient for all your needs, and your circumstances will change over time. Review your plan regularly so you can take corrective action early.

Note

The Power of Protection, commissioned by HSBC, is an independent consumer research study into global protection needs and trends. The inaugural report Confidence in the future represents the views of 11,496 people in 12 countries and territories: Argentina, China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, the UAE, the UK and the US. The findings are based on a nationally representative survey of people aged 25 and over in each country or territory. The research was conducted by TNS in October and November 2015. It was carried out via face-to-face interviews in the UAE and online elsewhere.

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