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Consumer Lifestyles: China's Grey Hairs - December 2012

“Chinese people who will be at retirement age on or before 2015 have been witness to massive social upheavals and change. In order to understand what shapes the way they behave as consumers, we need to first grasp the scope of the changes they have witnessed, and how these affect their lifestyle, place in society and planning for their futures.”

– Matthew Crabbe, Asia-Pacific Research Director


Some questions answered in this report include:
  • How significant a consumer segment are the elderly to China’s domestic consumer economy, and how will that change?
  • What are the major financial considerations that Chinese consumers have regarding retirement and old age, and how are they preparing their finances for when they retire?
  • How important is home ownership as a means of security in old age, and how are retirees and those yet to retire planning to ensure they have a roof over their head in retirement?
  • Keeping healthy and active is important to elderly people in China, but how are they going about doing this, and just how important is the health issue to them?
  • What do retired people buy and what are the key factors determining what they buy?
  • How are companies successfully marketing to elderly and retired Chinese people, and what more can be done?

Report Description:

Chinese people who will be at retirement age on or before 2015 have been witness to massive social change. Those who are older have lived through a period of history that has included foreign invasion, wars, famine, political anarchy and a shift from economic disaster to the situation now where China is currently forecast by The Economist to become the world’s largest national economy, as measured by GDP, by 2018.

Their lifestyles have leaped from real poverty to one where they are living in relative luxury. The Chinese are now able to own property, where property ownership used to be forbidden. They are able to own luxury products and private enterprises, having lived through times when owning such things could have landed them in prison, or worse. They are able to travel for leisure throughout China and to many overseas destinations that were previously denied to them.

In order to understand what shapes the way these people behave as consumers, we need to first grasp the scope of the changes they have witnessed, and how these affect the way they view their lives, their place in society and their planning for their futures.

 

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definitions
        • Provinces of China
        • Executive Summary

            • The uncertainties of growing old
              • Figure 1: Concerns for the future, October 2012
            • Security in home ownership
              • Figure 2: Current type of residence, October 2012
            • Financial planning for retirement
              • Figure 3: Financial planning for parents’ retirement, October 2012
            • Keeping healthy and active in retirement
              • Figure 4: Comparing life after retirement with life before, October 2012
            • Spending habits in retirement
              • Marketing to China’s seniors
                • Figure 5: Attitudes towards retirement, October 2012
              • What we think
              • The Uncertainties of Growing Old

                • Key issues
                  • Who are China’s elderly?
                    • Adults turning 80 in 2015
                      • Adults turning 70 in 2015
                        • Adults turning 60 in 2015
                          • The tradition of filial piety
                            • The elderly population is growing
                              • Figure 6: Decline in birth rate and increase in gender imbalance over 20 years, 1992-2011
                              • Figure 7: The population of the over-60s in China, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015
                            • Financial security is a primary concern
                              • Figure 8: Apartment ownership, by age and gender, October 2012
                              • Figure 9: Home ownership status, by age, October 2012
                              • Figure 10: Apartment ownership, by age and gender, October 2012
                              • Figure 11: Monthly savings rate, by demographics, April 2012
                            • Leaving the workforce
                              • Figure 12: Planned age of retirement, October 2012
                              • Figure 13: Planned age of retirement, by gender and age, October 2012
                            • State pensions in China
                              • Figure 14: China’s urban and rural population aged 60 and over, main source of support, November 2008
                            • How many pensioners have little or no support?
                              • Figure 15: Concerns for the future, October 2012
                            • What it means
                            • Security of Home Ownership

                              • Key issues
                                • Property is the best form of investment
                                  • Figure 16: Current type of residence, October 2012
                                • Who owns and who rents?
                                  • Figure 17: Current living situation of parent(s), October 2012
                                  • Figure 18: Current living situation, by demographics, October 2012
                                  • Figure 19: Current living situation, by demographics, October 2012
                                • Downsizing of homes at retirement
                                  • Figure 20: Number of bedrooms in home, October 2012
                                • High home ownership in retirement
                                  • Figure 21: Ownership status of current residence, October 2012
                                • Crowded house – living with the extended family
                                  • Figure 22: Relationship of people living in the residence, October 2012
                                • Choosing where to live after retirement
                                  • Figure 23: Expected living arrangements after retirement, October 2012
                                  • Figure 24: Current residence compared to pre-retirement, October 2012
                                • What it means
                                • Financial Planning for Retirement

                                  • Key issues
                                    • Financial planning for retirees high on the agenda
                                      • Figure 25: Investment planning, October 2012
                                    • Younger adults start financial planning early
                                      • Figure 26: Investment planning, October 2012
                                    • Planning for parents’ retirement
                                      • Figure 27: Financial planning for parents’ retirement, October 2012
                                    • Health concerns dominate future planning by retirees
                                      • Figure 28: Concerns for the future, October 2012
                                      • Figure 29: Current financial situation, October 2012
                                    • Public health insurance cover remains inadequate
                                      • Financial planning of retirees focuses on health and savings
                                        • Figure 30: Retirement-related investments made, October 2012
                                      • What it means
                                      • Keeping Healthy and Active in Retirement

                                        • Key issues
                                          • Who pays for elderly parents’ medical expenses?
                                            • Figure 31: Who pays for parents’ medical expenses, October 2012
                                          • How much do retirees continue to rely on others for healthcare cover?
                                            • Figure 32: Who pays for retirees’ medical costs, October 2012
                                          • How do Chinese elderly stay active?
                                            • Figure 33: Activities in retirement, October 2012
                                          • Combating loneliness in retirement
                                            • Figure 34: Help given by parent(s) in care of child(ren), October 2012
                                          • Retirees taking more time to enjoy themselves
                                            • Figure 35: Activities taken up since retirement, October 2012
                                          • What adults hope to do when they retire
                                            • Figure 36: Expected activities after retirement, October 2012
                                          • What it means
                                          • Spending Habits in Retirement

                                            • Key issues
                                              • Where do elderly Chinese shop?
                                                • Figure 37: Type of store visited for main weekly or top-up grocery shopping, October 2012
                                              • What foods do elderly Chinese buy?
                                                • Figure 38: Main type of food products purchased compared with before retirement, October 2012
                                              • What non-food products do elderly Chinese buy?
                                                • Figure 39: Main type of non-food products purchased compared with before retirement, October 2012
                                              • Discretionary spending by elderly Chinese
                                                • Figure 40: What extra money is spent on, October 2012
                                              • What it means
                                              • Marketing to China’s Senior Citizens

                                                • Key issues
                                                  • Getting on with retirement
                                                    • Figure 41: Attitudes towards retirement, October 2012
                                                  • Advertising needs to speak to elderly consumers
                                                    • Figure 42: Attitudes towards retirement, by age group, October 2012
                                                  • The leisure time of elderly Chinese
                                                    • Figure 43: Leisure activities, by frequency, October 2012
                                                  • Level of activity diminishes with age
                                                    • The elderly Chinese seeking fun in the sun
                                                      • Figure 44: Holiday travel undertaken in the past 12 months, October 2012
                                                    • What products are aimed at elderly Chinese?
                                                      • Shifting attitudes in advertising to China’s elderly
                                                        • Changing perceptions about what it means to be elderly
                                                          • Elderly Chinese online
                                                            • What it means
                                                            • Appendix – The Uncertainties of Growing Old

                                                                • Figure 45: Reasons for retiring, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 46: Most popular reasons for retiring, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 47: Next most popular reasons for retiring, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 48: Concerns for the future, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 49: Most popular concerns for the future, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 50: Next most popular concerns for the future, by demographics, October 2012
                                                            • Appendix – Security of Home Ownership

                                                              • Adults aged 20-49
                                                                • Figure 51: Current living situation, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 52: Current living situation, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 53: Number of bedrooms in home, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 54: Number of bedrooms in home, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 55: Home ownership status of household, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 56: Ownership status of household, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 57: Household composition, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 58: Household composition, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 59: Retirement status of parents, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 60: Retirement status of father, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 61: Retirement status of mother, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 62: Current living situation of parent(s), October 2012
                                                                • Figure 63: Most popular current living situation of parent(s), by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 64: Next most popular current living situation of parent(s), by demographics, October 2012
                                                              • Retired adults
                                                                • Figure 65: Current type of residence, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 66: Most popular current type of residence, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 67: Size of current residence, by number of bedrooms, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 68: Size of current residence by number of bedrooms, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 69: Ownership status of current residence, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 70: Most popular ownership status of current residence, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 71: Next most popular ownership status of current residence, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 72: Relationship of people living in the residence, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 73: Relationship of people living in the residence, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 74: Current residence compared to pre-retirement, by type of residence and location, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 75: Current residence compared to pre-retirement, by type of home, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 76: Most popular current residence compared to pre-retirement, by location of home, by demographics, October 2012
                                                            • Appendix – Financial Planning for Retirement

                                                              • Adults aged 20-49
                                                                • Figure 77: Financial planning for parents’ retirements, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 78: Financial planning for parents’ retirements, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 79: Help given by parent(s) in care of child(ren), October 2012
                                                                • Figure 80: Most popular help given by parent(s) in care of child(ren), by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 81: Next most popular help given by parent(s) in care of child(ren), by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 82: Financial planning for parents’ healthcare, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 83: Long-term life insurance for parents’ healthcare, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 84: Private health insurance for parents’ healthcare, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 85: Private critical illness insurance for parents’ healthcare, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 86: Private savings plan for parents’ healthcare, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 87: Other investment plan for parents’ healthcare, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 88: Planned retirement age, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 89: Planned retirement age, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 90: Investment/planned investment for future security, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 91: Invest/plan to invest for future security, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 92: Long-term life insurance for future security, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 93: Private health insurance for future security, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 94: Private critical illness insurance for future security, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 95: Private savings plan for future security, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 96: Other investment plan for future security, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 97: Ownership of investments as potential source of retirement funds, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 98: Ownership of investments as potential source of retirement funds, by demographics, October 2012
                                                              • Retired adults
                                                                • Figure 99: Current financial situation, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 100: Most popular current financial situation, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 101: Next most popular current financial situation, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 102: Retirement-related investments made, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 103: Long-term life insurance investments made, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 104: Private health insurance investments made, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 105: Private critical illness insurance investments made, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 106: Private savings plan investments made, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 107: Other investment plan investments made, by demographics, October 2012
                                                            • Appendix – Keeping Healthy and Active in Retirement

                                                              • Adults aged 20-49
                                                                • Figure 108: Who pays for parents’ medical expenses, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 109: Who pays for parents’ prescription medicines, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 110: Who pays for parents’ hospital fees, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 111: Who pays for parents’ dental fees, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 112: Who pays for parents’ transport to and from doctors, hospital, treatments etc, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 113: Who pays for parents’ cost for traditional Chinese medicine, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 114: Who pays for parents’ therapy costs, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 115: Expected living arrangements after retirement, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 116: Type of home living arrangements after retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 117: Location of home living arrangements after retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 118: Expected activities after retirement, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 119: Most popular expected activities after retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 120: Next most popular expected activities after retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 121: Other expected activities after retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                              • Retired adults
                                                                • Figure 122: Who pays for medical costs, by type of fees, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 123: Who pays for prescription medicines, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 124: Who pays for hospital fees, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 125: Who pays for dental fees, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 126: Who pays for transport to and from doctors, hospital, treatments etc, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 127: Who pays for traditional Chinese medicine, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 128: Who pays for therapy costs, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 129: Comparing life after retirement with life before, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 130: Most popular comparing life after retirement with life before, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 131: Next most popular comparing life after retirement with life before, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 132: Other comparing life after retirement with life before, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 133: Activities taken up since retirement, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 134: Most popular activities taken-up since retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 135: Next most popular activities taken-up since retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 136: Other activities taken-up since retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                            • Appendix – Spending Habits in Retirement

                                                                • Figure 137: Main type of store visited for main weekly, or occasional top-up grocery shopping, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 138: Most popular main type of store visited for main weekly grocery shopping, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 139: Most popular main type of store visited for top-up shopping, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 140: Next most popular main type of store visited for top-up shopping, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 141: Level of consumption of different products since retirement, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 142: Level of consumption since retirement of fresh fruit and vegetables, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 143: Level of consumption since retirement of meat, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 144: Level of consumption since retirement of seafood, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 145: Level of consumption since retirement of dairy, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 146: Level of consumption since retirement of prepared/convenience foods, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 147: Level of consumption since retirement of baked foods, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 148: Level of consumption since retirement of snack foods, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 149: Level of consumption since retirement of confectionery, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 150: Level of consumption since retirement of soft drinks, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 151: Level of consumption since retirement of alcoholic drinks, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 152: Level of consumption since retirement of cosmetics, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 153: Level of consumption since retirement of toiletries, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 154: Level of consumption since retirement of household cleaning goods, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 155: Level of consumption since retirement of small electrical appliances, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 156: Level of consumption since retirement of large electrical appliances, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 157: Level of consumption since retirement of consumer electronics, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 158: Level of consumption since retirement of pharmaceuticals, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 159: Discretionary spending, by type of product or service, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 160: Most popular discretionary spending, by type of product or service, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 161: Next most popular discretionary spending, by type of product or service, by demographics, October 2012
                                                            • Appendix – Marketing to China’s Senior Citizens

                                                                • Figure 162: Holiday travel undertaken in the past 12 months, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 163: Most popular holiday travel in Asia undertaken in the past 12 months, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 164: Frequency of spending leisure time, by type of leisure activity, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 165: Frequency of eating out at a restaurant, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 166: Frequency of spending leisure time by going to the cinema, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 167: Frequency of spending leisure time by watching TV/DVD, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 168: Frequency of spending leisure time by visiting a cultural venue, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 169: Frequency of spending leisure time by attending live sports events, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 170: Frequency of spending leisure time by visiting a zoo/wildlife park, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 171: Frequency of spending leisure time by going to the theatre/musical/opera, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 172: Frequency of spending leisure time by playing games, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 173: Frequency of spending leisure time by doing DIY/home improvement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 174: Frequency of spending leisure time by tending your own garden/allotment/grow own fruit and vegetables, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 175: Frequency of spending leisure time by using a public leisure centre, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 176: Frequency of spending leisure time by travelling, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 177: Frequency of spending leisure time by going shopping, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 178: Frequency of spending leisure time by visiting friends or relatives, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 179: Frequency of spending leisure time by study/learning new skills, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 180: Frequency of spending leisure time by doing recreational exercises, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 181: Frequency of spending leisure time by visiting a day centre, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 182: Attitudes towards retirement, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 183: Most popular attitudes towards retirement, by demographics, October 2012
                                                                • Figure 184: Next most popular attitudes towards retirement, by demographics, October 2012

                                                            Companies Covered

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                                                            Consumer Lifestyles: China's Grey Hairs - December 2012

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