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Visa Survey: Affluent Singaporeans define luxury as good health

October 23, 2013 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

The Visa Affluent Study 20131 (Study) has revealed that high-income earners in Singapore as well as other markets in Asia Pacific and the UAE have redefined the meaning of luxury in the 21st century, shunning material indulgences for the luxury of time and good health.
The Study, conducted across Asia Pacific and the UAE, looked at affluent consumers’ spending habits, priorities in life and their perception of luxury. It revealed that the modern affluent place more priority on having time to keep fit and achieving greater work-life balance.

The association between spare time and luxury was high across the region, with an average of 75 per cent agreeing with the statement. This sentiment was prominent in Singapore (81 per cent) as well as developed countries, such as Australia (86 per cent), and Japan (80 per cent). This also was true for developing nations such as Indonesia (85 per cent) and India (77 per cent). In Singapore, 54 per cent consider owning the best brands a luxury with a regional average of 53 per cent.

Almost all respondents (93 per cent) regarded staying fit and healthy as being very important in their lives. This statement came out the strongest in Indonesia followed by Japan and China. Other top priorities included having more ‘me time’ and time for their family (88 per cent) as well as increasing their personal income (84 per cent).

Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, said: “One of the most interesting and surprising results from the Study is the stark contrast between what most people in Singapore assume is the affluent’s perception of luxury, to what it actually is. In our increasingly fast-paced and cosmopolitan lifestyle, the well-off in Singapore are looking beyond material luxuries and have now turned to things that money can’t buy, such as more spare time and better health and fitness.”

Overall, the countries placed a huge priority on achieving a balanced professional and personal life, with a more than healthy average of 84 per cent.

Indonesians agreed most strongly at 96 per cent, while China and India followed closely at 90 per cent and 89 per cent respectively.

For more information on the Visa Affluent Study 2013 and for country-specific data, please visit

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