Retirement is changing globally. This is particularly true in Japan, where for decades, lifetime employment at the same employer and a state pension were practically guaranteed. But the 21st century has brought about many changes to the country and lifestyle practices of the people in it. The modern workforce is also evolving as a result.
Companies are abandoning lifetime employment due to the heavy burden that such conventions bring. Young people are thinking more strategically about their careers, not just in terms of stability and salary, but also regarding what will help them grow professionally and retire soundly.
A recent Mercer study Healthy, Wealthy and Workwise: The New Imperatives for Financial Security , recently looked at attitudes towards financial security and beliefs about retirement. The 12-country study surveyed 7,000 adults across six age groups, as well as 600 senior executives in business and government.
In Japan, the study found that financial security is low, and people are more likely to feel stressed about their financial situation than in other countries.
It was not just finances that concerned the Japanese. Across all measures – health, wealth and career – confidence in Japan was much lower than in any other country surveyed. This is in large part because the old ways of approaching retirement – which included relying heavily on the concept of lifetime employment and the safety net of state pensions – is in transition.