NEW YORK–(BUSINESS THREAD)–As inflation remains high and the cost of everyday goods continues to rise, New York Life’s Wealth Watch Survey revealed that the majority (62%) of adults still express overall confidence in their ability to achieve their financial goals, down from an average of 69% compared to beginning of the year. When asked to describe how they feel about their finances, 30% of Americans are “unsure” and 29% are “anxious,” but nearly 1 in 3 (28%) are “hopeful,” findings which are somewhat in line with the sentiments of earlier this year, when 28% of adults were “unsure”, 22% were “anxious” and nearly 2 in 5 (39%) were “hopeful” .
“The financial landscape for many Americans has changed significantly since the beginning of the year, and we’re seeing the positive expectations that many Americans had about their finances heading into 2022 begin to fade,” said Aaron Ball, Senior Vice President, Head of Insurance. Solutions, Service and Marketing, New York Life. “Our research found that macroeconomic factors, including inflation (65 percent), health care costs (34 percent), and the national economic recovery (32 percent) are the factors Americans report as having the most impact on their personal sense of financial security. Three-quarters of respondents report that inflation has affected short- or long-term financial strategies, and nearly 9 in 10 adults (89%) are concerned about a possible economic downturn in the US.”
Americans continue to prioritize short-term financial goals
By mid-year, top financial concerns have shifted from long-term to near-term priorities, a shift from just a few months ago, when a majority (65%) of respondents prioritized their long-term financial goals time limit. . Americans now report that their current concerns are paying daily expenses such as groceries and gas (39%), monthly bills (36%) and personal financial emergencies (24%). Respondents also reported taking an average of $616.73 out of their savings to cover higher everyday costs.
Top financial goals that respondents continued to make progress on this month included developing and maintaining a financial budget (54%), month-to-month night spending (46%), and eliminating debt (44%) . To cut back on spending, nearly half (45%) of Americans are cutting back on dining out and ordering out at restaurants, cutting back on travel and vacations (39%) and cutting back on attending events (37%). Nearly half (47%) of adults said they have recently made progress on saving for retirement, but 32% say they have not made progress on that financial goal.
“Americans are certainly incorporating the economic environment into their short-term financial strategies by reducing discretionary spending. Fortunately, we’re still seeing many adults maintain current financial habits over the past two months, including investing in the stock market (30%) and spending on home improvements (25%),” Ball continued.
Feelings and priorities differ by population
Younger generations are less confident today than they were six months ago that they will be able to retire at their desired age (Gen. Zers: 64% vs. 75%; Millennials: 62% vs. 74%). The ability to afford a home is a top financial concern for Gen Zers (22%) and Millennials (21%). Mental health is a concern for 36% of Gen Zers and 32% of Millennials, compared to 23% of all adults. Gen Zers (82%), Millennials (67%) and men (70%) are more likely to trust that their retirement savings will last their lifetime, compared to other demographic groups. Baby boomers (66%) and men (68%) are more confident in their ability to achieve their financial goals compared to other demographic groups. 58% of parents sought financial advice in the past month compared to 42% of non-parents.
Despite declining confidence, finances remain relatively strong and most people have reported a recent financial bright spot
More than half (59%) of adults have recently experienced financial bright spots, including paying off debt (19%), going away or booking a vacation (18%), and contributing to savings or a fund emergency (17%). Although confidence has declined since January, a majority (64%) of adults expect their retirement savings to last a lifetime.
“Members of all generations face difficult financial headwinds, and as a result, we’re seeing a growing interest in financial guidance, especially among Gen Zers and Millennials. In fact, more than half of respondents from these groups (65% of Gen Zers and 56% of Millennials) have used financial advice in the past month,” Ball said. “Regardless of the economic environment, partnering with a trusted financial professional is critical to ensuring short- and long-term financial goals can be met.”
ABOUT WEALTH WATCH
Wealth Watch is a recurring New York Life survey that will track Americans’ financial goals, progress toward those goals, and feelings about their ability to secure their financial future, identifying key emerging themes and trends on topics such as retirement planning, paper. of protection-oriented solutions and the importance of financial guidance.
This survey was conducted between June 23 and June 24, 2022 among a national sample of 2,210 adults. Interviews were conducted online, and data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, education level, age, race, and region. The full survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
ON NEW YORK LIFE
Life Insurance Company of New York (www.newyorklife.com), a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States1 and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Headquartered in New York City, the New York Life family of companies offers life, retirement income, investment and long-term care insurance. New York Life has the highest financial strength ratings currently assigned to any US life insurer from the four major credit rating agencies2.
1 Based on earnings reported by “Fortune 500 Ranked Within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune Magazine, 5/23/2022. For the methodology, see https://fortune.com/fortune500/.
2 Individual reviews from independent rating agencies as of 06/22/2022: AM Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).