Retirement and COVID-19: The importance of a retirement roadmap

Generation of three women spending time together.

Dylan Huang   SVP, Head of Retail Annuities


The current global pandemic, and resulting economic impact, has caused us to examine many aspects of our daily lives.

From our health to our finances, we can’t help but question if we’re doing all we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. One important lesson many of us are learning (the hard way), is that preparedness is critical because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.


When it comes to retirement, being “financially prepared” entails different things for different people.

Despite these varying outlooks, many Americans seek a common retirement goal: to have a reliable income that enables you to enjoy the lifestyle you want. Determining a retirement strategy is more than just accumulating assets—it’s about having a roadmap to create a reliable income stream and being able to cover unanticipated costs. This approach can provide you with more freedom, stability and peace of mind.


To deepen our understanding of consumers’ feelings about their finances during COVID-19, New York Life conducted a poll of Americans in late March and early April.

We learned that, while not surprising, people in different stages of their lives feel differently about their financial preparedness.

For those nearing retirement, the current economic outlook could have different implications than those for Gen X or Millennials.

The confidence level among different generations about their retirement savings lasting them the rest of their lives is as follows:



confidence level

Gen X


confidence level



confidence level

A key reason Boomers may be feeling better about their long-term financial prospects is that they’re more likely than other generations to have a retirement strategy in place. In our early April poll, more than half (54%) said they had a retirement plan prior to COVID-19, compared to 45% of Gen X and 31% of Millennials.A greater disparity in attitudes emerge when we look at how this situation has impacted one’s willingness to re-evaluate their financial plans. Boomers feel confident in their retirement plans, with just 32% saying they would likely create or re-evaluate their financial strategy as a result of the COVID-19 environment, compared to 58% of Millennials who say they are likely to act to re-evaluate their strategies.


A clear financial strategy

While younger generations haven’t had as much time to prepare as their older counterparts, the research demonstrates the emotional and tangible benefit of being deliberate about financial preparedness and having a clear strategy that can help you achieve your retirement planning goals. For those of you who don’t yet have a retirement strategy in place, it’s not too late to get started. For those who have already taken steps to safeguard your financial future, now is an opportunity to revisit your plans if your circumstances or retirement goals have shifted. By working with a trusted financial professional, you can better prepare for the uncertainties of life and take important steps towards building a more secure retirement.

Dylan Huang

About the author

Dylan Huang is senior vice president and head of retail products at New York Life, with oversight across life insurance, annuity, disability income, long-term care, business solutions, investments, and wealth management solutions. In addition, Mr. Huang is a member of various senior management committees, including the Product Approval, Capital Investment, Asset-Liability, and Operating Expense Committees.

Mr. Huang began his career at New York Life in 2001 and advanced to leadership roles of increasing scope in the company's Life Insurance, Annuities, Agency, and Corporate Finance divisions. He is a recognized thought leader in the retirement industry for product development, patents, and award-winning retirement research and is frequently sought by members of the media for his insights on retirement topics. In 2021, Mr. Huang received the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award from the Asian American Business Development Center.

Mr. Huang is a member of The American College's advisory boards for its Center for Retirement Income, which elevates retirement income planning knowledge of financial service professionals to improve retirement security for Americans, and its Granum Center for Financial Security, which strengthens the financial services industry through knowledge and insight that professionals can use to help their clients achieve financial security. He also sits on the board of Virtual Enterprises International, an organization dedicated to providing middle and high school students with immersive business and entrepreneurial experiences.

Mr. Huang is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia.

The surveys were conducted among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The surveys fielded first March 23-24, 2020, and again April 9-10, 2020, were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.