New York Life | January 23, 2024
Over half of Americans report meeting 2023 savings goals, especially those with a financial strategy; younger generations most likely to report seeking guidance from a financial professional.
NEW YORK - New York Life’s latest Wealth Watch survey finds financial resiliency among American adults, even in the face of high interest rates and rising credit card debt. Two-thirds of adults (64%) feel confident in their ability to meet their financial goals, and over half (52%) of adults saved the amount they wanted or more in 2023. Adults aimed to save $7,435.57 on average and actually saved $6,138.06 – marking an improvement from 2022, when adults aimed to save $5,437 and saved $5,011 on average.
A key factor in adults’ financial confidence and ability to reach their goals is the presence of a financial strategy. In fact:
“Our data clearly show that having a financial strategy is a key factor in not only feeling confident about reaching one’s goals, but in actually reaching them. Younger generations are reporting strong engagement with their financial strategies. Gen Zers and Millennials were more likely to report reviewing their strategy on a weekly basis and seeking guidance from a financial professional in 2023 than other demographic cohorts,” said Donn Froshiesar, Head of Consumer Insights at New York Life. “But despite evidence of strong habits, debt is still getting in their way. Gen Zers ranked credit card debt as the second most impactful factor on their finances in 2023 behind inflation.”
American adults report confidence in managing debt and preparing for financial emergencies, and over half met their 2023 savings goals – but women and Gen Xers continue to report lower levels of confidence than other demographic cohorts.
Despite high confidence levels and increased savings, American adults continue to face challenges, including higher costs of living and rising credit card debt.
“Although economic data point toward growth – and the findings of this Wealth Watch 2024 Outlook are fairly positive – consumer confidence is hovering near 2008-2009 levels,” said Froshiesar. “For a variety of reasons, adults are not experiencing a strong economy in their day-to-day financial lives, and we are seeing acute challenges among specific demographic groups. Specifically, women and Gen Xers are showing less confidence in achieving their financial goals compared to men and other generational groups, as well as more difficulty managing credit card debt.”
Despite broader financial challenges, nearly half of adults report having emergency savings and younger generations in particular are taking a proactive approach to financial strategies moving into the New Year.
“Moving into 2024, individuals report maintaining the same long-term financial goals they were working towards entering 2023. It’s encouraging to see that even in a challenging economic environment, Americans are maintaining focus on saving, managing debt and building a plan for the future. This will help them weather financial shocks or unexpected expenses in the future and set them up for longer-term financial success. It’s also encouraging to see that Gen Zers aren’t lagging too far behind other demographic cohorts in this area,” said Froshiesar. “As younger generations continue to focus on building strong foundations for their lifelong financial journeys, having a holistic financial strategy in place, and revisiting that strategy on a regular basis with the guidance of a financial professional, will be pivotal.”
ABOUT WEALTH WATCH
Wealth Watch is a recurring survey from New York Life that tracks Americans’ financial goals, progress toward those goals and feelings about their ability to secure their financial futures, identifying key themes and trends that are emerging about topics like retirement planning, the role of protection-oriented solutions and the importance of financial guidance.
This poll was conducted between November 22 – 26, 2023 among a sample of 2,202 Adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, age, race, educational attainment, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
ABOUT NEW YORK LIFE
New York Life Insurance Company (www.newyorklife.com), a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest1 mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments, and long-term care insurance. New York Life has the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies.2
1Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/5/2023. For methodology, please see http://fortune.com/fortune500/.
2Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 11/17/2023: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).
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