New York Life’s New Year Outlook Wealth Watch survey found that nearly half of adults (46%) say COVID-19 is a factor in how they approach their financial strategy. For many, COVID-19 has shifted the emphasis from a holistic financial strategy – one that incorporates both long and short-term goals – to a more near-term oriented strategy, with many adults focusing on short-term goals like building an emergency fund (38%), paying off credit card debt (31%), and paying for a vacation (27%).

Going into the new year, 1 in 4 adults report feeling on track towards a desired financial goal or lifestyle, and human guidance from a financial professional can provide the personalized advice each generation seeks to progress closer to achieving their goals as they begin to evaluate – or re-evaluate – their financial strategy and navigate a new phase of life.

COVID-19’s impact on Americans’ financial strategies has left each generation looking for more specific advice from financial professionals, but each generation has differing needs when it comes to financial guidance. New York Life’s New Year Outlook Wealth Watch survey explores what financial guidance means to each generation; specifically, which resources instill confidence in executing against a financial strategy at any phase of life as we move into the new year.

Gen Xers in particular, report facing more financial challenges coming out of 2021 than other generations and express a need for more tailored guidance. Gen Xers are the next generation approaching retirement but report lower levels of confidence in their retirement savings and strategy.

The state of Gen X going into 2022:

  • Over half of Gen Xers (53%) feeling less prepared for retirement than their peers
  • Gen Xers report higher amounts of student loan and credit card debt than other generations, leading to lower confidence in their ability to pay off these debts
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Gen Xers report being confident their retirement savings will last their whole lives
  • Gen Xers report having a goal of adding $6,175.03 to their savings in 2022

Gen Xers have experience under their belts and are familiar with developing a financial strategy – however, financial strategies can’t operate on a “set it and forget it” framework and continuous financial guidance is key in executing against these strategies.

"This year, people are hopeful about their finances. This is a great time to put that hope into action, re-evaluating your financial strategy and setting a cadence to adjust it on an ongoing basis"

— Aaron Ball, Senior Vice President and Head of Insurance Solutions, Service and Marketing.

“This year, people are hopeful about their finances. This is a great time to put that hope into action, re-evaluating your financial strategy and setting a cadence to adjust it on an ongoing basis,” said Aaron Ball, Senior Vice President and Head of Insurance Solutions, Service and Marketing.  “Having a trusted financial partner by your side can help you get off to the right start financially in 2022 by developing a roadmap based on your personal goals and vision for the year.”

When it comes to the kind of guidance being sought, each generation reports distinct needs. Gen Zers may be most interested to learn about getting started with a 401k or other long-term savings plans; while Baby Boomers are in a phase of life when new financial products can boost financial confidence and help achieve one’s long-term goals. Specifically, Boomers report being most interested in learning about new financial products and resources when seeking financial guidance (18%).

Millennials and Gen Xers both report some overlapping interests, such as seeking guidance from a financial professional to help develop or evolve their financial strategy, perhaps due to COVID-induced changes, which Millennial’s report feeling the most impacted by of all the generations. 1 in 3 Millennials and almost 1 in 4 Gen Xers report development of their financial strategy as something they seek from financial guidance (31% and 24% respectively).

It’s never too late to get started Identifying your short and long-term goals today will help build momentum and confidence in your financial outlook.

 

ABOUT WEALTH WATCH

Wealth Watch is a recurring survey from New York Life that will track 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.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

This poll was conducted between December 8 and December 11, 2021, among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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Media contact
Jacqueline Meere
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-5301
Jacqueline_Meere@newyorklife.com

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