7 Methods COVID-19 Modified How We Assume About Cash


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The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all stop and think about many aspects of life. This also includes the money in our wallets.

Three-quarters of Americans – 76% – say the pandemic motivated them to review their financial situation, according to a recent poll from Betterment, a financial advisory firm.

Respondents in particular said that their thinking about finances had changed in seven ways compared to how they felt before the pandemic. These ways are:

  • Prioritization of building a pension fund today more than before the pandemic (mentioned by 68% of respondents)
  • Paying off credit card debt is becoming more important today than it was before the pandemic (59%)
  • No longer believing that a 401 (k) plan is enough to get you retirement (49%)
  • Believing that an emergency fund is important when it wasn’t before (46%)
  • Living in a cheap city / state is becoming more important today than it was before the pandemic (44%)
  • Aim to retire earlier than before the pandemic (42%)
  • Prioritization of the repayment of student debts is stronger today than before the pandemic (35%)

Respondents also said their spending habits have changed since the pandemic began. 37% said they were spending more, 30% less, and 33% said their spending was unchanged.

Betterment interviewed 1,000 full-time employees for the survey. The company notes that respondents are still suffering from financial setbacks related to the pandemic and that many have had to top up their emergency funds.

In addition, respondents said they would like more support from their employers in order to discourage them from looking for work elsewhere. After improvement:

“Financial benefits now have top priority over office perks and even vacation time, and employees are looking for specific help with retirement planning and student loan debt.”

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