U.S. adults who are now 35 or older appear to be more cautious about their finances now than they were 10 years ago.
Even though the economy is now calmer than it was 10 years ago, and consumers who were already 25 or older in 2009 are on much stronger financial footing than they were 10 years ago, those consumers report feeling more cautious and risk-averse today, according to Northwestern Mutual.
The percentage of consumers in the cohort who said they feel financially secure increased to 71% this year, from 41% in 2009.
Just 18% said this year that they feel very or somewhat more comfortable with taking financial risk, and 37% said they are much or somewhat less comfortable with taking financial risk.
Those consumers’ growing aversion to risk may be partly the result of the 2007-2009 Great Recession, according to Northwestern Mutual.
If consumers are getting to be more cautious, that could increase their interest in life insurance products, annuities and other arrangements that can insulate them from ups and downs in stock prices.
Northwestern Mutual analysts have based the new figures on results from two related surveys: a new survey of 1,289 people who were 35 or older when they took the survey, from Feb. 20 through March 5 this year, and a similar survey that was conducted in 2009.