Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are experiencing a wide range of emotions, often negative and positive ones in equal measure, and this ambivalence is reflected in perceptions of their finances, according to data released Monday.
New York Life commissioned Morning Consult to conduct two online surveys among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The first survey was fielded March 23–24, the second April 9–10.
The March results showed that respondents’ strongest emotion was worry, followed closely by feeling loved.
Fifty-four percent reported feeling scared, and 51% hopeful; 56% had feelings of sadness, balanced by 49% who had a sense of connectedness.
Fifty-eight percent also said they had been feeling strongly reflective.
Unsurprisingly, the data revealed that positive feelings were linked to long-term financial confidence. Fifty-six percent of survey participants who said they felt hopeful also said they felt confident that their retirement savings could last for the rest of their lives.
This compared with 44% who reported current feelings of restlessness, worry, anger, sadness or fear. But even the hopeful were experiencing near-term anxiety.
“COVID-19 has impacted absolutely every aspect of our lives and our research shows that Americans are anxious and hopeful in equal measure and these emotions are coloring how they feel about their finances,” Aaron Ball, head of insurance solutions at New York Life, said in a statement.
“The key is to stay focused on what you can do now to protect the health, safety and financial future of yourself and your loved ones and to seek help from a trusted professional to develop a strategy.”
Forty-seven percent of baby boomers in the March survey and 53% in April expressed confidence that their retirement savings would last the rest of their lives.
However, boomers were the least confident generation about the status of their savings overall, with 39% feeling less confident in March than in February, and 40% feeling less confident in April than in March.