What You Need to Know
- A Nationwide survey found 69% of participants see another pandemic in their lifetime.
- The vast majority of respondents say they didn't change their retirement plans due to the pandemic.
- Higher inflation and Social Security depletion were two key concerns.
A majority of U.S. adults — 69% — think there will be another pandemic in their lifetime, and think that prioritizing self-care and mental health now will help them save on health care in the future, according to a new survey by Nationwide, which looked at the health, financial and retirement factors that most worry millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers.
In addition, 60% said they were “terrified” of what a global health care crisis might do to their retirement plans, and 68% believed there would be a market crash in the next five years, according to the online survey of 1,817 adults 25 and older. The Harris Poll conducted the survey between Aug. 5 and Aug. 24.
Also, 89% of those surveyed believed that health and wellness were their top priority. Indeed, 65% agreed with the statement that “years from now, I’ll be saying that I wish I would have taken better care of my health.”
A majority of those surveyed, 71%, have received the COVID-19 vaccine, while another 9% plan to get one. However, 20% do not plan on getting one, and their reasons include concern about the vaccine’s safety (47%), lack of trust in government (28%) and lack of trust in the vaccine manufacturers (26%). Fifteen percent said they were not concerned about the risk of contracting COVID-19.
What Your Peers Are Reading
The survey focused on health factors, however several questions looked at the state of retirement savings and how it’s related to health factors. For example, 53% of participants stated they worry more about their financial stability now than they did before the pandemic. This was especially prevalent among millennials, of whom 67% stated they were more worried versus 40% of baby boomers.
Other findings include:
- As a result of the pandemic, 14% dipped into an emergency fund, 26% paid off debt faster, and 31% slowed down or paused payments on student loans.
- Of those surveyed, 35% participated in a health savings account plan. Most of those, 61%, plan to use it for current health expenses.
Respondents also said situations that most worried them when it came to retirement planning were inflation (36%) while Social Security running out of funds was second (28%.)
Women were more concerned about Social Security running out of funds (25% vs. 31%) and less likely than men to worry about paying higher taxes (16% vs. 22%).
Of current retirees, 39% wished they would have saved more for retirement, although women were less likely to say this than men (33% vs. 45%).