What has changed for consumers?
Metia, a Global Marketing Group, surveyed 1,380 adults, spanning ages from 18 to 75+, and revealed how COVID has affected financial plans, goals, and attitudes. According to The Post-Crisis Consumer, Metia’s report, here are three priorities that have changed since COVID.
1.) Retirement dates have been altered1.
The pandemic has been a stark reminder that, despite our best efforts, we don’t always control when we retire or why we retire. In fact, since the arrival of COVID-19:
- 27% of respondents are now planning on retiring later.
- Men are more likely to say they now plan on retiring later.
- Consumers who are confident discussing finances are also more likely to plan on retiring later.
- Consumers with financial professionals are less likely to plan on retiring later.
2.) There is a renewed focus on family, relationships, and connection2.
Many people are finding that quarantining, with or without loved ones, has renewed a focus on the role that connection plays in their lives. This renewed focus has shifted many consumers from a mindset of taking care of “me” to taking care of “us,” and this permeates their thoughts around financial planning as well, realizing that they need to be incorporating family members into financial planning discussions.
- 38% of respondents said they had increased financial planning discussions with family members. Younger respondents were more likely to say they were having more discussions, suggesting they were perhaps being pulled into discussions for the first time.
- 58% of respondents stated they had been having more frequent "taking care of us" conversations, especially focused on the following topics:
- 19% had a new or renewed focus on updating a will or estate plan.
- 15% reported increased conversation and focus on supporting adult children.
- 11% said they have increased their financial support of extended family members.
These "taking care of us" responses became stronger for respondents in the oldest age groups:
- 26% reported updating a will or estate plan.
- 17% reported increasing their support of adult children.
- 14% reported increasing their financial support to extended family members.
3.) Shift from long-term planning to short-term goals3.
According to the survey, pandemic-related financial concerns are more urgent than long-term planning. When asked what they want from their advisors, consumers stated:
"Present me with an accurate picture of my current status."
"Make me feel calm and confident."
"Present me with all the options."
"What's my status? How badly has my portfolio been impacted?"
On a high level, the post-crisis reality check reveals that some consumers seek to retire later, many have revisited the importance of renewing connections with family, and there is a general shift in emphasis from long-term planning to focusing on short-term goals.
From a financial perspective, the risks have not disappeared, but they are better understood in this “post-crisis reality” period.
For more details on the Metia "Post-Crisis Consumer" Report, click here.