Key Insight: Those most impacted need guidance to attain financial success
The COVID-19 crisis has brought with it much change, not least of which is the current economic downturn. Nearly 79 million Americans, or 48 percent of the private workforce, are employed by small businesses that have been severely impacted by the isolation or quarantine of consumer groups.vii Many of these businesses have had to take drastic measures to alleviate short-term cash flow pressure and retain long-term viability. Those drastic steps (e.g., layoffs or furloughs) have resulted in economic strain to tens of millions of Americans. Our survey validates this, with 71 percent of respondents suggesting that COVID-19 has had an impact on their finances. We found this to be the case, no matter the income bracket, and across age groups.
The impact on young adults is particularly acute; the younger the respondent, the more susceptible they are to the economic effects of COVID-19. Individuals under the age of 37, particularly those in Generation Z (Gen Z, ages 18-26), are more likely to re-evaluate their financial decisions. In fact, 59 percent of Gen Zs and Millennials (ages 27-37) will put a financial decision on hold in response to COVID-19. Buying or selling a vehicle (19 percent), applying for a credit card (16 percent), and buying or selling a house (14 percent) are all decisions that have been impacted. Sixty percent of Gen Z respondents are more likely to take action to secure a better financial future, including investing in the stock market (17 percent), meeting with a financial advisor (16 percent) or taking out a personal loan (14 percent).