A majority of Americans report a financial bright spot despite declining financial confidence, new New York Life Wealth Watch survey results show


Adults are turning to savings to meet rising costs and report spending almost $617 to cover living expenses

As inflation remains high and the cost of everyday goods continues to rise, New York Life Wealth Watch survey found that a majority (62%) of adults still say they are confident in their ability to achieve their financial goals, down from an average of 69% on average beginning of the year. When asked to describe how they feel about their finances, 30% of Americans are ‘uncertain’ and 29% are ‘anxious’, but nearly 1 in 3 (28%) are ‘optimistic’ – results that correspond to some extent to feelings at the start of the year, when 28% of adults were ‘uncertain’, 22% were ‘anxious’ and almost 2 in 5 (39%) were ‘hopeful’.

“The financial situation of many Americans has changed significantly since the start of the year, and we see that many Americans’ positive expectations about their finances heading into 2022 are beginning to fade,” said Aaron’s ballSenior Vice President, Head of Insurance Solutions, Service and Marketing, New York life. “Our research found that macroeconomic factors, including inflation (65%), health care costs (34%) and the national economic recovery (32%) are the factors Americans view as having the most impact. impact on their personal sense of financial security Three-quarters of respondents say inflation has had an impact on short- or long-term financial strategies, and nearly 9 in 10 adults (89%) are concerned of a possible economic recession in the United States.

Americans continue to prioritize short-term financial goals

By mid-year, top financial concerns shifted from long-term to shorter-term priorities – a change from just a few months ago, when a majority (65%) of respondents gave priority to their long-term financial goals. . Americans now report that their current concerns are paying for everyday expenses like groceries and gas (39%), monthly bills (36%) and personal financial emergencies (24%). Respondents also reported getting an average $616.73 of their savings to cover higher day-to-day expenses.

  • The top financial goals that respondents made steady progress on this month include developing and maintaining a financial budget (54%), harmonizing monthly expenses (46%), and eliminating debt (44%).

  • To reduce spending, nearly half (45%) of Americans are reducing dining out and ordering from restaurants, travel and vacations (39%), and attendance at events (37%).

  • Nearly half (47%) of adults said they had made progress recently on saving for retirement, but 32% said they had made no progress on this financial goal.

“Americans are certainly factoring the economic environment into their short-term financial strategies by reducing discretionary spending. Fortunately, we still see many adults maintaining their current financial habits over the past two months, including investing in the stock market (30%) and renovating their homes (25%),” Ball continued.

Feelings and priorities differ across demographic groups

  • Younger generations are less confident today than they were six months ago about their ability to retire at their desired age (Gen Zers: 64% vs. 75%; Millennials: 62% vs. 74 %).

  • The ability to afford a home is a top financial concern for Gen Z (22%) and Millennials (21%).

  • Mental health is a concern for 36% of Gen Zers and 32% of Millennials, compared to 23% of all adults.

  • Gen Z (82%), Millennials (67%) and men (70%) are more likely to be confident that their retirement savings will last the rest of their lives, compared to other demographic groups.

  • Baby boomers (66%) and men (68%) are more confident in their ability to achieve their financial goals compared to other demographic groups.

  • 58% of parents have sought financial advice in the past month, compared to 42% of non-parents.

Despite the decline in confidence, finances remain relatively strong and most people have reported a recent financial bright spot

  • More than half (59%) of adults have recently experienced positive financial times, including paying off debt (19%), going away or booking a vacation (18%) and contributing to savings or emergency funds (17%).

  • Although confidence has declined since January, a majority (64%) of adults expect their retirement savings to last their lifetime.

“Members of all generations are facing difficult financial challenges and as a result we are seeing increased interest in financial advice, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials. In fact, more than half of respondents from these groups (65% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials) used financial advice in the past month,” Ball said. “Regardless of the economic environment, the partnership of a trusted finance professional is essential to ensure the achievement of short- and long-term financial goals.”


Wealth Watch is a recurring survey by New York life which will track Americans’ financial goals, progress toward those goals, and their feelings about their ability to secure their financial future, identifying key themes and trends emerging on topics such as retirement planning, the role of solutions focused on protection and the importance of financial guidance.


This survey was conducted between June 23 and June 24, 2022 among a national sample of 2,210 adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, education level, age, race and region. The full survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.


New York Life Insurance Company (www.newyorklife.com), a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in United States1 and one of the largest life insurers in the world. Based at New York Citythe New York Life family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York life has the highest financial strength ratings currently assigned to all WE life insurer of the four major credit rating agencies2.

1 Based on earnings as reported by “Fortune 500 Ranked Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual)”, Fortune Magazine, 05/23/2022. For the methodology, please see https://fortune.com/fortune500/.

2 Individual comment from an independent rating agency as of 06/22/2022: AM Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).

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Sara Sefcovic
New York Life Insurance Company

(212) 576-4499

[email protected]

Nick Rourke
Sloane Society


[email protected]

Source: New York Life Insurance Company


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