As 2022 kicks off, we put together this round up of research and articles summarizing how Americans are feeling about their finances, what they are prioritizing and how employers can help.
Americans are still as stressed as ever about their finances. CNBC highlights that 73% of Americans rank their finances as the No. 1 stress in life, and the average American worries about money six times a day, according to a survey by Affirm. In a recent article in Yahoo Finance, they asked, “What Are the Top Financial New Year’s Resolutions?”
Saving for emergencies is a top priority The answer comes from recent research done by Fidelity, showing how the top 3 financial resolutions for 2022, are to save more money (43%); pay down debt (41%); and spend less money (31%).
People who said they prioritized saving, the objectives are fairly even, with 51% focusing on a plan to save for the long-term, while 49% are looking at shorter-term objectives, such as boosting emergency savings or saving for a mortgage. A deeper analysis by Consumer & Society helps uncover who is most interested in a shorter-term savings priority. Over half of consumers don’t have enough emergency savings, with 70% of millennials and nearly 40% of all consumers in the US are currently living paycheck to paycheck. More astounding, 53% of those in higher-income households – those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 – had no emergency fund.
“Just 1 in 6 households report having more emergency savings now than prior to the pandemic, and those that did tend to be from higher-income households, with fully-funded emergency savings,” says Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
Companies of all sizes are considering emergency savings programs to help The team at Benefits Pro details what companies are considering as a solution in 2022:
“Some of the unsung heroes of the past two years have been the hourly workers that deliver our countless packages, cash us out at the grocery store, make sure the shelves are stocked and help us with everyday chores/tasks. And while the pandemic has been a factor in the war on talent it has not been the only reason employers have been struggling to attract workers.
Employees are finding, and employers realize, that financial stress is taking its toll and more needs to be done. A survey conducted by Even and produced by Human Resource Executive called Financial Benefits for Hourly Workers, shows that more than 70% of respondents agree or strongly agree that hourly workers need more benefits to address their financial stress. HR and benefits leaders know that the longer they go without putting such benefits into place, the more it impacts their bottom lines.”
“Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employers agree or strongly agree that sponsoring financial benefits would drive higher adoption than making employees pay for them. According to the survey, it shows employers recognize they need to strategically add financial benefits to create lasting impact across recruiting, retention, and engagement.”
Plan Adviser talks about financial wellness trends for the new year.
“Employee benefits executives have found that, in response, employers are offering several types of benefits this year for the first time, many as a result of the pandemic. Most notably, many employers are offering automatic emergency savings programs.” On top of this, “Building savings is the top goal for employees making less than $75,000."
CNBC also ran an article summarizing recent research that shows how 60% of employers surveyed are interested in helping employees save for emergencies.
With all of this in focus, it is no wonder that the number of companies offering emergency savings programs is predicted to grow several multiples in 2022, as one of the fastest growing new benefit programs, available in companies of all sizes.
There are many employee-sponsored emergency savings accounts, but SecureSave is the first driven by a purpose. We know that financially secure employees feel empowered in their personal lives and — no surprise — are more willing to bring their whole selves to work.
Just because an emergency savings crisis exists, doesn’t mean just any solution can solve for the issue. But, here are the facts. In the six months since SecureSave was launched, we’ve witnessed the following:
Our mission is to help people feel financially secure. This round of data shows that we are well on our way to helping people do exactly that.