THE PANDEMIC: AMERICANS ARE GETTING IT DONE AND COPING, TOO NEW "FINANCIAL FORWARDS" CONFRONT FISCAL TASKS AND MORE, TAKING CONTROL DURING CRISIS: HOW CAN OTHERS FOLLOW SUIT?
Will Smith is learning yoga; Arnold Schwarzenegger is polishing his chess game and the Beckham family is doing puzzles. What do these celebrities have in common with "regular people" with newly found time on their hands as they shelter at home?
A large swath of working age Americans have been exceedingly productive during this time - exercising, organizing, and working toward other positive goals. What's more, almost half of working age Americans are confronting what so many tend to put off - important financial planning tasks. A new survey conducted by PSB Research for Saturday Insurance shows nearly half of adults are likely to be creating or updating their legal documents (wills, etc.), researching long-term care options for themselves or their parents, reviewing or buying life insurance, or conducting long-term financial planning. Twenty-five- to 34-year-olds are the most determined demographic; they are most likely to be tackling their finances and other matters of work and planning during this period. "Addressing personal finance needs can be as satisfying - in multiple ways - as having an organized closet or a clean garage," said Dennis Ho, co-founder and CEO of Saturday Insurance. Experts say the benefits of challenging ourselves when we might otherwise procrastinate helps us in other aspects of our lives.
"What I am telling patients these days is that productive activities provide us with a measure of control during an otherwise uncontrollable and frightening period," relays Nina Silberman, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Fairfield, CT. "What's more, seeing the fruits of our efforts builds a sense of competence and resilience, helping us to better cope with a daunting pandemic." One good turn begets another. The survey reports that the "fiscally responsible types" are also the "all-around responsible types." Compared with Americans who are not spending more time on their finances, those tackling financial tasks are twice as likely to be undertaking other productive activities.
The 48% of Americans who report spending time on at least one personal finance task, one-third are pursuing two or three activities and nearly 40% report they are delving into all four. These are personal finance super-heroes who are not paralyzed by the pandemic, or other obstacles. How to begin? What about the rest of us who delay financial planning and other 'should do' activities? How can we move past the anxiety and make the most of this time? Dr. Silberman advises that when you find yourself procrastinating about projects like cleaning out a garage or devising a retirement plan, to start small. "Pack one box of sports equipment to give away. Or, dig out and organize one file folder with financial records. That first successful step in the right direction will lead to a next step and confidence in our ability to do more." Getting on the financial planning path "The first steps are often the simplest, like making a list of your bank and other accounts, organizing important legal documents, or researching term life insurance and getting an online price quote," said Dennis Ho. "No one starts out being an expert in personal finance," said Ho. "It's all about taking that first step to start oneself on a path toward long-term financial stability." Survey Methodology PSB Research conducted an online, quantitative survey among 1,000 members of the U.S. general population over the age of 18. Research was conducted on April 2, 2020. The sample is representative of the U.S. national population, per the U.S. Census. The margin of era for this study is +/- 3.10%. Data presented in the accompanying charts pertain to Americans aged 25-64. About Saturday Insurance
Saturday Insurance is an online independent insurance agency founded by long-time insurance executives, CEO Dennis Ho and COO Chris Cheng, based on their passionate belief that having the right insurance helps people live happier lives. Their mission is to make insurance simple, transparent, and affordable for all. They designed the Saturday Insurance experience to be different, with no commissioned agents, transparency throughout the purchase process, and personalized, unbiased advice from experts. It is a modern, independent agency that is redefining the experience of choosing the right protection for one's family. Saturday Insurance is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. CEO Dennis Ho has authored financial articles for Kiplinger, the HumbleDollar and Advisor Magazine, among others. Visit Saturday Insurance here.