Money on the mind

The 2019 Merrill Edge® Report reveals Americans are feeling simultaneously optimistic and overwhelmed by their finances as they become more mindful of their spending and take steps to improve their financial lives.

Highlights from the report include:

85% of respondents took steps to improve their financial lives in the past year
Actions include raising their credit score (45%), paying off credit card debt (43%), saving enough money to live on for three months without an income (35%) and investing some of their savings in the market (29%).

80% feel confident they will be able to retire at their target date
80% are confident they will pay off their mortgage and 77% say they will be able to tackle their student loan debt.

59% say managing their finances impacts their mental health
56% report managing money is taking a toll on their physical health, with women more likely to feel the impact than men.

68% of Americans have put some of their goals on the back burner to pay off debt
43% delayed going on vacation; 30% buying a home; 19% having children; 15% getting married.

On the bright side, Americans are prioritizing their financial goals and taking steps toward improving their futures. However, many find managing their money today causes them a great deal of stress. The key is to find the right balance of short- and long-term planning, and always to take steps forward without placing a heavy burden on one’s current financial situation or well-being.” —  Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking & Investments

Key takeaways

Read the complete report.

Provide employees access to an advisor to help them create a long-term plan with reasonable, achievable goals.

Encourage employees to leverage the vast educational resources on the Education Center.

Talk with us about strategies that can help enhance your financial wellness program.

Source: Merrill Edge® Report, Spring 2019.

Concentrix (an independent market research company) conducted a nationally representative, panel-sample online survey on behalf of Merrill Edge April 17-May 9, 2019. The survey consisted of 1,000 mass affluent respondents throughout the U.S. Respondents in the study were defined as aged 18 to 23 (Gen Z) with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000 or those aged 18 to 23 who have investable assets between $20,000 and $50,000 with an annual income of at least $50,000; or aged 24-plus with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000. For this purpose, investable assets consist of the value of all cash, savings, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, stocks, bonds and all other types of investments such as a 401(k), 403(B), and Roth IRA, but excluding primary home and other real estate investments. We conducted an oversampling of 300 mass affluents in Atlanta. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent for the national sample and about +/- 5.6 percent for the oversample market, reported at a 95 percent confidence level.