60% of US Adults Say the Pandemic Has Been Highly Disruptive to Their Finances

Staff Report

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

More than two years into the pandemic, Americans have adapted to a new normal in their financial lives – they've improved their financial habits and expect them to stick; they've accounted for emergencies and risks; and they have far more confidence in themselves than the economy. That said, financial discipline isn't at the level it was last year and personal savings have started to dwindle.

These are some of the findings from the 2022 Planning & Progress Study, an annual research report commissioned by Northwestern Mutual that explores Americans' attitudes and behaviors toward money, financial decision-making and broader issues impacting their long-term financial security.

The study finds that over 60% of US adults say the pandemic has been highly disruptive to the way they manage their finances. Among them, a significant majority (48%) say they have been able to adapt while 13% say they have not.

"COVID-19 is by no means behind us, but these findings suggest a meaningful number of people have turned a corner," said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president & chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual. "This is an adaptation story – people have adjusted to the many ways the world has changed over the last two years and have emerged with some different financial priorities, habits and points of view. But progress doesn't always follow a straight line – there's been a little wobble in people's behaviors compared to last year."