Global Atlantic Study Highlights Shifting Financial Priorities and the Need for Planning Amid Pandemic

New research from Global Atlantic Financial Group found that more than eight out of ten Americans (83%) say making sure their loved ones are financially protected is important to them right now, yet two in five (43%) have no life insurance and only one third (33%) believe they have enough life insurance or other assets to protect their family in the event of their own death.

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(Photo: Business Wire)

The “Perceptions of Life Insurance During a Pandemic” study was conducted in August by Artemis Strategy Group on behalf of Global Atlantic, among 1,065 American adults to examine their views on life insurance, estate planning and shifting financial priorities.

Aside from contracting Covid-19 personally or having a family member or close friend contract the virus, the top concern among those surveyed was to ensure their family’s financial wellbeing.

A full two thirds (67%) of Americans say the Covid-19 pandemic has made them think about their own mortality, while seven in ten (69%) have reassessed at least one financial aspect of their life during the pandemic. These areas include their emergency savings situation (54% have reassessed), long-term savings and investments (49%), employment situation (39%), and life insurance (28%).

When asked how many years of income they would replace with life insurance in the event of an early death, nearly six out of ten (57%) said at least two years. More than half of those with $150K or more in household income would replace five or more years of income (54%).

Only one third of Americans had a will in place before the pandemic, but nearly three out of ten either made changes to it during the pandemic,

a person wearing a hat and a body of water: Mum-of-three Paula says staying at home has been good for the family finances

© Paula A
Mum-of-three Paula says staying at home has been good for the family finances

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the global economy hard, but some people’s personal finances have never looked better.

Since the US shut down en masse in March, mum-of-three Paula, who lives in New Hampshire, has paid off some $20,000 (£15,270) in credit card debt the family had racked up in the aftermath of an unexpectedly expensive work relocation.

The 35-year-old’s job as an analyst ended in June, but her husband is still working and she benefited from a temporary $600 boost to weekly unemployment payments Congress approved in response to the crisis.

She put coronavirus stimulus cheques from the government towards the credit card payments, as well as thousands of dollars the family has saved since their children are not attending day care, preschool or summer camp. Already frugal when it came to eating out, the family has become even more so, she says. Their one big splurge has been bicycles.

“The quarantine has been very helpful to save money for us,” she says. “We were at home, which was madness, pure madness but… I think it saved us financially.”

Savings surge

The personal saving rate in the US – an average that reflects the share of income people have put away after spending and tax payments – nearly quadrupled between February and April, when it hit an all-time record of 33.6%.

Though lockdowns have eased since then, savings remain unusually high, boosted by government coronavirus assistance. In August, the personal saving rate in the US was 14.1% – greater than any pre-pandemic time since 1975.



The rise helped Americans’ household wealth rebound to a record high in the three months to July, while overall debt declined for the first time in