If Australians are anything like their Kiwi cousins, then the COVID-19 pandemic may well have turned them significantly more financially conservative and worried.
Because that is the bottom line of research undertaken by the New Zealand Financial Services Council (NZFSC) which has published a survey revealing a nation which has been clearly seriously impacted by the Government-imposed lock-down with respondents worried about jobs and finances.
The Financial Resilience Index was designed to track how Kiwis feel on five key financial indicators from March 2020 onwards.
And according to NZFSC chief executive, Richard Klipin, he noted there had been a particularly acute hit to job security, money worries, and mental wellbeing.
“By late April 50% of us felt that COVID-19 was impacting on our job security, a jump of over 15% since March, while for 45% of us it has reduced our confidence in making financial decisions, an increase of 15% in a month,” he said.
“We are also seeing COVID-19 change the way we invest, with the number of Kiwis looking for low-risk investments jumping by around 20% from March to April,” Klipin said.
“With over 40% of us now worrying about money on an at least weekly basis, the Index also shows that COVID-19 and associated financial concerns are taking a major toll on our mental health. 51% of us have had our mental health affected at least once or twice by money matters, which represents a 6% increase since New Zealand went into lockdown.”
“The index also provides a stark reminder of the challenging outlook for many Kiwis when it comes to preparation for retirement. Even before COVID-19 hit New Zealand, over 50% of us did not feel on track for the retirement we’d be happy with and expected to have to carry on working past the retirement age. We can expect these numbers to get worse in the future,” Klipin said.