COVID-19 Makes Financial Wellness A Higher Priority

A new study (“The Pandemic’s Impact on Women” ) released in January 2021 by Fidelity brought this statistic to light: The majority of women surveyed (67%) said they are now more engaged in managing their money since the onset of the pandemic.

Julie Jason, JD, LLM is seeing more married and single, saying “yes” when offered reviews of investment goals and living expenses, and to integrating tax and estate planning with investment planning. In more “normal” times, the incentive to do this type of work was usually triggered by a life change, such as a divorce or the incapacity or death of a spouse. Jason thinks what she is seeing now is COVID-19 pushing people to re-prioritize — family finances may be rising to a higher priority.

The study by Fidelity suggests that the pandemic may be a “catalyst” for women being “more actively engaged in their finances.” It was found that “where women were already building good planning and savings habits, many say they have amplified those efforts in the last six months to shore up finances for the future. In addition, more women are also taking steps to better educate themselves (36%) and become more comfortable talking about money (35%).”

What are women doing now that they didn’t do before? The survey found that women “amplified” savings efforts and cut back on discretionary expenses; they took steps to “better educate themselves (36%)” and have become “more comfortable talking about money (35%).” In addition, 44% followed detailed budgets; 43% created or updated a financial plan; and 40% built up emergency savings.