CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Concerned about threats to financial success outside of their control, 46% of affluent Americans have been getting their financial lives in order during the last year, according to a recent study from Bank of America. The research also found that, despite challenges imposed by the pandemic, most survey respondents believe they are on track to reach several financial milestones earlier in life than their parents.
The Bank of America Preferred Insights: Hindsight is 20/20 Personal Finance Report explores more than 2,000 affluent1 Americans’ financial decisions and reflections over the last two decades, and changes in financial behaviors and priorities over the last year. The research is based on a survey of adults aged 25 and above with investable assets between $100,000 and $1 million and 18- to 24-year-olds with investable assets between $50,000 and $1 million.
Looking back over the last two decades, the study found that 89% of Gen X, baby boomer and senior respondents are satisfied with the financial decisions they have made. However, in hindsight, one-third of these respondents (34%) would have done things differently, wishing they had saved more (66%), and started saving (59%) and investing earlier (61%).
“The health crisis has caused many people to take stock of their life priorities and to control what they can during a period of uncertainty,” said Aron Levine, President, Preferred and Consumer Banking & Investments at Bank of America. “In addition to getting their finances in order, people are looking ahead at new possibilities, plotting a course for their future and engaging with educational resources and advice that will help them make informed financial decisions and pursue new and exciting goals for themselves and their families.”
When asked about the most prominent threats to their future financial success, respondents across generations cited concern about factors outside of their control, including economic recession (62%), market volatility (55%), rising cost of healthcare (50%), and the continuation of the global health crisis (44%).
Not Your Parents’ Definition of Success
The survey found that the vast majority of affluent Americans are prioritizing many traditional milestones in life, including owning a car (98%), owning a home (97%), saving their goal amount for retirement (95%) and paying off credit card debt (94%). In fact, 84% of respondents indicated they plan to achieve or have already achieved one or more financial milestones earlier than their parents – including opening an investing account (54%) and starting to save for retirement (53%). More than half of this group (53%) say they have already achieved or plan to achieve five or more financial milestones earlier than their parents.
However, when asked about the most important measures of personal success today, respondents choose those less financially focused, including good health (63%) and…