Americans experiencing high levels of financial stress, CFP Board finds

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to batter the nation, 54% of Americans say they are experiencing high or very high levels of stress.

Health care is their top financial concern, according to a survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. in early November. The survey found that 41% of adults worry about the cost of health care, while  32% say they worry about unemployment or reduced income, 31% about protecting assets and 30% about managing debt.

“The uncertainty and volatility of this past year have strained Americans physically, mentally, emotionally and financially,” CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller said in a release about the survey results.

[More: Clients are tapping HSAs amid COVID-19]

In early March, 25% of respondents to a similar survey said their personal economic situations were worse than four years ago. In November, 34% of respondents said their personal economic situations were worse than four years ago; a percentage increase of nine percentage points.

Younger survey respondents in particular are stressed. Gen Z and millennials report high or very high levels of stress (60% and 64%, respectively), while 46% of baby boomers and 28% of the silent generation report high levels of worry.

Understandably, older respondents indicated they are more concerned about the cost of their health care, with 46% of baby boomers and 50% of the silent generation responding that it is a top financial concern. Millennials are most concerned about unemployment or reduced income (40%), and the silent generation is most concerned about protecting assets (59%).

[More: Keeping clients on track in an era of uncertainty]

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