The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of our lives, including how we retire. Stoppage of services caused a freefall in the stock market, leaving many seniors wondering how their retirement will look. To better understand the financial challenges facing older Americans during the coronavirus market downturn, AAG, the nation’s leading home equity solutions provider, conducted the COVID-Market Survey Series.
AAG surveyed two separate groups, each comprising more than 700 seniors (60+) in March and April 2020, to determine the extent of the economic impact from COVID-19 on their lives and retirement outlooks. The survey revealed several economic fault lines causing varying degrees of concern among older Americans. The survey also provided insights into some of the tools and defenses, both traditional and non-traditional, that seniors plan to use to keep their retirements on track.
AAG COVID-Market Survey Series Results:
Seniors have an overall concern for their future. In April, 87.5% of seniors answered that they had varying levels of concern about their retirement (from slightly to extremely) due to current market conditions. Roughly, 40% in both March and April said they were “very” or “extremely” concerned.
Seniors believe their retirement life will change. In March, over 81% of participants felt the current market would at least “slightly” affect their retirement lifestyle. In April that number remained nearly the same at 79%, with 25% describing the level of impact as “very” or “extremely.”
Most seniors don’t have a large amount of funds in their retirement portfolios. In March, 26% of participants answered that they had less than $100,000 in their retirement portfolio, but in April that number grew to 43%.
Seniors remain confident that they have enough funds to ride out the market crash despite being concerned. In April, 89% were confident that they had enough available funds to ride out the market downturn. However, the level of confidence among seniors who answered they were “extremely” or “very” confident dropped from 41% in March to 34% in April.
Despite the potential threat that the pandemic poses to the retirement portfolios of older Americans, nearly 95% of participants are not considering selling any of their assets to fund their retirement needs.
When asked what strategies they planned to use to improve their finances during retirement, nearly half (48.8%) of all respondents in April said they planned to boost their “emergency fund,” although it was unclear where these funds would come from.
In March, 13% stated that they would consider a reverse mortgage loan if it would allow their portfolio to recover. In April, the response was 19.5%, a jump of more than 6 percentage points. Awareness is building among seniors that a reverse mortgage loan could serve as a viable solution for their retirement needs.
AAG conducted the 2020 COVID-Market Survey Series in two stages with roughly 700 participants in each stage. The first survey was issued on March 17, the day after the DOW fell by nearly 13% and the follow-up survey was issued on April 15. The survey was conducted on a digital platform so that participants from all regions of the Untired States could answer from the safety of their homes. Participants were asked questions in a variety of ways from simple yes-or-no answers, to describing their beliefs on issues from “not at all” to “extremely.” All participants were selected randomly with age being the only qualifying factor.
In times like these, AAG is here to help older Americans achieve the retirement they deserve. We help seniors navigate into and through retirement by responsibly utilizing their home equity. Financial solutions like a reverse mortgage line of credit can work as a safeguard for older Americans’ retirements and help preserve their lifestyle in times of financial uncertainty, such as these. No matter what the situation, AAG is here to help our customers find the best solution for their retirement.
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