Home Financial responsibility Pandemic pushes Americans to pursue financial mobility and personal priorities, KeyBank survey finds

Pandemic pushes Americans to pursue financial mobility and personal priorities, KeyBank survey finds


Vermont Business Magazine the KeyBank 2022 survey on financial mobility, published Wednesday, found that many Americans are reconsidering their work and financial priorities, with two-thirds (62%) of those polled indicating that work-life balance is more important to them than a well-paid salary (22%). While the desire for a better work-life balance exists, only a quarter (25%) of Americans say they have experienced an improvement in their standard of living compared to 2020. These results point to a shift in mindset as Americans take action to overcome barriers and realign financial mobility priorities.

  • Two in 10 Americans (22%) have made a career change since COVID-19 started, aligning with “The great resignation” that defined 2021. More often, Americans chose to retire (22%) or leave for another role (21%). Those who changed roles were mostly younger, with an average age of 37.
  • Almost half (46%) of respondents say the pandemic has changed their financial priorities and 49% say it made them think more about how to grow their finances, especially those who self-identify as “financial experts” (80%).
  • Of those who have faced notable challenges this year (37%), three-quarters are confident in their ability to grow their finances. This is a higher percentage than those who did not face notable challenges.

To learn more about the survey results, see the KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey infographic here https://www.key.com/kco/images/2022_financial_mobility_survey.pdf

Mental health comes to the fore

After facing the hardships brought on by the pandemic, many Americans have shifted their priorities to make more time for themselves and their loved ones, while focusing on financial health and building financial resilience.

While nearly half of Americans say financial reporting (48%) and digital banking (39%) are the main areas that make them more financially resilient, respondents place more emphasis on activities that support mental health this year, compared to last year. This includes a good night’s sleep (43%), the second factor impacting financial resilience, up 5% from last year.

Additionally, respondents report that open communication with their partner or partner (35%), proper diet and exercise (30%), personal relationships (24%), and daily mindfulness exercises (24 %) are all factors that lead to feeling financially resilient. In fact, the survey found an increase in the number of Americans citing these factors as essential to their financial well-being, with an average increase of 7.2% in all of these areas, compared to 2020.

“The pandemic has led many Americans to redefine their personal and financial priorities and to place more emphasis on activities that will inspire a sense of health and well-being both in the mind and in the wallet,” said said Mitch Kime, head of consumer loans and payments at KeyBank. “For many, financial mobility isn’t just driven by the numbers on their paycheck. Instead, Americans are taking a more holistic approach to financial health by honing skills, forging relationships and cultivating the mindfulness needed to make financial decisions that align with their values ​​and empower them to live more fulfilling lives. “

“Financial experts” are also risk takers, and it pays off

Survey respondents who self-report that their financial literacy is at the “expert” level are also more likely to say that they have made a “financial misstep” or a financial misstep, highlighting a link between financial experience and confidence. Despite these missteps, taking risks can translate into confidence, as individuals are able to learn and develop their financial skills and know-how for the future.

Notably, eight in ten financial experts (79%) say they have made a financial misstep, more than any other group. This group is also more likely to identify with a “you only live once” (YOLO) financial attitude (34%), than cautious optimism (32%) and prudence (31%).

The top three financial missteps of financial experts include spending their tax return instead of saving it, reacting to market volatility, and relying on non-experts to make decisions. Seven in ten financial experts (71%) are very confident in the growth of their finances, against only 6% who say they are not confident.

“We’ve all heard the saying, ‘the higher the risk, the higher the reward,'” says Kime. “However, while those who take financial risks experience higher levels of confidence, the real reward often emerges from reflecting on these missteps in the company of a trusted financial advisor and working collaboratively to develop a financial plan. strong that aligns with its goals for the future. “

To schedule a financial wellness review with a KeyBank expert, visit: https://www.key.com/personal/services/branch/financial-wellness-review.jsp

Lower income leads to less perceived “savviness”

In a year marked by a shift towards social justice and equity, it is notable that low-income Americans consistently report less financial literacy and confidence overall, compared to those who have higher incomes, possibly due to the social determinants of financial mobility.

Nearly four in ten Americans (38%) who earn less than $ 25,000 a year say they are “not financially savvy,” compared to the 15% of Americans who earn between $ 50,000 and $ 99,000 in annual salary who report the same, indicating a direct correlation between income and perceived sagacity.

And yet, it is Americans who earn less than $ 25,000 per year who report spending more and saving less in the past year (18%). This makes sense, as Americans with higher incomes may have had the luxury of cutting back on discretionary spending, while those with lower incomes may have had to continue spending the same portion of their income on l ‘essential.

Financial reporting bridges the gap

Despite the disparities in perceptions of financial wisdom and financial confidence, Americans in all walks of life report that the main thing that made them feel financially resilient during the pandemic was financial reporting (48%). This access to financial information has empowered Americans over the past year, with about half of them saying they have become more financially aware as a result of the challenges faced in 2021.

To protect themselves from financial missteps, most Americans report that they identify and prioritize “needs” over “wants” (29%) and set a monthly budget to review each week (24%). Access to financial information is crucial in making these spending / budget decisions.

Financial institutions can play an important role in supporting and enabling financial mobility by offering tools that give Americans better access to their financial information – for example, products like the secure credit card and hassle-free checking help Americans to build credit and learn more about their finances.


This survey was conducted online by Schmidt Market Research. 1,081 Americans, aged 18 to 70, with sole or shared responsibility for household financial decisions, who have checking or savings accounts; responded to the survey between September 30 and October 2, 2020. The survey asked respondents about their attitudes, understanding, awareness and actions in financial matters during the previous year.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp’s (NYSE: KEY) roots go back almost 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest banking financial services companies, with assets of approximately $ 187.0 billion as of September 30, 2021.

Key provides deposit, loan, cash management and investing services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the KeyBank National Association name through a network of 1,000 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs. Key also offers a wide range of sophisticated merchant and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition, public and private debt and equity advice, syndications and derivatives to mid-market companies in selected sectors across the United States under the business name KeyBanc Capital Markets. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is a member of the FDIC. CFMA # 211130-1346428

SOURCE CLEVELAND, Jan.12, 2022 / PRNewswire / – KeyCorp