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Financial wellbeing confidence dented by Covid-19 — Cigna study

Covid-19 has led to a significant downturn in New Zealander’s confidence around their financial position, according to a recent report undertaken by Cigna.

Thursday, October 22nd 2020, 4:37PM

Findings from the Cigna Covid-19 Global Impact Study: Resilience and Wellbeing Through the Pandemic survey revealed that Kiwis are feeling the pressure when it comes to their finances; and that advisers have an important role to play going forward. 

Almost half of the New Zealanders questioned in the worldwide study believed their financial ability to cope if they lost work was fair or poor; 41% of respondents were increasingly pessimistic about their financial situation; and job security dropped from 73% in January, to 64% in August.

Gail Costa, Cigna New Zealand CEO, was not surprised by these results.

“The pandemic has impacted the economy and knocked the financial confidence of thousands of New Zealanders, which was already low by international standards,” she says.

She says that in these uncertain economic times, good advice is critical, and that this survey can provide advisers with a useful snapshot of general economic sentiment.

“We will be using this research to support our customers and the adviser community as we work together to navigate this challenging environment and support New Zealanders with quality financial advice that will protect them now and into the future.”

New Zealander’s financial wellbeing was broadly aligned with other markets: when taken in aggregate, 49% of respondents predicted the worst possible outlook when it came to how the economic environment would impact their financial situations and living standards.

Further results revealed:

  • Less than half believe they’re in an excellent or very good position to pay their mortgage. This dropped from 40% in January to 31% in June, before bouncing back in early August to 38%. The next wave of this study should reveal whether confidence is affected by the resurgence of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
  • Over a third believe their ability to pay for their families’ medical needs is fair or poor.
  • Confidence in the ability to pay for their families’ education dropped. The percentage of respondents who claimed they were in a fair or poor position to pay for education increased from 29% in January to 38% in August.
  • Those who believe they are in a fair to poor position to pay for discretionary items such as hobbies.
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