Edward Jones Survey Finds Despite Prioritization of Financial Wellness, Many Americans Lack Adequate Emergency Savings
News release | Feb. 15, 2023
Research shows nearly 2 in 5 Americans’ emergency funds will not last longer than a month
ST. LOUIS – February 15, 2023 – More than nine in ten Americans (93%) view financial wellness as important – yet nearly half (43%) report they do not feel financially stable, and nearly one-third (29%) have less than $500 in their emergency savings fund, according to a new survey from financial services firm Edward Jones and Morning Consult.
While financial wellness takes many forms, the survey revealed most Americans define it as having no anxiety over monthly bills (61%), having enough money to take care of their family (57%) and having no debt (55%).
Experts recommend Americans have three to six months of living expenses in an emergency savings fund, but nearly two in five (37%) respondents expect theirs to last no more than a month – with only 38% considering their emergency savings fund to be fully funded. When asked about how they are feeling about their current emergency savings fund, 28% of respondents feel stressed, 25% feel concerned and 25% feel anxious.
“It's perhaps unsurprising that so many Americans emphasize the importance of reaching financial wellness, especially given the turbulent times we’ve been facing, but our research reveals a huge opportunity for people to actually achieve it,” said Meagan Dow, senior strategist at Edward Jones. “Regardless of whether you have the ability to take small steps or big steps, most of us can be making progress toward building confidence and financial security, which starts with an emergency fund.”
Improving Financial Wellness in Uncertain Economic Times
Amid the ongoing economic uncertainty, inflation and concerns over a possible recession, Americans are thinking about steps needed to improve their financial wellness. Nearly half of the respondents (49%) say they will begin by paying off debt, while others plan to increase income (42%) and stick to a monthly budget (34%). To prioritize those steps, some are also delaying the timeline for bigger financial decisions and longer-term goals, including purchasing a home (16%), changing careers (11%) and even retirement (11%).
“Understandably, inflation and market conditions are forcing consumers to spend more on necessities, like groceries and housing, so their savings are falling on the priority list,” said Dow. “When we get overwhelmed, it's easy to put off thinking about things like saving for emergencies, paying down debt, or saving for retirement. That's where a financial advisor can step in and help, to identify how and where you can make progress – to ensure you’re feeling secure and in control when life happens.”
Financial Advisors Help Build Financial Confidence
According to Edward Jones’ research, having a trusted financial advisor can play a significant role in building financial wellness. In fact, the survey revealed that those who work with a financial advisor are more than twice as likely to feel very confident about their financial wellness than those who don't work with a financial advisor (40% versus 18%, respectively).
The survey also found that 79% of those who use financial advisors have an emergency savings fund that has at least $1,000 – compared to only 36% of those who do not use a financial advisor, making investors with outside counsel better prepared to weather life's ups and downs.
For more information and resources on how to build financial wellness, please visit: Edwardjones.com/financialwellness
This survey was conducted by global data intelligence company Morning Consult among a national sample of 2,202 adults from January 6 – 8, 2023.
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm's nearly 19,000 financial advisors serve more than 8 million clients with a total of $1.6 trillion in client assets under care in 2022. Edward Jones' purpose is to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of its clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. Through the dedication of the firm's 50,000 associates and our branch presence in 68 percent of U.S. counties, the firm is committed to helping more people achieve financially what is most important to them. The Edward Jones website is at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.