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New York Life finds Northeasterners are feeling hopeful, eager to adapt to the next normal – and ready to take action on their finances.

In order to better understand how people in the U.S. are experiencing the emotional and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Life asked 2,200 adults in late March 2020 and again in early and late April, a range of questions about how their emotions connect to their financial outlook.
Data was broken out by a number of demographics, including region, revealing some key findings about how people are responding here in the Northeast.
As the curve flattens, positivity in the Northeast is rising
The Northeast has been one of the regions hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But New York Life data shows Northeasterners are showing their characteristic resilience, and are feeling more hopeful, less scared and eager to adapt to the next normal.
States across the Northeast have undertaken concerted efforts to contain the virus and flatten the curve — and that’s had a big impact on how people feel. The proportion of Northeasterners feeling scared fell from 62% when we first polled them in late March to 51% in late April. Meanwhile, hopefulness is on the rise, climbing from 50% to 56% over the same period. However, the most prevalent feeling is restlessness – with 66% of Northeasterners now eager to get out and do more of their normal day-to- day activities.

Finance is becoming a bigger focus for many in the region
Recent events have made people across the region re-evaluate many aspects of their lives – including their financial strategy. In late April, 70% of Northeasterners said the coronavirus had made them think about their finances more – up from 58% earlier in the month.
For many, that’s meant thinking more about financial security in the long-term. By late-April, 37% of Northeasterners said retirement planning had become more of a priority, up from 24% in late-March. While 30% of those polled say they are saving less for retirement, some are seeking guidance on what to do. Around a quarter (22%) of Northeasterners, for example, say guidance on saving for retirement would make them feel more confident right now.
Caring for aging relatives is also a growing concern
The long-term well-being and care of older relatives is another major focus for people in the Northeast. In every wave of our survey, two-thirds of respondents in the region have said COVID-19 has made them think more about their aging family members. In addition, the proportion of respondents who believe they’re more likely to have to care for an aging relative as a result of the pandemic has risen sharply – from 23% in late-March to 32% in late-April.
But only a third of respondents in the Northeast say they feel confident about caring for an aging relative. This suggests some additional planning will be beneficial for families to cope with the impact of the virus on more vulnerable family members.
Northeasterners ready to take action on their finances
The pandemic has raised new and urgent financial and family concerns for many people in the Northeast, as well as across the country, but the New York Life survey shows that Northeasterners are aware of these issues – and are increasingly ready to take steps to address them. The percentage of survey respondents in the region who said they are likely to revisit their financial strategies leapt from 49% in late-March to 70% in late-April – and those saying that COVID-19 has made them more likely to seek professional financial guidance has grown from a quarter to a third.
As Northeasterners look ahead to what will become the next normal, it’s clear that further challenges may lie ahead. The good news is that a sound financial strategy, created with the support of a local financial professional, can offer greater peace of mind in these uncertain times.
This material is provided to help you better understand your clients. However, every individual conversation you have must be based on the client’s unique situation.
This educational, third-party article is provided as a courtesy by Michael Damon, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Michael Damon at 508-321-2101.

Graphic: How Northeasterners are feeling compared to the rest of the US
Wave    Hopeful    Restless    Scared
Northeast - Late March    50%    59%    62%
Northeast - Early April    54%    60%    58%
Northeast - Late April    56%    66%    51%
Whole of US - Late April    57%    60%    46%
Source: New York Life, 2020