Expert Advice: How Families Can Bounce Back Financially From Pandemic
Financial resilience is the ability to withstand life events that impact one’s income and/or assets. Some financially stressful events, such as sudden loss of work, disability, and health problems can affect people in different ways, and it is clear that many Americans have been facing short-term money challenges brought about by COVID-19.
In fact, a new survey shows say the pandemic has changed their perceptions of what’s important in life as it relates to their finances. For example:
- A majority of adults (nearly 60%) say they have experienced financial stress amid the pandemic.
- About two-thirds now want to save more, view emergency funds as more important than ever, and place more value on being resilient.
- One-third had their employment affected.
- 1 in 5 had to tap into an emergency fund.
- 1 in 4 took on more debt.
But there are strategies to help everyone achieve financial resilience in today’s climate. With changes happening so rapidly, it is clear that families must get a plan in place for a sound financial future.
Increasing retirement savings. Saving for retirement is a top contributor to financial resilience, yet 60% of respondents report they are falling behind.
Having a source of guaranteed lifetime income in retirement. 90% agree it’s important to have source of income that will not run out as they age, but most don’t know how to make that happen.
Building an emergency savings fund. 77% of individuals now report having emergency savings compared to prior to the pandemic when only 69% said they had savings for emergencies.
Paying down debt. Nearly 65% of those surveyed say they have some form of debt beyond their car or mortgage.
Shelly-Ann Eweka, Director of Financial Planning Strategy at TIAA joined me to discuss strategies families can use to end 2020 and start 2021 with a plan for their money. During our talk, Shelly shared how families can focus on long term financial planning, especially during periods of economic uncertainty, and she also revealed more in-depth details of the Financial Resiliency Survey.
About Our Guest:
Shelly-Ann Eweka has over 25 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. She leads a team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERtmProfessionals who build financial plans and provide support for TIAA Wealth Management Advisors.
Before joining TIAA in 2005, Shelly was a Relationship Manager at Chase Manhattan Bank, a Financial Planner/Workshop Presenter at Ernst & Young, and a Financial Planner at the Vanguard Group.
Shelly serves as an expert on the Woman-to-Woman Community section of TIAA.org. She has been quoted in U.S.A. Today, Black Enterprise and several financial websites. She is a member of the African-American and Caribbean Professionals of TIAA and Advanced Employee Resource Groups. She was an inaugural member of the leadership team on the TIAA Incubator Leadership Team.
Shelly served as the 2019 Chair of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission of the CFP® Board and is an Arbitrator for FINRA. Shelly earned her BSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her Certificate in Financial Planning from New York University. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Taxation program at Northeastern University and holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, 65 and Life Insurance Licenses in all 50 States.
Shelly and her husband enjoy travelling and experiencing new cuisines.