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COVID-19 Forces Americans to Confront Their Vulnerability, Genworth Survey Finds

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call to Americans about their vulnerability to…

  • June 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call to Americans about their vulnerability to unforeseen illness and mortality, and has already inspired three out of four adults to make changes in their plans for the future, according to a survey recently conducted by insurance company Genworth.

The survey was designed to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ lives and their thoughts about long term care and financial security.

Among the survey findings:

  • A majority of Americans said the pandemic has forced them to confront their own (53 percent) as well as their loved ones’ (65 percent) vulnerability to unforeseen illness.
  • The pandemic caused one in three Americans to unexpectedly become caregivers overnight. These new caregivers said they had to carve out about nine hours a week, a typical work shift, to provide care for their children or older family members, or the dependents of front-line workers.
  • With unemployment at historic highs1 and retirement savings subject to fluctuations in the stock market, 24 percent said they are less confident in their financial futures.
  • The pandemic is taking an emotional toll on Americans, with respondents most often reporting anxiety (49 percent) and stress (53 percent) as a result of the abrupt disruptions in their lives and plans for the future.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, 73% of survey respondents said the pandemic has changed their attitude about planning for the future.  Among the changes they have resolved to make:

  • Improving their health and well-being (37%)
  • Planning better financially (34%). In fact, 39 percent said they were more willing to prioritize saving for the future than they were pre-pandemic.
  • Making sure they are financially prepared to pay for future long term care in the setting of their choice (32%).  One out of three Americans said they have already started taking action by thinking, researching, talking to loved ones and/or financial professionals about how they would pay for long term care services they might need. As borne out by previous surveys2, most respondents said they preferred to receive long term care at home.
  • Carving out more time for their families (26%)
  • Living more in the moment and not worrying about the future (23%)