25 May 2020

Half of New Zealanders worried about finances - survey

3:47 pm on 25 May 2020

There has been a steady decline in how New Zealanders feel about their financial well-being since the Covid-19 crisis began.

Wallet with no money.

Photo: 123RF

The Financial Resilience Index has found half were worried about job security, money and mental well-being in late April compared with 15 percent prior to the March lockdown.

"We are also seeing Covid-19 change the way we invest, with the number of Kiwis looking for low-risk investments jumping by around 20 percent from March to April," chief executive of the Financial Services Council Richard Klipin said, adding 45 percent were less confident about making financial decisions, compared with 15 percent in March.

He said 40 percent worried about money on at least a weekly basis, while 51 percent reported it had affected their mental health at least once or twice, compared with 6 percent before the lockdown.

"There is no getting away from the scale of this challenge, especially with the worsening economic outlook, but as an industry we are committed to doing what we can to help New Zealanders improve their financial resilience."

Klipin said it was particularly concerning for those nearing retirement, with more than half feeling they were not on track to retire and expected to continue working past the retirement age.

"We can expect these numbers to get worse in the future.

"Overall the findings of the first Financial Resilience Index paint a challenging picture of our financial resilience as a nation and one that we know is likely to worsen in coming months."

The index surveyed 2000 New Zealanders' views on five key financial resilience indicators carried out by CoreData, with subsequent rounds to be released in coming months.

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