Is financial security the new happily ever after? According to the Fall 2018 Merrill Edge Report it could be so.
57% of Americans say they prefer a partner who provides financial security more than “head over heels” love. The survey conducted with over a thousand mass-affluent respondents shows that this preference is true for men and women, whereas today’s youngest generation, Gen Z, is the only generation to prioritize love over money.
The report also finds that Americans are contributing more annually to their savings and investments, than they spend in a year on their mortgage, children’s education and travel.
However, as Aron Levine, Head of Consumer Banking & Merrill Edge while explains, "While an endless pursuit for financial security may be prompting Americans to save at record rates, it’s clear that saving does not mean planning." The majority of respondents say they have no monetary goal in mind when it comes to many major life milestones, including having a baby (67 percent), getting married (64 percent), sending children to college (54 percent), and putting a down
payment on a house (50 percent).
Could emerging technologies be the solution to these planning shortfalls?
Respondents are increasingly embracing artificial intelligence (AI) in their financial lives, with the majority already comfortable with AI providing financial guidance, managing day-to-day finances and making investments. And, nearly half of Americans admit social media impacts their finances on a daily basis, including their spending habits, budget, and savings.
Merrill concluded that many Americans are clearly in need of well-defined plans to help pursue their goals with more autonomy and confidence.