The COVID-19 disaster has affected the way in which many People are in a position to save for retirement, with shocking disparities amongst age teams, gender and even geographic areas.

Almost 17% of People say they’re saving much less cash for retirement because of the pandemic, in response to a brand new survey by The Penny Hoarder, which additionally discovered that 16% of respondents are saving extra money in response to COVID-19. The survey polled 1,001 individuals in October 2021.

Geographic Variations

From a regional standpoint, individuals within the Northeast have been more likely to save lots of more money for retirement in response to the pandemic, at 44%, in response to The Penny Hoarder’s knowledge.

Males within the Northeast have been over 3 times extra prone to say they’re saving extra for retirement than ladies within the Northeast.

Folks within the South have been more than likely to report no change to their retirement financial savings, at roughly 32%, whereas 31% of Southerners say they’re now saving much less attributable to COVID.

Disruptions within the tourism business could also be inflicting a slower financial restoration within the South than different elements of the U.S. For instance, in Orlando, Florida — the place roughly one in 5 workers labored instantly in hospitality and leisure in 2019 — unemployment charges remained a lot greater than the nationwide common in 2020.

Different financial elements — together with a state’s median wages, its unemployment fee and the general value of dwelling — affect how a lot somebody can save for retirement in a single state versus one other.

Gender Variations

Males have been significantly extra prone to beef up their retirement financial savings in response to COVID-19 than ladies: 59% of males are saving extra in comparison with simply 41% of ladies.

Pre-pandemic numbers already pointed to a large gender hole in retirement financial savings. A 2019 Financial institution of America Merrill Lynch Office Advantages Report discovered that girls enter retirement with $70,000 lower than males.

However the pandemic launched new challenges for working-age ladies, particularly these with youngsters.

The price of baby care is a big monetary burden for a lot of American households.

A September 2021 survey by The Penny Hoarder of two,000 dad and mom discovered that just about 1 in 5 dad and mom say they needed to stop a job attributable to excessive baby care prices — discovering it made extra sense to go away the workforce fully than to pay for daycare or babysitters.

Ladies have been additionally extra prone to work in sectors hardest hit by COVID-19 shutdowns, corresponding to hospitality and retail. Ladies skilled greater unemployment charges all through the pandemic than males, in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since most People use employer-sponsored autos — corresponding to pensions and 401(ok)s — to save lots of for retirement, much less workforce participation makes it significantly difficult for girls to spice up their financial savings.

Age Variations

At 35%, millennials between 25 and 34 have been the age group more than likely to save lots of extra for retirement in response to COVID.

In the meantime, these with the least period of time till retirement noticed the largest slide. Almost 1 / 4 of GenXers between 45 and 54 stated they’re saving much less due to COVID. One other 27% of GenXers stated the pandemic had no affect on their retirement financial savings.

This similar age group of 45-to-54-year-olds was the least prone to amp up financial savings attributable to COVID, at simply 19%.

Saving for Retirement Is Important — Even Throughout a Pandemic

Retirement is pricey — and People have been struggling to save lots of sufficient cash for it lengthy earlier than the pandemic.

The financial turmoil of the pandemic underscored some critical lessons about investing for the long run, together with holding calm throughout turbulent markets and utilizing market slumps as a chance to speculate when costs are low.

Americans weren’t all in the same pandemic recession — and The Penny Hoarder’s new knowledge underscores how uneven the restoration has been too.

Regardless of your age or stage of life, it’s vital to place cash away for retirement. Should you’re in your 20s, beginning to save now can pay big dividends later. Should you’re in your 50s, it’s not too late. Right here’s The Penny Hoarder’s complete information on how to save for retirement at any age.

Methodology: The Penny Hoarder used Google Surveys to conduct a nationwide survey in regards to the affect of COVID on retirement financial savings. 1,001 individuals accomplished the survey between October 5-7, 2021. Survey responses are weighted so that every response is consultant of the U.S. inhabitants.

Rachel Christian is a Licensed Educator in Private Finance and a senior author for The Penny Hoarder.

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