2022 Wealth & Wellness Index

Key Takeaways

Individuals have a dwindling sense of monetary confidence – each of their private funds in addition to the financial system at massive.
Surveyed Individuals* say an individual must earn $122,000 a 12 months to really feel financially wholesome.
Debt is of accelerating concern. 49% of Individuals really feel that their debt is unmanageable.
Individuals really feel nervous about income-to-expense ratio; 37% say they’d be concerned about an unexpected $100 expense.
2022 resolutions are all about monetary well being; 37% are prioritizing debt paydown and 36% are specializing in retirement planning.

Desk of Contents

Prime Monetary Challenges in 2022
Cash Objectives for 2022
5 Steps to Construct Monetary Confidence in 2022

Learn the Full 2022 Wealth & Wellness Index


Total, Individuals more and more lack assurance within the U.S. financial system (down 2% from this time final 12 months and 12% from pre-pandemic ranges), in response to a latest Harris Ballot survey* commissioned by Private Capital and Empower. Perceived private monetary well being can be flagging; 34% say they’re “very financially wholesome” immediately, in comparison with 48% within the first quarter of 2021.

Nevertheless, typically talking, the U.S. financial system is rallying. The American inventory market rebounded heartily from its 2020 dive into bear territory. And though the pandemic has been extremely disruptive to earnings, the labor market is robust: greater than 80% of the roles misplaced to the pandemic have been regained, unemployment charges have normalized, and the Nice Resignation put jobseekers within the driver’s seat.

Regardless of surveyed Individuals’ normal droop in confidence – each at private and macroeconomic ranges – these people are, on the entire, truly financially steady. Many individuals are prioritizing their funds in 2022.

What’s extra, in response to key indicators of monetary wellness within the new Wealth & Wellness Index, a robust majority of Individuals are in a position to meet their fundamental wants. So why then is monetary confidence waning?

Attempt It: Take the Free Wealth & Wellness Quiz to See The place You Stand

Individuals Are Dealing with Quite a few Headwinds

Craig Birk, Private Capital Chief Funding Officer, believes a number of elements are inflicting nervousness.

1. The previous 12 months was typically unsettling.

Morning Seek the advice of put it finest: “Rebel. Inauguration. An infection. Inflation.” Certainly, the information that rocked us in 2021 ran the gamut from political to public well being to client costs.

“We’ve all been reminded that life is risky,” Birk says, “and that may lower monetary confidence.”

2. Many are beginning to really feel inflation for the primary time.

U.S. inflation charge rose 6.8% in 2021 – the very best improve since 1982.

In line with our survey, expense-to-income ratio is a prime concern for Individuals, with 37% saying they couldn’t deal with an unexpected $100 expense with out fear, and 47% saying they couldn’t deal with a $500 expense with out fear. Almost half of these surveyed (44%) say that earnings is the highest consider figuring out monetary well being; that is up 10% from final 12 months.

“Inflation has gone from a theoretical idea within the monetary media to a each day actuality hitting kitchen desk discussions,” Birk explains. “The concept what your earnings is or what you have already got might probably not be price as a lot as you thought might be disturbing.”

3. The explosion of wealth within the know-how sector has left many feeling omitted.

And the information isn’t just true – it’s at traders’ fingertips.

“By no means earlier than have so many millionaires and billionaires minted so rapidly. Due to social media, this wealth is way more seen than it was once,” Birk says. “For the overwhelming majority who haven’t grow to be a lot richer, there’s a pure feeling of lacking out.”

With all these mounting pressures, it’s a marvel nonetheless that surveyed Individuals are feeling constructive in regards to the future: 40% report feeling each “hopeful” and “optimistic” about their path towards thriving financially.

Maybe that’s as a consequence of their futuristic focus; as we head towards the third 12 months of the pandemic, many surveyed Individuals are focusing on monetary targets with long-term impression.

Monetary Objectives Are Prime Priorities for 2022

This 12 months, monetary targets are surpassing life-style resolutions like exercising extra or reducing weight.

“The truth that paying off debt is the next precedence than exercising reveals many are wanting to enhance their monetary well being,” says James Burton, Private Capital Chief Advertising Officer. “It’s clear that monetary confidence is intrinsically linked to general well being and wellness,”

Following are survey respondents’ 2022 targets.

For the approaching 12 months, survey respondents indicated a handful of areas of each curiosity and concern. Following are insights across the prime 4: retirement planning, cryptocurrency, debt, and wage/value challenges.

Retirement Planning

Planning for the long run is prime of thoughts for Individuals, with “retirement planning” because the monetary matter respondents most wish to study this 12 months.

Listed here are the monetary matters our survey respondents most wish to study:

For a lot of, retirement is the costliest financial savings aim of their lives. And it’s an extended recreation. The method entails:

Figuring out how a lot cash you have to to dwell your required life-style in your golden years
Devising a plan to be sure you accumulate this sum earlier than your deliberate retirement date
Following by means of till you retire, after which executing a plan for withdrawals out of your funding accounts

Get Began: Create Your Retirement Plan

In retirement planning, there’s a number of nuance and private determination concerned. Fortuitously, know-how and fiduciary recommendation can assist convey the method into clear focus. Birk gives a suggestion: “Utilizing a very good retirement planning device might be extraordinarily useful in planning financial savings or withdrawal charges, in addition to funding methods.”


Following retirement planning, surveyed Individuals are most fascinated about studying extra about cryptocurrency. It’s straightforward to think about why: Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies have dominated the monetary information cycle all through this previous 12 months (and years prior). In a Private Capital survey from mid-2021, almost 1 in 3 survey respondents mentioned they’ve invested cash in cryptocurrency. Their prime purpose for opting into crypto? 47.2% consider it’s “enjoyable to play with.”

In relation to investing in cryptocurrencies, Birk considers “the volatility so nice that crypto stays extra speculative than tactical.” He suggests two paths ahead based mostly on an individual’s curiosity, threat tolerance, and monetary scenario:

“If you’re a believer in Bitcoin or different crypto, take the time to be taught in regards to the alternative ways to purchase and personal it, and take into account making an allocation that gained’t impression you emotionally if issues don’t go nicely. Charges on most crypto buying and selling are typically excessive, even when not instantly seen. Don’t purchase and promote crypto ceaselessly; you gained’t outguess the charges. Studying up on blockchain and crypto is nice when you have the time. They’re fascinating. It’s straightforward to get caught up within the pleasure, so make sure that to all the time take into account the supply.”
“If you’re not a believer and don’t perceive it, don’t fear about it. Any given cryptocurrency might yield excessive returns or might lose most of its worth. That actually doesn’t must impression you.”


Total, debt is of accelerating concern: 49% of Individuals don’t really feel that their debt is manageable, and solely 32% are debt-free (down 7% from final 12 months).

Paying off debt is respondents’ prime aim for 2022, with private debt being the highest precedence, adopted by mortgage and medical debt.

Birk agrees that nixing high-interest debt ought to be an individual’s first monetary precedence in lots of circumstances.

Calculate It: Free Debt Payoff Calculator

Nevertheless, low-rate debt like mortgages could also be price retaining, based mostly on an individual’s general scenario and stability sheet: “Think about a future the place you may have a mortgage mortgage at 3% however bonds are yielding 4% and a diversified portfolio has a fair larger anticipated return – that’s a very good atmosphere to create wealth,” he says.

Wage/Worth Challenges

With inflation rising and consuming up some wage beneficial properties from 2021, Individuals report that their prime boundaries to monetary well being are their wage and rising bills.

Furthermore, surveyed Individuals now say, on common, an individual must be making $122,000 a 12 months to really feel financially wholesome. That’s almost double the nationwide common.

“Making extra money is nice, however as a result of regulation of diminishing marginal utility, these with larger salaries have a tendency to not be all that a lot happier,” Birk says. “Whatever the quantity in your paycheck, avoiding high-yield debt and saving a significant proportion of your earnings can assist promote monetary well being.”

Study Extra: The 50-30-20 Budgeting Rule: Is it Proper for You?

5 Steps to Construct Monetary Confidence in 2022

As an individual’s monetary life turns into more and more complicated, so does cash administration. Birk says that his recommendation for this 12 months is similar as any 12 months. Foremost, have a plan. Listed here are 5 steps to creating or furthering your plan.

1. Begin with figuring out the place you stand.

With a purpose to have a monetary plan, first it’s worthwhile to know the place you stand. Many individuals don’t know their web price, how a lot they’re truly saving, or how they’re actually spending their cash.

Monetary instruments can assist present readability to be able to take motion. “It’s superb how a lot of a aid it may be to grasp your money flows, your investments, and the place you stand for retirement,” Birk says.

2. Set concrete, time-bound targets.

When you perceive the place you’re, take a while to consider the place you’d prefer to go. For instance: “I wish to spend $50,000 in 2022, save $20,000 yearly to purchase a home in 2026, and retire by age 60.” Periodically test in together with your short-term and long-term targets to just remember to’re hitting the mark. Some individuals do a month-to-month cash date to overview month-to-month spending and saving patterns.

As you might do in different areas of life, Birk encourages discovering a wholesome stability.

“COVID reminded us that whereas it is very important put together for the long run, additionally it is vital to benefit from the current,” he says. “Whereas most individuals in all probability ought to be saving extra, we additionally see many are literally oversaving and probably lacking out on life alternatives.”

How will you have your money and spend it, too? Rigorously take into account the place you wish to park your cash for various functions: ongoing bills, emergencies financial savings, short-term and long-term targets, and retirement, to call a couple of.

3. Discover monetary allies.

Ethical assist can definitely encourage a way of monetary confidence. Most Individuals we surveyed flip to these they know and belief: household, retirement suppliers, and monetary advisors. Nevertheless, they often additionally lean on the web, associates, and colleagues.

Under is how our respondents ranked their monetary allies, each at the beginning and finish of 2021.

Whereas family and friends can cheer you on, you’ll want to take into account how your monetary plan may profit from skilled recommendation.

Respondents who work with an advisor are:

Extra prone to be assured of their retirement financial savings (70% vs. 53%)
Extra prone to report feeling very financially wholesome (46% vs. 31%)
Extra prone to say their monetary well being has elevated up to now 12 months (70% vs. 59%)

“A great advisor can present large confidence associated to each your funding method and monetary planning normally,” Birk explains. “This individual gives you the instruments and recommendation it’s worthwhile to know the place you stand and can illustrate the trade-offs between numerous selections.”

Birk says that for those who already work with somebody, be trustworthy with your self: “Are they including worth and enhancing your confidence? Additionally, be sure you understand how they’re being compensated.”

As an illustration, a fiduciary monetary advisor has a authorized obligation to behave with integrity and make selections which can be in your finest curiosity. A fiduciary whose charges are fee-based shouldn’t be paid on fee.

Are you paying an excessive amount of in charges? You should use this free on-line funding charge calculator to seek out out.

4. Be cautious of unhealthy recommendation.

Surveyed Individuals flip first to their household for monetary allyship. Past encouragement in reaching monetary targets, Birk warns that recommendation from household and associates might be spotty.

“If that is your supply, look towards individuals who have accrued wealth and been profitable over a few years,” he suggests. “Be suspicious of recommendation from those that began getting cash on one thing extra lately.”

In the meantime, the quantity of people who depend on skilled monetary recommendation (22%) sits across the identical degree as recommendation discovered on the web (21%). Sadly, many individuals keep away from skilled, personalised assist due to detrimental earlier experiences or unhealthy associations with “inventory brokers.”

“It’s true – working with somebody who’s primarily trying to earn commissions shouldn’t be prone to convey a cheerful ending,” Birk says. “Fortunately, there’s rising consciousness and knowledge on the way to discover an advisor you’ll work nicely with. At all times be sure you perceive your funding technique and the way you’re paying.”

5. Keep a dynamic long-term plan.

Your monetary plan shouldn’t be stagnant – it ought to evolve alongside your life milestones, life-style targets, and retirement horizon. And it ought to be private to you. When that is the case, monetary confidence is prone to comply with.

“If the place you stand and what you’re doing, then you definately already know the way to execute your plan. You don’t must scramble,” Birk says. “Then, you’ll be able to concentrate on what issues extra to you in life.”

For press inquiries and interviews, please contact Jacqueline Quasney, Private Capital Director of PR, at [email protected].

* Survey Methodology: This survey was carried out by The Harris Ballot on behalf of Empower and Private Capital from October 29 to November 3, 2021. We surveyed 2,006 U.S. residents ages 18+. This research additionally references knowledge from prior analysis, together with a research carried out from March 23, 2021 to April 8, 2021 with 2005 respondents; a research carried out from November 25, 2020 to December 11 amongst 2008 adults; and a research carried out from December 18 to December 30 amongst 2001 adults.

Correction: An earlier model of this text mentioned surveyed Individuals must earn $128,000 yearly to really feel financially wholesome; the precise determine is $122,000.


Need a greater solution to handle your investments? Tens of millions of individuals use Private Capital’s free and safe on-line monetary instruments to see all of their accounts in a single place, analyze their investments, and plan for long-term targets, like shopping for a home or saving for retirement.

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