By Aron Levine, Bank of America, President, Preferred and Consumer Banking & Investments

For our inaugural Bank of America Preferred Insights: Hindsight is 20/20 Personal Finance Report, we asked affluent Americans to reflect on their financial decisions over the past two decades and share their thoughts and feelings about how their past financial decisions could help inform their financial future. The study revealed that many feel confident about how they have managed their finances over the years. In fact, many Americans have reached or expect to reach financial milestones earlier than their parents, despite challenges imposed by the pandemic. However, given the events of the past year, many are still anxious about factors outside their control that may impact their financial situation in years to come.

This uncertainty about the future and ongoing concerns about the pandemic may be why many Americans are re-evaluating their financial lives and re-committing to saving. Our report found that over the past year, many Americans took the time to get their finances in order, scaled back their discretionary spending and reallocated those funds toward savings accounts and emergency funds.

The study, that included an oversample of Atlanta residents, gave insights on retirement and lifestyle in the community. Results show that nearly three out of four (74{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}) respondents plan to or have already retired in Atlanta, a decision driven by comfort and financial stability – namely proximity to family and friends (54{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}), the belief that it does not make financial sense to relocate (47{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}) and access to good health care (36{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}). And more than two out of three (68{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}) agree that Atlanta offers greater earning potential compared to other metropolitan areas. Additionally, more than half (58{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}) say they would not be willing to take a pay cut to avoid their commute and work remotely in the future, which indicates a preference for money over convenience.

In light of the shifting economy and their renewed focus on financial goals, Americans are turning to professional guidance, digital tools and resources to help manage their banking and investing needs. Many are taking a self-directed approach to investing, while others seek expert advice through a combination of in-person help and digital tools. In addition, the report found many investors are now considering sustainable and impact investing — a trend that is particularly prevalent among younger generations.

At Bank of America, we are committed to helping our clients navigate their unique financial needs in support of their life priorities and become more informed and confident investors. Through a full range of banking, lending and investing capabilities, personalized experiences and educational resources, we provide advice and guidance that evolve as our clients’ needs change throughout their lifetime.

While hindsight is 20/20, the lessons learned from the past can help us plot a course for our future. As we look at the possibilities ahead, and set new and exciting goals for ourselves and our families, we can make more informed decisions that will empower us to pursue our best financial lives.


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