COVID-19 impacts Gen Z’s mental health more than Baby Boomer: RPT

Ken Cella, Edward Jones Client Strategies Group Leader, joins The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on Americans' mental health and retirement plans.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, switching gears here. A new report from Edward Jones and Age Wave is giving us an inside look at the impact of COVID-19 on Americans' mental health and retirement plans. Here with an exclusive first look at the study is Ken Cella. He is Edward Jones Client Strategies Group Leader. Ken, good to-- good to see you this morning. So how is the new retirement different from, let's say, my parents' retirement?

KEN CELLA: Good morning, Brian. Yeah, the new retirement is different in a couple of ways. We've done this research with 9,000 people all across North America, and people are thinking about retirement differently. We need to think about it.

They're no longer thinking about retirement as, you know, that time that you just relax and take it easy. People are looking at it as a whole new chapter in life, really a new beginning and a place to find their purpose. Actually, 55% of people in the US answered the survey that way, 51% in Canada, that it's a whole new beginning.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Ken, talk to us about how this can be different generationally speaking when it comes to the pandemic and mental health. It looks to me, when you look at your results, that baby boomers may be handling things a little bit more effectively than, say Gen Z or millennials.

KEN CELLA: That's exactly right. While you might think about older adults, they're not in quite as good of physical health, but the study really showed us that they're actually in better mental health than younger people.

And so the pandemic has had some interesting effects. It's certainly pulled people together with the family. When they've done that, they've started to have more conversations about their finances, about retirement. And so while that family effect is changing and everybody's definition of family is changing, you know, the stresses are very different depending on the generation. And again, what's interesting in this study is that the older generation is really having a better time psychologically.

You know, one other interesting fact is that in this study we asked what's the biggest fear that you have from a health perspective? The number-one fear that people have is Alzheimer's, so it connects right back to that physical and mental health.

BRIAN SOZZI: Ken, what's the biggest financial worry among retirees right now?

KEN CELLA: You know, for our retirees, their biggest question is can they live their purpose? What this study found is that people are-- you know, they're interested in a lot of things-- their health, their family. Purpose was the third thing that really popped up, and finances was number four. So no surprise, right? Financial resources are the means to the end of what people wanted to know is, do I have enough not only just to have my livelihood but also to do the things that I'm passionate about-- to interact with my family in the way that I want to, whether that's travel?

And so what people are finding as they enter this new chapter is that they want to have a purpose, and they want their finances to work for them, actually enable that and enable the kind of well-being in their life that they've always wanted to have. That's the real insight about this new chapter. People really want to know who can help them do that.

And, you know, financial advisors are all across our country, and I think they're doing a great job. So shoutout to financial advisors on Zoom calls connecting with clients virtually. That's the kind of help that we know people need.

BRIAN SOZZI: All right, let's leave it there. Ken Cella, Edward Jones client strategies group leader, you definitely got me thinking about retirement. I'm about 60 years away from retirement. Nonetheless, good survey here.

KEN CELLA: Thank you.