How healthcare workers feel about their finances amid COVID-19
In honor of this month’s National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week, Voya celebrates the heroic efforts and contributions of all physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, administrators and other healthcare workers during these challenging times. We recognize and acknowledge the selfless sacrifices of these everyday heroes. To better understand the impact of COVID-19 and how we could best support healthcare workers, we recently conducted a series of Omnibus surveys and in-depth studies. Here is a synopsis of what we learned.
Healthcare workers are financially optimistic amid COVID-19
In March 2021, Voya conducted an Omnibus survey that revealed those in the healthcare industry are more likely to feel confident in their own personal finances than those working in other industries.1 Earlier this year, another survey focused on participant experience also found that those in the healthcare industry report being significantly more confident than those in other industries with knowledge specific to2:
- How much monthly income they will need to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement
- Personalized strategies for drawing down retirement savings while in retirement
- Understanding Medicare costs in retirement
- How much they can spend each year while in retirement
- How to minimize taxes when converting savings to retirement income
- Maximizing HSAs for retirement
- Estimating healthcare costs in retirement
Healthcare workers are also more likely to agree that they carefully balance all employer benefit selections.
How can employers better support healthcare workers during COVID-19?
While more confident, the survey revealed that over half of those working in healthcare believe that investing in a more risk-averse manner is extremely important or important.1 The pandemic prompted more emphasis on long-term financial goals and being financially prepared in the case of an emergency. Strategies to stay on-track during this volatile time include:
- Maximizing benefits
- Setting aside emergency funds
- Generally saving for the future
In March 2021, one-third of those working in healthcare report having saved money for a possible emergency and spending less on non-essential items in the past two weeks. And we learned that those in the healthcare industry are more likely to stay with an employer if they offer:
- Ways to improve overall financial wellness
- Help converting savings to income for retirement
- A workplace emergency savings plan
- Access to a professional advisor for help managing savings and investments
Healthcare Workers Spotlight
In Voya’s latest Healthcare Workers Spotlight3, we conducted in-depth interviews with a group of healthcare workers about their financial goals, strategies and needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what we learned from two interviewees:
Meet Nurse May
May works as a nurse, is not especially anxious about COVID-19, and continues with her “business as usual” financial approach. She takes control of her finances by actively managing where money goes and creating financial goals. She manages spending and budgets for necessary expenses, while saving for the long term. However, May is looking to her employer for more flexible working hours, childcare benefits and gym memberships. Although she feels supported by her current benefits, she would like additional perks.
Meet Dr. Lynn
Lynn works as a physician and is more anxious about COVID-19. Her financial approach is to manage her accounts, invest and contribute to her retirement fund. However, she feels as if she could be doing more. Despite this, she is taking a low-risk approach with investments to hedge against the uncertainty of the pandemic. Lynn is looking for more flexibility with her retirement account to respond to changing circumstances—so that her benefits can best meet her individual needs and help her reach her personal goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the financial stress healthcare employees experience every day. It will be increasingly important for healthcare plan sponsors to focus on the holistic wellness of their healthcare workers. You can learn more about how healthcare organizations can offer a financial wellness program to help alleviate workplace stressors in the Voya healthcare report.
As an industry leader focused on the delivery of health, wealth and investment solutions to and through the workplace, Voya Financial® is committed to making a secure financial future possible for all Americans—one person, one family, one institution at a time.
At Voya, we understand that your employees are the heart of your healthcare organization. During this year’s National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week—and every day—we thank them for all they do.
Research material is provided for general and educational purposes only.
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1Based on the results of a Voya Financial survey conducted through Ipsos on the Ipsos eNation omnibus online platform among 1,005 adults aged 18+ in the U.S, featuring 74 Americans working for a healthcare organization. Research was conducted March 12-15, 2021.
2Based on results of a Voya Financial survey conducted through AYTM – Ask Your Target Market online research platform between Jan. 18-26, 2021 among n=750 Americans age 18+ who are full-time employees and actively contributing to their employer-sponsored retirement plan, balanced by age and gender to reflect the U.S. population. Data representative of n=101 employed Americans working in public / private healthcare category.
3Voya executed in-depth discussions through their proprietary research platform, the Online Consumer Community, with select individuals who are working in essential healthcare roles throughout COVID-19. Participants contributed their thoughts and experiences in terms of their financial goals, strategies and needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of n=4 consumers (who were hand selected based on respondent profiles) participated in these in-depth discussions (including: n=1 Nurse, n=2 Physicians, n=1 Physical Therapist). Fieldwork was completed from April 6th – April 12th, 2021. Voya has 400 consumers in the Online Consumer Community, balanced by age, gender and U.S. Census region who have been recruited to participate in research-related activities over a period of time.