New Research: Defining “Financial Wellness”

Empower Retirement and Personal Capital Survey Finds Less than Half (41%) of Americans Are Financially Comfortable; 42% say their definition of financial health has changed since the pandemic

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., July 28, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The term “financial wellness” is a popular buzz phrase these days and is often described as part of overall wellness. Research shows that a person’s financial situation – and how they feel about it – can have a major impact on their general well-being and mental health. In fact, a new joint Empower Retirement and Personal Capital survey released today shows 77% of Americans agree that “my financial health affects my physical and mental health.”

(PRNewsfoto / Personal Capital, an Empower Company)

The study carried out by The Harris Poll by March 23 to April 5, 2021 of 2,005 US adults, more than half (57%) of Americans found that financial health was linked to their overall happiness. In the post-pandemic world we now live in, most respondents (60%) said they were confident in their ability to achieve financial health, but only 48% feel financially healthy today.

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, many aspects of financial life have changed as Americans say they spend less on non-essentials (41%) and focus on saving (41%). The survey shows that 42% of Americans admit their definition of financial health has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and 51% say an emergency fund is their top financial priority these days.

So what does the term “financial wellness” mean for the everyday investor? When asked to define the term in their own words, the results showed that it is less about money or retirement at a certain age and more about the concept of financial freedom and the ability to choose how they spend their money would like. Below are key insights into the concept of financial wellbeing and what it means in this post-pandemic world.

The story goes on

Key findings on the topic of “financial wellness” and what it means for everyday investors:

  • There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” state of financial well-being. A large majority agree that “financial health is more of an on-going path” (72%) rather than “reaching a certain milestone” (28%).

  • Financial well-being is rooted in “freedom and independence”. The vast majority (81%) say, “I will be fine financially when I have the freedom and the ability to spend as I want.”

  • Financial well-being can also feel difficult. A majority (60%) are confident that they are financially healthy, but only 48% feel financially healthy today. Most believe they won’t reach financial health until they are nearly 50 – or when they have over half a million dollars in the bank. But even more than dollar amounts, what is most associated with financial well-being is peace of mind (e.g., having enough to pay bills and meet spending needs).

  • Most need help on their way to financial prosperity. Almost 7 in 10 (69%) are faced with at least one roadblock. Lack of income (27%) and constant expenses (23%) are the main obstacles. Additionally, 76% of Americans say “Receiving helpful financial advice increases confidence in my ability to achieve financial well-being.” And 69% believe that “financial services companies need to redefine financial health to be more relatable and accessible.”

“Now it becomes even more important to help Americans with a personalized, holistic view of their finances and savings goals,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, President and CEO of Empower Retirement. “In the wake of the pandemic, Americans have changed their relationship to money, and with it their definition of financial well-being. We are listening and are here to help American families navigate this new normal.”

Further information on the joint survey can be found here.


This survey was carried out by The Harris Poll on behalf of Empower Retirement and Personal Capital of. carried out March 23 to April 5, 2021. We surveyed 2,005 people, all over the age of 18 and living in the United States. The online survey has an error rate of +/- 3% and a confidence level of 95%.

About Empower Retirement

Headquarters in the subway Denver, manages Empower Retirement approx. $ 1 trillion in the assets of more than 12 million pension plan participants March 31, 2021. It is the second largest retirement savings record holder in the country by total participants. Empower serves all segments of the employer-funded retirement market: government 457 plans; small, medium, and large 401 (k) business customers; 403 (b) charitable companies; Clients for the records under private brand; and IRA clients. Personal Capital, a subsidiary of Empower Retirement, is an industry leading hybrid asset manager. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Contact information
Stephen Gawlik[email protected]
Monica Mendoza[email protected]

Via Personal Capital, an empower company
Personal Capital is an industry leading remote delivery digital asset management company that empowers people to transform their financial lives through technology and advisory services. The company’s cutting-edge tools and technologies provide consumers with a holistic financial picture and are used for tracking by over 3 million people $ 1.2 trillion in the account balance (as of 06/30/21). The wealth management advisors provide expert advice and tailor-made strategies based on a personal understanding of an investor’s financial situation and goals. For more information, please visit or contact us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Advisory services are provided for a fee by Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Personal Capital Corporation. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). SEC registration does not imply any specific qualification or training level. Investing involves risks. Past performance is not a guarantee or an indication of future returns. The value of your investment will fluctuate and you can make or lose money.

Contact information
Jacqueline Quasney, PR director
[email protected]



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