The Covid-19 crisis is causing more young people to seek the advice of financial advisors, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual.

About a fifth or more of the respondents among the generations younger than baby boomers said they didn’t have an advisor before the pandemic but intend to now seek the advice of one, according to Northwestern Mutual’s “Planning & Progress Study 2020.”

The latest survey in the ongoing study, conducted from April 29 to May 1, included 2,077 U.S. adults, the company said.

Specifically, 19% of Gen Xers, 22% of millennials and 22% of Gen Zers said they are now looking for a financial advisor after getting along without one before the pandemic.

“This is an enormously difficult time for so many Americans; however, it’s good to see they’re taking action, rising to the challenging road ahead and making choices aimed at enabling their recovery,” said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual, in a prepared statement. “People are doing their best to secure their financial foundations and position themselves to emerge from this stronger.”

The survey also found the U.S. population in general is placing a greater focus on personal finances in response to the economic devastation caused by the epidemic.

Among all adults, for example, 15% said they have developed a financial plan after not having one before the coronavirus outbreak.

Moreover, 20% of those who did have a financial plan before the pandemic said they are now revisiting the plan in response to the crisis.

These trends were more pronounced among the younger generation, according to the study’s authors. Twenty-eight percent of millennials, for example, are revisiting their existing financial plans, and 19% of them are looking to develop a financial plan after not having one before the epidemic.

One-quarter of Gen Zers are also looking to develop financial plans for the first time.

“Generational behavior patterns often form based on experiences with economic cycles, and while this is the first downturn that Gen Z has seen, it’s the second time around for many millennials,” Mitchell said. “We’re encouraged by the instinct to respond among younger people—and that many of them are seeking help from financial professionals.”

Overall, respondents expressed a slightly less secure feeling about their finances from before the epidemic, the survey found.

Asked how they felt about their financial security on a 10-point scale, the average rating in this most recent poll was 6.1, compared with 6.7 before the epidemic, Northwestern Mutual said.

About 35% of the respondents rated themselves at between eight and 10 on the scale, which is down from 45% before the pandemic.

Those rating their security between a one and a three increased from 12% to 19%.

Among other things, the survey found:

25% of respondents have dipped into personal savings or emergency funds (excluding retirement accounts)
14% have borrowed money from family or friends
10% have dipped into retirement accounts/savings
8% have applied for a loan from a financial lender
8% have sold investments to raise cash
6% have used the cash value of a life insurance policy

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