According to the KeyBank 2022 Financial Mobility Survey released today, two-thirds (62 percent) of respondents indicated that work-like balance is more important to them than a high-paying salary (22 percent).
While this desire exists, only 25 percent of American say they have experienced an improvement in their standard of living comparted to 2020. The survey, which polled more than 1,000 Americans on their financial and work-related priorities reveal many have taken steps to become more financially mobile and improve their standard of living.
Since COVID-19, 22 percent have made a career shift, with the average age of 37 for those who made a move. The same percentage chose to retire during this time, aligning with “The Great Resignation.”
Almost half (46 percent) of respondents said the pandemic altered their financial priorities, while 49 percent say it has led them to think more about how to grow their finances — especially those who self-identified as financial experts (80 percent).
The pandemic has led many Americans to redefine personal and financial priorities and place greater emphasis on activities that will inspire a sense of health and wellbeing in both mind and wallet,” says Mitch Kime, head of consumer lending and payments at KeyBank.
“For many, financial mobility isn’t solely driven by the number in their paycheck. Instead, Americans are taking a more holistic approach to financial health by honing the skills, forging the relationships, and cultivating the mindfulness needed to make financial decisions that align with their values and will empower them to live more fulfilling lives.”
Among those who identified as having faced notable financial challenges in 2021 (37 percent), three-quarters of them are confident in their ability to grow their finances. This percentage is lower among those who did not face notable financial challenges.
Respondents identified financial information (48 percent) and digital banking (39 percent) are the top areas that have made them feel more financially resilient, while activities that support good mental health were up this year compared to last. This includes 43 percent identifying a good night’s sleep as the second-highest factor impacting resilience, up 5 percent year-over-year.
The survey noted that Americans with lower incomes are still reporting less financial savviness and confidence across the board. Of those who make less than $25,000 per year, 38 percent report not being financially savvy, compared to the 15 percent who make between $50,000 and $99,000.
And while those who make less than $25,000 report spending more and saving less in the past year (18 percent). This due to those with higher incomes being able to reduce luxury spending, while those with lower incomes needed to spend them same portion of their earnings on essentials.
The survey was conducted online by Schmidt Market Research among 1,081 American between ages 18 and 70 with sole or shared responsibility of household financial decisions that own a checking or savings account.
In related news: KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI), Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) Detroit, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced a $10 million investment toward the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the city through the Detroit Housing for the Future Fund (DHFF).
“KeyBank is committed to the communities we serve. This investment is a key part of our efforts to create more strategic partnerships with Community Development Financial Intuitions across the nation and build on the success of our National Community Benefits Plan,” says Derek Reed, vice president of KeyBank CDLI.
“We are proud to help LISC Detroit and the City of Detroit with their shared goal of creating and preserving affordable housing, and to making sure that no one is left behind as Detroit continues its latest renaissance.”
The DHFF is a private investment fund managed by LISC that is committed to investing private capital into affordable housing projects in need of gap financing to move the developments forward.
With a sixth project announced today, DHFF represents about $40.7 million in total development costs with a combined DHFF investment of $12.7 million, has been approved since the funds launch in fall of 2020.
In addition to the $10 million investment by KeyBank CDLI, LISC Detroit also announced today the sixth project to tap the fund.
The Weber Apartments, a currently vacant historic apartment building at 655 Hazelwood St. in the Piety Hill neighborhood, will be completely renovated. Built in 1927, it will feature 44 units and be 100 percent affordable housing, with six apartments at or below 50 percent area median income (AMI) and the remainder at or below 80 percent AMI. This translates to rents between $750 and $1,200 a month for one-bedrooms.
The developer, Hazelwood Partners LLC, received a $2.9 million loan through DHFF for the $4.4 million project. The renovations are expected to be completed late this summer.
“The affordable housing shortage is one of the biggest issues facing our city right now,” says Tahirih Ziegler, Midwest program vice president of LISC. “KeyBank’s $10 million contribution will go a long way in helping us to make a more equitable Detroit and provide quality affordable housing for Detroiters.
“LISC believes that all Detroiters, regardless of their economic means, deserve to live in quality affordable housing and that affordable housing is key to ensuring Detroit remains a place for all.”