Survey: 3 in 4 Floridians continue to report high stress over money matters as COVID-19 pandemic persists

CFO Jimmy Patronis, Suncoast Credit Union, and MoneyWise Florida Coalition add video series to provide Flordians with financial knowledge and resources to navigate difficult times

TALLAHASSEE – Nearly three in four Floridians continue to suffer from high levels of stress relating to their personal and family financial situation as they struggle through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to poll results issued by MoneyWise Florida, a statewide financial public education initiative. The findings, released today by Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Suncoast Credit Union, and MoneyWise Florida, reveal that the ongoing pandemic continues to impact and threaten Floridians’ financial health as well as their physical health.  A new series of videos designed to help Floridians cope financially was also launched today to help.

“When we launched MoneyWise Florida this past Spring, we knew Floridians needed access to reliable resources that could help them weather these unprecedented times,” said CFO Patronis. “These latest survey results underscore the continuing need to provide Floridians with additional financial knowledge, tips, and tools to help them through this prolonged difficult era.”

Among the new statewide poll findings:

  • Roughly 3 in 4 of respondents (74%) continue to report high levels of stress relating to their personal and family financial situation, indicating that they worry about their household finances “sometimes,” “often,” or “constantly.”
  • During the past three months, 55% of respondents say their worries about finances have increased.
    • Female respondents, Hispanic respondents, and younger respondents ages 18-34 were more likely to say their financial worries have increased significantly.
  • Most respondents (71%) have received some form of a federal stimulus payment. Despite this, more than 1 in 5 (21%) have delayed paying bills.
    • Southeast Florida residents may be under considerable more financial stress than residents in other parts of the state. They were significantly more likely to report delays in paying bills, asking to waive late fees on payments, applying for forbearance on student loans, or applying for forbearance on mortgage payments.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) have six months or less of savings, while nearly 1 in 5 households (19%) report no savings at all. 

Even before COVID-19 threw countless households into financial disarray, a MoneyWise Florida survey showed that Floridians faced significant financial challenges even in better times. The February 2020 survey found:

  • Nearly three-quarters of Floridians (69%) responded that they “sometimes,” “often,” or “constantly” worry about their household’s financial health.
  • More than 1 in 3 respondents (36%) agreed that they needed help understanding financial tasks.
  • Fully 3 in 5 Floridians reported that their savings would not keep their household afloat for six months or more.

Since its launch in May, the MoneyWise Florida website has provided practical information to help Floridians with topics ranging from available stimulus and financial resources to unemployment, climbing out of debt, securing a mortgage, saving, and planning for a secure retirement, among many others. Today, the initiative added a six-part informational video series, called Fast Financial Facts.

Hosted by former journalist and Emmy Award-winner Kathy Times and featuring MoneyWise Florida’s partner experts, Fast Financial Facts provides useful information about an array of financial topics in engaging, short three- to four-minute videos.

“COVID-19 has disrupted most Floridian’s lives in many different ways. Many families are struggling to recover financially after the sudden slowdown of economic activity,” said Kevin D. Johnson, President and CEO of Suncoast Credit Union. “This new video series is yet another valuable resource created by MoneyWise Florida to help Floridians with their financial health and wellness.”

Organizational support and partnership for MoneyWise Florida is provided by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Suncoast Credit Union, as well as the Florida Credit Union Association; Florida Insurance Council; Florida Institute of CPAs; Florida Prosperity Partnership; the Florida Alliance for Consumers & Taxpayers (FACT); and the Florida Bankers Association.

For more information contact Katherine Maiorana at info@moneywiseflorida.com.

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