MANILA -- Filipino millennials and Generation Zs have become more conscious about their finances as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect incomes and livelihoods, according to a study.
In its latest report, Manulife Philippines surveyed 500 respondents across the country between April and May 2021 with the goal of understanding the behavior of younger generations toward finance.
It showed that the top concern of millennials (25 to 40 years old) and Gen Zs (15 to 24 years old) during the pandemic is running out of money. Other stressors include getting sick, their own death or that of a family member, declining mental health, and debt.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they have been saving money to protect themselves against an unfortunate event, with 82% setting aside part of their earnings every month.
A monthly budget is followed by 75% of those surveyed, with 87% making sure that they don't live beyond their means. On the other hand, 77% said they prioritize spending more on needs than wants as the pandemic continues.
"The far-reaching consequences of the pandemic on public health, personal relationships, and the global economy have made the younger generations of Filipinos more aware of the importance of their physical, mental and financial health, and how interconnected these are to achieving optimum well-being," said Melissa Henson, chief marketing officer of Manulife Philippines.
"While millennials and Gen Z may have different priorities and goals, depending on where they are in their life journey, what is common is that the challenges brought by COVID-19 have accelerated their desire for financial stability," she added. "They are now seeking more products and services that not only align with their beliefs and interests, but will also help them secure a more stable future."
According to the study, 81% of millennials and Gen Zs said they have started taking steps to secure their future financially. Sixty-seven percent of millennials have been investing in financial instruments, 79% are looking for ways to grow their money, and 77% are considering to diversify their portfolio to mitigate risks.
Gen Zs, on the other hand, have been educating themselves about finance. Manulife Philippines noted that on average, Gen Zs start saving money at 17 years old and are already investing at age 21, compared to millennials at 23 and 27 years old, respectively.
When it comes to insurance, 92% of Gen Zs said they plan to buy a plan in the next one or two years, with life, health, and variable unit-linked products as their top choices.
The Top 5 financial products owned by millennials and Gen Zs are the same: insurance, government savings programs, cryptocurrency, accident insurance, and mutual funds. The study noted, however, that millennials hold more product types in their portfolios.
"Unlike the generations who came before them, millennials and Gen Zs' most formative years have been marked by hyper-digitalization, easy access to information, rapid social, political and economic shifts, environmental issues, and unprecedented global change. Because of the pandemic, what should have been an optimistic period in their personal and professional lives has become a chapter filled with uncertainty and concern," Henson said.