SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Optimism is again soaring among San Francisco Bay Area residents as COVID-19 cases plunge, vaccinations soar and businesses prepare for the state’s lifting of all coronavirus restrictions on June 15, according to a survey by Charles Schwab released on Wednesday.
The Bay Area was one of the regions the San Francisco-based financial services company targeted in it’s 2021 Modern Wealth Survey.READ MORE: VIDEO: Thieves Break Into Car At San Francisco Lombard St. as Tourists Watch
San Francisco, San Mateo and Mendocino counties have all advanced into the state’s restrictive Yellow Tier allowing for widespread expansion of business freedoms. In a month, all restrictions are expected to be lifted for the entire state and the tier system to be abandoned.
During what will be 16 months of restrictions, the survey found that 67 percent of those asked classified themselves as savers and not spenders during the pandemic. A vast majority of the respondents said that trend will continue, but they do have plans to splurge on some luxury items in the year ahead.
Taking a trip was listed by 31 percent of the respondents among the desired items they will be spending on this year. With restaurants reopening, 20 percent said they would be spending on dinner at a high-end eatery. Fourteen percent said they were planning a large party.READ MORE: Brush Fires Break Out Along I-280 Near Downtown San Jose
The survey also gave a glimpse of the widespread economic impact of the pandemic. Thirty-two percent say the pandemic placed their finances under a severe strain, 30 percent said they have faced salary reductions or reduced work hours and 22 percent said they were laid off or furloughed.
The COVID outbreak also has impacted Bay Area residents attitudes related to wealth. Heading into 2020, the majority of local residents related the term ‘wealthy’ to individuals worth $4.5 million. That has tumbled during the pandemic to $3.8 million.
What is needed for ‘financial happiness’ fell from a pre-pandemic $2.1 million to $1.8 million and ‘financially comfortable’ dropped from $1.5 million to $1.3 million.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Suspect Arrested After 94-Year-Old Asian Woman Stabbed In San Francisco's Tenderloin Neighborhood
When asked what mattered more to them more as the pandemic is winding down, local residents said good mental health (69 percent), relationships (54 percent), financial health (52 percent) and physical health (50 percent).