15 Aug National Financial Awareness Day – Why We Should All Care
According to a 2018 Financial Finesse study, some 81% of US employees feel at least some financial stress1. That equates to over half of the workforce experiencing money-related anxiety—numbers that have reached epidemic proportions. Another recent study, this one by PwC, found that one in every four employees’ health has been affected by financial worries, while 18% report that these concerns have impacted their productivity at work, and 11% say that financial concerns have kept them from coming into the office2.
Such concerns stem from increased financial burdens like student loan debt, rising healthcare costs, an over-reliance and abuse on credit cards and managing competing priorities like saving for a home vs. retirement. All of these financial obligations place stressors on us, especially if done with little-to-no-guidance from an expert on if your chosen plan is indeed the best one for your goals.
A Changing Tide
Employers are recognizing their role and responsibility to help their employees. They are increasingly partnering with consumer personal finance vendors to offer financial education and the technology platforms needed for easier money management. Employers are also facilitating access to high-touch support from financial advisors. Many advisors and RIAs are stepping up to deliver their clientele customized guidance, more thorough financial planning, and comprehensive education than we’ve ever seen before. In 2017, Prudential found that 79% of employers see the value of a financially secure workforce, with 76% recognizing the importance of educating their employees on the topics of financial wellbeing and providing access to fiduciary professionals3.
Advisors are the lifeline to obtaining financial security for many – they encourage clients, HNW and those just starting out in the workforce, to invest wisely and strategically, but also educate them on trends, terminology, and how small changes taken now have big gains over time. By putting the individual back in control and providing support from an advisor who has their best interests in mind, not only does research show decreased stress levels, but improved overall health, productivity and relationships, in addition to greater wealth and peace of mind.
Take Action this Financial Awareness Day
On this National Financial Awareness Day, I challenge each of you to learn something new about your financial picture and identify a small change you can implement today to improve it – whether it’s opening a high-yield savings account, increasing retirement contributions by a percentage or two, or starting an emergency fund.
It is up to each of us to thoughtfully save on a day-to-day basis, strategically map out our financial goals, and educate ourselves on the various ways to invest. Leverage your financial advisor for support and guidance, communicate with them frequently, and take charge of your money now to achieve financial freedom.
1. Financial Fitness Year In Review Report
2. Prudential Benefits and Beyond: How Employers Think About Financial Wellness
3. PwC 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey