Financial stress, health and employee wellness in 2020. New research highlights the mental and physical effects of financial stress on employees.

Financial planning is the best way to combat financial stress, but many Americans are ignoring the problem and only making matters worse. 

Less than a third of Americans have a financial plan in writing, according to research by Charles Schwab. More than 40 percent of them say it’s because they don’t think they have enough money to merit a formal plan, close to 20 percent say it’s too complicated and almost 15 percent say they don’t have enough time to create one. 

Financial Stress and Health Statistics for 2020

Financial stress is significantly impacting the lives of Americans. A report by Thriving Wallet, a new partnership between Thrive Global and Discover, found:

  • 90 percent of Americans say that money has an impact on their stress level.
  • 65 percent feel like their financial difficulties are piling up so much they can’t overcome them.
  • 40 percent wish they could have a ‘fresh’ financial start.
  • 40 percent say managing their money on a daily basis limits the extent to which they can enjoy their day-to-day life.
  • 25 percent make purchases they later regret when experiencing significant stress.

Financial stress has a negative effect on individuals’ attitudes towards money and research by Capital One and The Decision Lab found that the more stressed Americans are, the less likely they are to make smart decisions when it comes to spending and saving. 

How Financial Stress Impacts Health

It’s bad enough that financial stress skews individuals’ outlooks on finances and impairs their decision making, but its ability to negatively impact immune systems and overall physical health is worse. The same report by Thriving Wallet asked Americans to report negative finance-related impacts on health and found that financial stress effects:

  • Physical Health (21 percent)
  • Blood Pressure (17 percent)
  • Respiratory Symptoms (15 percent)
  • Somatic Issues (20 percent)
  • Rates of Tension (25 percent)

Nearly 35 percent of Americans report losing sleep to financial stress, and almost 25 percent of them experience symptoms such as insomnia, broken sleep, fatigue on waking, nightmares and night terrors. 

Financial Wellness Programs in 2020

Financial stress costs employers an estimated $250 billion per year in lost productivity and absenteeism. 

Over 30 percent of employees don’t have a written financial plan because they think it’s too complicated or they don’t have enough time. Effective financial wellness programs, like Best Money Moves, make it easy for employees to build a financial plan and track their goals.  

More than 20 percent of employees told the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) that they don’t have anyone trusted to turn to for financial guidance. Features like Best Money Moves’ Money Coaches give employees access to trained professional financial counselors who can help them make smarter decisions with their money. Best Money Moves also hosts a library of 700 articles, videos and calculators that employees can use to build their knowledge on everything from investing to co-signing loans to buying their first homes. 

If you want to learn more about how Best Money Moves can bring financial wellness to your company download our whitepapers and sign up for a demonstration here.

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