What is Financial Wellness?
Financial wellness isn’t how much money in a person’s bank account, or the number of years left on their mortgage. A person with high financial wellness is confident about a wide range of financial issues, including budgeting, retirement plans, investments, debts, and insurance (Manulife, 2016).
It’s quite possible for a person with high income to have low financial wellness. These high earners may not be planning for the future, they’re not working towards paying offs their debt, or they may be constantly worrying about money. Conversely, a person with low income may have high financial wellness. For instance, a young adult, just starting in the workforce and not earning a high salary, may have high financial wellness because they’ve educated themselves, they budget, and they’ve started saving for retirement (Manulife, 2016).
Benefits and Consequences to High and Low Levels of Financial Wellness
The concrete benefits of high financial wellness can be having a well-funded retirement savings plan, due to diligent budgeting and appropriate investing, and having few debts, due to paying down debts and having manageable mortgage debt. Some examples of abstract benefits are little to no stress about retirement, fewer financial worries, and more overall confidence (Manulife, 2016).
Conversely, the consequences of low financial wellness can be a poorly funded retirement savings plan, inadequate insurance, and their associated stress. Another consequence is that it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who have low levels of financial wellness tend to score poorly across most categories, such as retirement planning, insurance protection, and finance-related stress in their lives (Manulife, 2016).
How Employers Can Benefit From Supporting Employees’ Financial Wellness
Employers can benefit from being able to accurately assess their employees’ level of financial wellness so that they can be effective in helping support their employees and positively impact their workplace engagement. When employees are offered, and more importantly take advantage of, the tools to become more financially stable they can become less anxious, more engaged in their work, and better workplace contributors. There can also be a ripple effect where employees pass these positive attitudes on to their colleagues (Manulife, 2016).
When tools, such as retirement saving plans, insurance products, and access to advice and education in the workplace, employees typically recognize that their employer is actively supporting them. Employers who are seen as positively contributing to their employees’ financial wellness will develop a reputation for supporting employees, which will help them retain valuable employees and gain an upper hand in the competition for top talent (Manulife, 2016).
Resources at Dalhousie
If you are interested in becoming more financially well, there are resources at the University that can help. Seminars on financial topics are organized throughout the month of April 2017. Visit http://events-tm.dal.ca to view the upcoming schedule. Don’t forget that Dal’s Employee and Family Assistance Program offers financial supports that can get you on the right track. Check out the website for more information: https://www.workhealthlife.com.
Manulife. (2016). Employee financial wellness and its impact on Canadian businesses. Retrieved from file:///Users/malcolmscott/Downloads/financial%20unwellness%20makes%20a%20difference%20at%20work.pdf