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More Than Half of Employees Stress Out Over Finances

They spend a median of two hours a week, or 100 hours a year, taking care of finances while on the job.

By Lee Barney | June 01, 2017
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Fifty-six percent of employees are stressed out over their financial situation, Bank of America Merrill Lynch found in a survey. This is causing people to spend a median of two hours a week, or 100 hours a year, parsing over their finances while at work. Millennials spend an average of four hours a week on their personal finances; Gen X, two hours; and Baby Boomers one hour.

Among the 56% who say they are financially stressed, 53% of them say it is interfering with their ability to perform their job. Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes the solution to this is for employers to offer formal financial wellness programs, so that their employees can get their financial houses in order.

“Stress over personal finances extends into the workplace, impacting employees’ productivity, health and overall well-being,” says Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “This confirms our dedication to working with employers to help employees navigate financial concerns and improve their financial wellness.”

One dichotomy that the survey found is that, while many employees are financially stressed, 87% are optimistic about their financial future. The top three reasons for this optimism are living within their means (51%), being in good health (49%) and having a well-paying job (45%).

However, even optimistic employees have concerns, particularly women. Among all employees, the top concern is running out of money in retirement, cited by 64%. The next concern is having to work longer than they had hoped for, cited by 61% of women and 51% of men. That is followed by not being able to work due to a serious illness (58% of women and 52% of men), not being able to pay for a child’s education (57% of women and 52% of men) and losing their job (45% of women and 46% of men).

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