The link between every day money worries and mental health is well known. As World Mental Health Day approaches (10th October 2017), and we continue to open up on mental health issues, research from Scottish Widows highlights that people saving nothing for retirement are twice as likely to have had mental health issues connected to money worries than those saving adequately (31% vs 16%). Furthermore, research shows that one in six (16%) of us has suffered psychological problems as a result of money concerns.
The research from Scottish Widows also found that:
- Half (50%) of those saving nothing for retirement had their appetite affected by money worries and 68% have lost sleep
- Four in ten people (40%) in the UK say their health has suffered due to financial concerns
- 45% of non-savers are worried about affording the essentials in retirement, such as food, rent and heating, vs adequate savers, whose top worry is not being able to do the things they enjoy (27%)
- Overall, the top five fears for retirement among those yet to retire include:
- Not having enough money to pay for essentials – 28%
- Not having enough money to do things they enjoy – 24%
- Being bored – 13%
- Cost of long term care – 8%
- Being lonely – 8%
- Younger people could be in for a shock in later life, as despite the fact that 70% of under 30s are not saving enough for retirement, 47% associate retirement with ‘relaxation’
David Holton, retirement expert at Scottish Widows said: “Our findings highlight the link between everyday money worries and mental health, and this is a growing issue which must be addressed head-on. The fact that four in ten people say their health has suffered due to financial concerns is extremely worrying. It’s clear from our research that thinking ahead and preparing for the future is essential to reduce the chances of mental health issues linked to money – and it’s crucial that more is done to help our nation realise the importance of financial preparation.”
We have a range of case studies available for written, telephone or filmed interviews, including non-savers nearing retirement and younger people looking to improve their financial prospects in retirement.
Scottish Widows has the following tips to help people become more mindful of their money and savings:
- Visualise your ideal retirement – what do you really want to do or get out of retirement and how much money will you need to set aside to cover it
- Use financial calculators to understand what your pensions savings may translate to in the form of a weekly income in retirement – are you really saving enough? Take action where you can
- Review your current in-goings and out-goings – is there any room to put more money away for the future?
- Check your bank balance and pension pot regularly to get your head around your own financial situation – don’t bury it in the sand
- Speak to an expert, an independent financial adviser or similar