In 2014, Manulife conducted a study1 to look at how Canadians feel about their personal financial situation and how that affected their physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve updated these findings for 20152 to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges financially unprepared employees face on a daily basis and shed more light on the role poor finances play on their overall mental and physical well-being. Here’s what we learned:

Finances are major source of stress.

Of those employees who reported being financially unprepared, 62% blame financial problems as their greatest source of stress. Another 31% revealed their level of debt causes them stress2.

This stress can take a toll mentally and physically.

Financially unprepared individuals don’t have a positive relationship with their finances. The stress of being financially unprepared can lead to deep emotional concerns: 32% worry about supporting loved ones if something happened and  they spend almost 1/3 more time at work worrying about finances, debt and retirement than the financially prepared2.

Individuals who are financially prepared are more likely to be healthier.

Concern over finances can affect a person’s ability to maintain a healthier lifestyle. The financially prepared are:

  • Almost 25% more likely to identify themselves as being very healthy compared to those unprepared1
  • 2.5 times more likely to have a strategy to manage and maintain their health2

Financial advisors improve the chances of being financially prepared.

Financial advisors influence behaviours and help their clients not only develop financial goals and plans, but to stick to them. The financially prepared are:

  • Almost 4 times more likely to be working with a financial advisor than the unprepared2

1 Manulife/Ipsos Reid Health and Wealth – Wellness study conducted by Ipsos Reid, February 2014

2 Manulife/Ipsos Reid Health and Wealth study conducted by Ipsos Reid, March 2015