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Money problems negatively impact our health

2 minute read

When was the last time you thought about money?

Almost half of Americans worry about their finances at least once a week, according to a survey from life insurance company MassMutual. Almost one quarter of us are probably thinking about our money problems daily or more.

Even though most respondents say they feel somewhat financially secure, 37 percent aren’t confident at all in their finances. One of the biggest causes of financial worry comes from the current political climate and the potential effects it could have on health care.

Almost half — 47 percent — are concerned about how their health care will change, and the worry is strongest among middle-class Americans. The most concerned group (69 percent) are making between $45,000 and $75,000 annually.

The same income bracket has the highest level of stress when it comes to money generally: 59 percent of them say their weekly money worries impact their mental health. Stress is also the biggest factor among all income brackets.

“Four in 10 respondents (40 percent) said they worry about money at least once a week while at work,” the study says. “Those earning less than $45,000 reported bringing their financial concerns to work at least once a week and 20 percent said daily.”

What are we worried about?

When you go to sleep at night, chances are you’re freaking out about your lack of retirement savings.

MassMutual says it’s the biggest financial concern for lower-income Americans who make less than $45,000 (84 percent) and it’s even the biggest worry for higher-income Americans who make $75,000 to $150,000 (54 percent). Middle Americans also claim this as their biggest worry, with 73 percent reporting they are behind on retirement preparations.

And that retirement worry bleeds into the workplace. Most respondents — 52 percent — say they wish their employer offered help and resources for their finances. Nearly the same amount wish their employer did more to educate them on saving for retirement.

“Financial issues are not only a significant problem for many people personally, they may have a big impact on employers who may face increasing costs for health care, disability leave and lost productivity,” says Teresa Hassara, a manager at MassMutual. “There is an overwhelming need for more education about personal financial issues and resources to help workers better manage their financial lives.”

MassMutual says the biggest fears are family illnesses (67 percent), financial emergencies (65 percent), and a stock market drop (43 percent). Nearly 40 percent fear a terrorist attack.

Financial fears have loomed over Americans for a long time. No one is ready for retirement. For many workers, retirement isn’t even top of mind enough to remember that they actually have a retirement account at work. It’s not just low- and middle-income Americans: Even the rich worry about retirement.

But there are companies out there who are doing great things by helping their employees prepare for retirement. Some have metric tracking to monitor employees’ retirement savings. This alone makes workers more likely to save for retirement than if the company didn’t have metrics.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Published by, LLC Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Financial Woes Are Literally Killing Us - AMP.