Curiously, the financial element of wellbeing stands out as an angle rarely covered amidst the boom in wellbeing support offered by professional firms in recent years.
From mindfulness training, through to fitness schemes and even counselling provision, employer support for mental and physical wellbeing is now commonplace at many accountancy and legal firms, in recognition of the stress that comes with their often-demanding workloads and relentless time pressures.
We asked High Net Worth individuals how important they consider various financial and wellbeing goals. We then asked them to rate their ability to achieve those goals, using the same scale. The results provide an illustration of where people’s ability to achieve a particular goal lags the importance they ascribe to it.
One of the highlights of what we found comes when analysing the results by age. Among younger people we surveyed, between 36 and 49, we see gaping importance-ability shortfalls across the board, for almost every factor they consider to be at least ‘fairly important’ to achieving financial wellbeing.
By comparison, High Net Worth individuals aged 65+ feel a greater sense of ability to achieve the factors they deem important to financial wellbeing.
Many of these younger individuals who have made their own wealth may only have achieved this status comparatively recently. As such, they will typically face many of the time pressures that one may associate with junior partners or other professionals at the height of their career.
The shortfalls among this group also reflect what they see as the biggest threats to their wellbeing. For example, ‘having clarity and confidence over future plans’. This could be driven by the biggest threat cited by this age group: job loss. Concerns over job stability will naturally erode any sense of financial clarity or confidence.
Having clarity and confidence over future financial plans may not be the number one priority for younger professionals at the height of their careers, but investing the time to create a proper set of financial goals can improve overall wellbeing. Even if financial goals are still some way from being realised, comfort comes from knowing you are heading in the right direction and on target.
Not only that, but exploring new avenues to support financial planning can you give back the most precious of all ingredients – time – to focus on improving wellbeing in other walks of life.
To download the full report, Financial Wellbeing: more than pounds and pence, click here.
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