Worrying about money, retirement can effect your work

While many things in life can cause stress at work, a new worldwide study looked at how financial worries at home affect people in the office.

Human resources consulting firm WillisTowersWatson, which has surveyed employees about health and retirement for decades, recently released a study of working individuals from 19 countries including the United States, and found that employees who are struggling financially have higher levels of stress than their colleagues with other worries. They also were more likely to be in poor health than less stressed employees.

Of the 30,000 people surveyed from June to August 2015, 5,083 were from the United States. Researchers found that 75 percent of the U.S. respondents reported that financial security had become a more important issue in the past two or three years, and 66 percent of respondents worldwide — 75 percent in the United States, Canada and Europe—feel they will be much worse off in retirement than their parents' generation were.

More than 50 percent of respondents worldwide also said they would be willing to pay a higher premium to ensure a retirement benefit.

Even when the financial situation improves, the long-term financial worries remain, leaving the employee feeling vulnerable, the report notes. Additionally, those higher levels of workplace stress result in higher absenteeism, as well as less healthy employees who are less engaged in their work.

The upside? About half of Americans, 48 percent, indicated they were "unworried" when questioned about their level of short- and long-term financial worries.

The other countries surveyed were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom.


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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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