Employee confidence in finances drops this year, study shows

Stephanie Asymkos
·Reporter

Fewer workers feel confident in managing their money versus last year, even as employers ramp up efforts to provide more financial guidance for employees.

According to a recent survey from Bank of America (BAC), 55% of Americans reported feeling good or excellent about their financial wellness - characterized as being able to cover expenses and save for future goals. That’s down from 61% a year ago.

Women, especially, don’t feel good about their money situation. Only 43% reported feeling financially well compared with 65% of men, according to the study.

The rising costs of health care and caregiving along with the stress of saving for retirement are dampening how American workers feel about their finances, Lisa Margeson, head of retirement client experience and communications at Bank of America, told Yahoo Finance on Friday.

BROOKLINE, MA: At right, Lauren Bell, a Boston resident and creative director at an advertising agency, attend Steven Taylor's The Basics of Investing: Level I class at Society of Grownups headquarters. (Photo: Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
BROOKLINE, MA: At right, Lauren Bell, a Boston resident and creative director at an advertising agency, attend Steven Taylor's The Basics of Investing: Level I class at Society of Grownups headquarters. (Photo: Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)

“I think people are pausing and looking at their financial wellness in a slightly larger and more complex light these days,” Margeson said, “and thinking, there's still room for improvement.”

Why this matters for employers?

As the topic of personal finance becomes more accepted and less taboo, employers are listening to the conversation.

More companies are offering financial wellness programs that provide resources and personalized tools to help employees manage their finances, Margeson said.

“Twice as many as four years ago,” she said. “And so it’s becoming more of a mainstream conversation.”

Financial wellness programs can also help the employer, said Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America in a press release. Holistically, the health and wellness of employees can have a profound impact on a business.

“When employees live their best financial lives,” Sabbia said, “it shows in the workplace.”

Stephanie is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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