After several years of American workers beginning to feel more financially secure following the Great Recession of 2008, this year, just 35% said they are satisfied with their financial situation, down from 48% two years ago, Willis Towers Watson found in a survey.
Just over one-third, 34%, said their financial concerns are negatively impacting their lives, up from 21% in 2015. Fifty-nine percent worry about their financial future, up from 49% two years ago.
Only 47% are confident their will have enough money 25 years into retirement, and 57% think they will have enough resources 15 years into retirement. Ten percent have taken a loan from their 401(k) plan, and 6% have made a permanent hardship withdrawal.
The research also found that 53% of employees would like their employers to offer tools to help them improve their financial situation. However, 57% do not want their employer to send personalized messages to people facing important financial decisions, and 50% do not think it is the role of an employer to send personalized messages to people who are not saving enough for retirement.
“While employees are eager for their employers to provide support and technology that deliver valuable guidance and suggestions on retirement and financial decisions, employees are very wary of personalized outreach,” says Shane Bartling, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson.
According to the survey results, 30% of respondents said they are worried about their short-term and long-term finances. Among this group, 31% said these worries are keeping them from doing their best at work. Thirty-seven percent reported they feel highly stressed, and another 33% indicated they feel above average stress. Thirty percent said their health is poor. Conversely, 35% of those without financial worries said they are in good health, and 55% reported they are in very good health.
Other financial concerns the survey found include:
- Twenty percent said they fail to pay their credit card in full each month.
- Only 31% of employees look at their budget on a regular basis.
- Eighty-one percent said they are living paycheck to paycheck.
- Twenty-four percent reported they have experienced a moderate financial hardship, and 13% indicated they have been hit with a severe financial hardship.