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Money health 2014: Finding a cure for financial cancer

Reflecting a national trend, Capital Region employees are literally getting sick over money. Very sick.

Financial worries are a health care threat
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One in four employees are in serious financial distress. As many as 80 per cent of employees waste 12-20 work hours per month worrying about finances. The cost of this loss of productivity is estimated to be $7,000 per employee per year. (Source:

How do employees handle their financial issues?

  • 90 per cent are losing sleep over their finances.(
  • 86 per cent report they are experiencing some degree of financial stress. (
  • 70-90 percent of doctors visits, according to employees, are related to stress; health concerns include insomnia, ulcers, migraines, back pain, depression and heart attacks. (
  • 71 per cent would have found it difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheck was delayed for even one week. (
  • 26 per cent do not pay all of their credit card bills on time. (
  • 46 per cent have less than $10,000 saved for retirement and only 42% have calculated how much money they will need in retirement. (

If each employee only slightly increases his or her financial stability, the result could contribute as much as $450 per employee per year to the bottom line of the company. Employers can cut health care costs by $300 for each employee who improves his or her financial behaviors and financial well being. (Professor So-Hyun Joo, Texas Tech University, “Workplace Financial Education Improves Financial Well-Being;” E. Thomas Garman, president, Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation, Inc.)

Dave Balog teaches financial wellness for groups and families. For a free booklet on family money basics, write or call 646 667-4254.

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