Most Working Australians in Poor Financial Health, Study Says

By: ce | 2 Sep 2016


Australia has a chronic financial health problem, according to the results of the most recent Financial Wellness Index issued by the Workplace Super Specialists Australia (WSSA). The study found just 26 percent of working Australians are classed as financially “well,” and a third are deemed “unwell” and needing serious financial improvement.

In addition, the WSSA report found 29 percent of workers surveyed were “on the way to wellness.” Only 6 percent of Australians polled were in the highest category of financial wellness.

For its research, the WSSA asked working Australians objective and subjective questions about long-term finance. It stated that short-term financial goals were crucial for building realistic long-term financial plans.

Financial wellness doesn’t just take a toll on an individual’s bank balance. The WSSA found a link between poor financial health and absenteeism in the workplace, which costs Australian businesses approximately $33 billion every year.

Terry Rhodes, the president of the WSSA, said employers should take note of these findings and work closely with their employees for their financial stability.

“This data should be regarded as a real cry for help from everyday Australians living the day-to-day reality of their financial wellness,” he told Money Management magazine. “It is a situation that is both stressful and costly for employees and employers.”

So what causes poor financial crisis? The researchers found more than low wages and high living costs were to blame. People with high stress levels are most likely to have poor financial wellness, according to the WSSA study. Distractions in the workplace, low self-esteem, and poor physical and emotional health are also key contributors.

However, just like physical and emotional health, financial health can always be improved through intervention. Mr Rhodes said employers and financial experts could help improve the nation’s financial health through engagement programs and financial strategies.

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