Employees worry about their finances, should employers care?

According to the research, a sizable majority of workers (69%) are stressed over their finances, leading to a range of behaviors that can cost companies approximately $2,000 in excess labor costs per employee. Most respondents (72%) admitted to worrying about personal finances while at work, with one-third doing so more than once per week.

The research finds that worker productivity is directly impacted by this stress, generating excess employment costs. “Slightly more than three-quarters of survey respondents cited lack of retirement savings as a leading factor affecting their stress,” the survey report says. “Nearly half report they worry about it ‘a great deal,’ and only 40% expect to retire ‘about when planned.’”

Source: Financially Well Employees Buoy the Bottom Line

I wonder if there ever was a time when workers were not stressed about their finances. I know back in the 80’s I was stressed paying college costs. I was never stressed paying credit cards because I didn’t use them which I suspect means I missed having lots of stuff that is taken for granted today by many.

But yes, employers should worry.

Anything that distracts workers while on the job is not good. On the other hand, isn’t it ironic that many workers, especially moderate income workers, face financial stress caused by their employer shifting costs to them in the form of higher premiums and or high deductible health plans or reduced retirement benefits.

Asking survey questions about money is like asking if health care is affordable; you know the answer beforehand.

When surveys ask about financial stress and retirement planning, they should also ask things like:

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

How much do you spend on lottery tickets?

Where did you go in your last vacation?

What is your credit card balance(s)?

How many times did you eat out last month?

Do you save any money before you spend any?


  1. “moderate income workers, face financial stress caused by their employer shifting costs to them in the form of higher premiums and or high deductible health plans or reduced retirement benefits.”

    Now business and politicians want to shift medical 4 all cost to the taxpayers. Business profits are now in the billions not millions, like it was when I entered the workforce in 1971.
    But most companies pay less in pay and benefits when adjusted for inflation.

    In 1974 when I graduated South Gate High School in South Gate, CA my brother and I rented a 1 bedroom apartment for $130 per month = $629 today. With just minimum wage jobs. Apartment rents today in South Gate = $1300 to $2000 per month. And the rich think $7.25 is an ok minimum wage. No wonder 25% of the CA population is on government assistance.

    In 1980 I made $3.89 per hour = $12.60 today. I purchased a new Mustang in 1979 for $5900 = $21,772 today. New Mustang costs $28,710. I purchased a house for $29,000 = $85,000 today. Cost of similar house today in same town = $110,000. I am sure I could not support these purchases today on a job paying $12.70 per hour.

    The bottom 50% of workers today make less $30,000 per year. Does anyone think they will have anything left to save for retirement, or anything else. Now I truly know why they call them the good old days.


  2. Any distraction, an employer should worry about. But I see these worries as an opportunity for an employer to ease their employee’s worrying by offering benefits to retain their good employees. Group life insurance, access to low cost or no cost financial planning, access to 401Ks or IRAs, even daycare help. But as you pointed out, healthcare costs are being shifted onto the worker.

    Sometime in the far, far future, I see employers getting rid of all the benefit packages and just giving their employees the cash equivalent for the benefits. The employers will love to get rid of the headache. The employees will love it thinking that they got great raises not realizing that they should be buying their own benefits without group rates discounts. THey will instead spend the money on material things or vacations. When this happens you’ll see welfare programs explode because a large majority will not plan for their future or their medical care and politicians will promise anything to get votes.


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