Why Doctors are Big Believers in Financial Education

By Dan Kadlec

February 23, 2017

Do we need to raise the level of individuals’ financial literacy? Your doctor would say yes, if she were paying attention.

We’ve known for years that stress about money contributes to absenteeism and loss of productivity at work. Eight in 10 workers agree that money worries have hurt their job performance, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

About half of employers now offer workers some kind of counseling on such things as budgets, debt and saving, reports Aon Hewitt. Within a decade, 90% of large firms say financial wellness programs will be part of a standard benefits package, according to research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Employers have their bottom line in mind. But that’s okay because it’s good for workers too. A recent study from Four Seasons Financial Education links financial stress to specific diseases and found marked differences in health between those with low money stress and those with high money stress:

  • 19% of respondents with low financial stress suffer from depression while 55% of those with high financial stress suffer from the disorder.
  • 19% with low financial stress suffer from anxiety while 68% with high financial stress suffer.
  • 32% with low financial stress suffer from headaches and migraines, vs. 50% with high financial stress.
  • 7% with low financial stress suffer from memory loss, vs. 19% with high financial stress.
  • 3% with low financial stress suffer from infertility, vs. 6% with high financial stress.
  • 19% with low financial stress suffer from gastrointestinal problems, vs. 37% with high financial stress.
  • 23% with low financial stress suffer from high blood pressure, vs. 29% with high financial stress.
  • 45% with low financial stress suffer from sleeplessness, vs. 60% with high financial stress.

Up and down the list, the results are the same and the evidence is clear. Money stress is highly correlated with poor physical health. This is even true of heart attacks—suffered by 1% of those with low money stress and 2% of those with high money stress.

More about Money and Health:

Why Your Company Must Offer A Financial Wellness Program

The Link Between Financial Literacy and Healthcare Coverage

Posted in Bank of Dad, Latest Research on February, 2017