FINANCIAL WELLBEING

Financial wellbeing: the last taboo 

  • 19 November 2021
  • 5 mins

12 men in the UK take their life every day and it has been reported that 61% of employed adults state that money is the factor that causes them the most stress.

The next biggest causes of stress are:

  • Work (51%)

  • Family (24%)

  • Health (23%)

  • Relationships (22%)

The harsh reality is that the male role in society has been depicted for so long as often being the breadwinner. The rock. The person that the family relies on to be strong. The real truth is that men can suffer from the same stresses, worries and concerns as women except some might say that these worries may take a bigger toll on men’s mental health with 3 times as many men as women dying by suicide.

We often talk about gender disparity particularly when it comes to issues like pay, career, protection and overall financial wellbeing. Whilst it is widely recognised that men and women engage with their finances differently, there is a lot more that can be done to improve the understanding of money and our confidence to engage with our finances regularly across both genders.

It's important that health issues that affect men disproportionately are understood and focus is placed on getting men to become more aware of health problems they may have, or could develop, and giving them the courage to do something about it.

So what can be done to normalise the conversation of money and finances and empower both genders, but particularly men, to speak openly and honestly about their personal circumstances before they reach the point of despair and feeling like they have nobody to turn to?

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As a nation we generally don’t like talking about money. Our finances are seen as complex, personal and something that shouldn’t be shared – particularly when we’re facing financial hardship. Money is one of the last taboos, however we all have a part to play in normalising the conversation.

Financial planning is the management of your finances with the aim of supporting your lifestyle and achieving your long-term goals. Financial planning can have many benefits. It helps you to consider your life goals alongside your financial situation so that you can manage your money effectively.

Understanding your financial position now could also help you plan for the unexpected in the future. Being prepared for unforeseen circumstances such as losing a job, becoming ill, or even a loved one passing away, could help to provide financial stability when you need it the most.

A financial forecast could help to put you in control of your spending, cash-flow, savings, and investments with the aim to reduce stress and provide valuable peace of mind.

Financial planning isn't just for the wealthy. Creating a roadmap to help you make the most of your money which aims to help you meet your future goals can be for everyone. Depending on your personal circumstances your plan could contain different elements to reflect your financial needs. These could include:

  • Protecting you and your family through insurance products such as life insurance and assurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

  • Building an investment portfolio that suits your short-term and long-term goals, timelines and your willingness to take risk.

  • Investing for your children's future.

  • Pension planning and managing your retirement income.

  • Passing on your wealth to loved ones in the most tax-efficient way.

A good financial plan can be amended alongside changes that happen in your life. It's a tool to track your progress, and one to keep updated with the aim of making sure you're still on track to potentially achieve your goals. It’s a good idea to review your financial plan regularly, including after important milestones, like getting married, buying a house, having a child or losing a loved one.

Use our free online tool to see if you could benefit from a financial advice.

Now is the time to normalise the conversation.

A bit about me

My name is Leigh Dunkley and I am the Financial Wellbeing Lead at Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW). I have worked in financial services for the last 7 years, starting my career as a Corporate Banker with Lloyds Banking Group followed by spending 5 years at Scottish Widows where I worked with companies of all sizes to review their workplace pension schemes and strengthen the support they provided to employees.

It was during this time that I realised my passion for financial wellbeing and started on my journey to deepen my knowledge of personal financial planning and the importance of being able to provide education, guidance and advice in the workplace.

Fast forward to October 2019 when I joined the team at SPW. Since then I have dedicated myself to improving the financial wellbeing of individuals across the UK. Through my work with HR and wellbeing teams I help to build and/or enhance firms financial wellbeing strategies, aiming to truly engage and support their employees in creating a financial plan.

I passionately believe that financial institutions, governments and charities need to work hand in hand to support individuals and help them to engage effectively with their finances. Establishing an understanding of wellbeing and demystifying the subject of finances is the start of this process.

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