I AM A SONIC BOOMER, NOT A SENIOR... In this blog, I am writing to and for those who believe that the Boomers will change what the word Senior means. I also believe that Boomers will change what retirement means in our society. The blog is also for those who are interested in what life after retirement may look like for them. In this blog I highlight and write about issues that I believe to be important both for Seniors and working Boomers.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Is money as source of stress for you?
Financial stress is widely cited as the
third reason for divorce behind basic incompatibility, infidelity. Money is also
as a major cause of arguments for those in relationships.
A national study conducted for the Financial
Planning Standards Council (FPSC) in 2015 found that 42% of Canadians stated that
money was their greatest stress. It was the highest ranked stressor in the survey,
significantly outranking work (23%), personal health (19%) and relationships (17%).
Women vs. Men
Women reported higher levels of financial
stress than men. 51% of women said that worry about money caused them to lose sleep
(compared to 40% of men); 30% reported feeling anxiety and 9% said they felt overwhelming
levels of financial stress (compared to 17% and 3% respectively for men).
Many studies have found that women tend to be more concerned
about money than men. Money and finance are areas that many women feel
insecure about and intimidated by. As times have changed, with more women reporting
taking on the role of primary money manager in the household, women have found themselves
increasingly responsible for money and this has created stress for many.
Additionally, women are earning more and
living longer than previous generations, leaving them with increased financial responsibility
over a longer period of time.
13% of the people surveyed said they had
no regrets about their past financial decisions but, for the other 87%, there were
a number of things that they wished they had done differently:
15% said they wished that they had started saving money or started saving
10% wished they had invested more/earlier/wiser
6% thought they should have spent less
5% regretted not having taken either a better job or a better paying job
5% said they wished they had bought a house/condo/property
5% regretted not getting a better education
One of the challenges of money management
is that our best lessons often come with the benefit of hindsight. Unfortunately,
when it comes to money, time is our biggest asset and the later we learn the importance
of saving and understand the power of compound interest, the less opportunity we
have to put what we’ve learned into practice.
Honesty about Personal Finances
Another interesting fact noted by the surveyors
was that millennials (those born in the 80’s and 90’s) were much less honest about
their personal financial situation than the national average. 33% of millennials
reported lying to their friends about their financial situation, compared to the
national average of 17%. 25% of millennials said they had lied to family members
about finances and 15% said they had lied to co-workers (compared to a national
average of 14% and 9% respectively).
Millennials have been raised in an era dominated
by the rapid growth of electronic transactions, easy access to credit and a desire
for instant gratification and they often carry significant amounts of student and
61% of Canadians surveyed reported that
they were in a relationship with shared finances. When they were asked how transparent
they were with their partner about finances and how often they argued about money,
an interesting correlation occurred. 58% of the couples who were most transparent
about money reported rarely or never arguing about money, compared to only 30% of
those couples that said they were not transparent about their finances.
With money being cited as one of the most
common causes of arguments in relationships and financial incompatibility being
one of the leading factor in divorce, it’s not surprising that couples who talked
openly about money and finance, and who kept no financial secrets from each other,
would have fewer money related arguments than those who took a more individual or
secretive approach to their finances. While transparency about money isn’t always
easy (especially for millennials!) if it cuts down on arguments, stress and conflict,
then it might be worth considering as a key part of the recipe for relationship
The focus perhaps should be on how to conquer
and reduce that financial stress. Rather than just making it a talking point, perhaps
it’s time to actually take some definite action towards helping people (especially
young people) feel more confident and comfortable with money and equipping them
with the skills and knowledge to handle it effectively?