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Lower Employee Financial Stress May Be Misleading

Fewer reports of financial stress among employees may be misleading.

Employees' level of stress regarding financial wellness appears to be on the decline, but there is a risk that individuals may be sliding back into bad financial habits, which could have dire consequences.

Although only 16 percent of respondents to the Financial Finesse Employee Financial Stress survey reported experiencing high or overwhelming levels of stress - compared with 30 percent in 2010 - there is some indication that employees may be feeling a false sense of security. Roughly two-thirds of employees surveyed who said they had no stress also said they weren't sure how they were going to afford retirement. More than half said they were not confident in their current investments.

"When employees grow complacent about their financial situations, they tend to ignore or forget about their long-term goals and needs," said Liz Davidson, CEO of Financial Finesse. "Research has shown that there is an optimal level of stress between no stress and high stress commonly referred to as 'eustress,' meaning stress that is good for your mental and physical health, as well as your ability to accomplish key life goals."

Employers could help employees and plan for retirement and make investments by offering financial counselling through the human resources department.