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Financial advisers help tackle stress

Financial advisers have a significant role to play in helping New Zealanders overcome money stress, the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) says.

Friday, September 27th 2019, 6:00AM

Research by the CFFC released to support Mental Health Awareness Week shows that 69% of New Zealanders are concerned about money, with that figure rising to 74% of women and 82% of those aged 18-34.

This concern manifests in a variety of ways, with 49% of people feeling stressed, 34% missing out on social activities, 31% not accessing health services when they might have otherwise, and 28% making unhealthy eating choices.

Other impacts include problems with personal relationships, feeling embarrassed about their finances, concealing their financial situation from family and friends, not doing exercise and feeling ill or unwell. Ten per cent of those aged 18-34 take regular days off work due to money worries.

Women responded to all categories in higher numbers than men, and those in the younger age group were also the most affected by each impact. Of women, 55% felt stressed by money concerns compared with 42% of men; 59% of the younger age group felt stressed compared to 40% of those aged 55-64 and 21% of those 65+.

Māori and Pasifika respondents were also particularly affected – 83% of Māori and 82% of Pasifika were concerned about money compared to 67% of NZ Europeans. Among Māori, 57% suffered stress, 40% made unhealthy eating choices and 38% did not access health services due to money concerns.

Tom Hartmann, Managing Editor of the Sorted website at CFFC, said that the line between financial and mental wellbeing was not hard to draw, with anxiety levels typically easing when people sorted their money situations.

He said anecdotal evidence showed that having an adviser to offer expert guidance was helpful in easing people’s money worries.

Financial products were becoming more complex he said and people left to make their own decisions could become stressed.

An antidote to that was having an “expert on your side” in the form of a financial adviser, he said.

“The personalised service they can give is the remedy for a lot of the financial stress there is.”

Tags: Commission for Financial Capability financial advisers Mental health Sorted

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Last updated: 11 November 2019 4:01pm

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