LifeWorks, a leading provider of technology-enabled total wellbeing solutions, today released its quarterly Financial Wellbeing IndexTM (FWI) report, revealing a continued negative financial wellbeing score among Canadians since the beginning of the pandemic. The report analyzes the financial health of Canadians by a range of demographics, geographies and industries, revealing vast differences in financial wellbeing across each group.
The FWI score for April is -2.2, which is a slight improvement from the score reported in the first index in February (-2.8). A negative score indicates a lower level of financial wellbeing among working Canadians compared to pre-pandemic benchmark data collected in 2019.
“Canadians are still feeling the impact of the pandemic on their financial situation,” said Idan Shlesinger, president, retirement solutions and executive vice president. “While some Canadians have successfully managed their finances during the pandemic, better education is needed to help them plan for the future and overcome the financial challenges they may be facing due to the pandemic. The first step of helping Canadians to improve their financial health is to provide reliable sources of information.”
The Financial Wellbeing IndexTM found that having access to credible financial information, leads to a better financial wellbeing score. Among respondents, 37 per cent rely on family members as their primary source of financial information. Those individuals have an average FWI score of -5.8. Twenty-two per cent of respondents rely on friends and 11 per cent rely on social media as their primary source of financial information. They have average FWI scores of -7.2 and -7.3, respectively. In comparison, 40 per cent of respondents rely on a financial advisor as their primary source of financial information, reporting a positive FWI score of +4.7.
“Financial wellbeing has been shown to make a difference between those who are faring better in their mental health than those who are not,” said Paula Allen, global leader and senior vice president, research and total wellbeing. “Employers are often unaware of the challenges faced in the workforce. There are people over the age of 50 with no emergency savings and others who prefer to go beyond only saving through pension plans. It is essential to provide a system that offers more personalized options.”
New financial wellbeing solution myFinances supports growing need for reliable financial guidance
More than half (56 per cent) of Canadians indicate some barrier to increasing their financial knowledge, including lack of time and not knowing where to look, among other reasons. Due to the growing need for reliable sources of financial information, LifeWorks has launched a digital financial wellbeing solution, myFinances. Available through employers, Canadians can seek personalized financial assessment, educational content, insights and recommendations from LifeWorks experts to help them achieve their financial goals. The mobile-first digital tool offers curated guided journeys that help individuals enhance their financial wellbeing through budgeting, emergency savings, debt management, insurance, wills and estate planning, tax and retirement adequacy.
myFinances provides users with an initial financial wellbeing score and actionable next steps to improve the score over time. Leveraging this score and corresponding insights, the digital solution also provides employers with anonymized detailed analysis into their workforce’s financial needs and concerns.
About the Financial Wellbeing Index™
The Financial Wellbeing Index™ by LifeWorks was conducted through an online survey in English and French from March 22 to April 2, 2021, with 3,000 respondents in Canada. All respondents reside in Canada and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflect this population. The Financial Wellbeing Index™ is published quarterly, beginning February 2021, and compares against benchmark data collected in 2019. Click here to read the Financial Wellbeing IndexTM report.
LifeWorks is a global leader in delivering technology-enabled solutions that help clients support the total wellbeing of their people and build organizational resiliency. By improving lives, we improve business. Our solutions span employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement and financial consulting, actuarial and investment services. LifeWorks employs approximately 7,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in more than 160 countries. LifeWorks is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: LWRK). For more information, visit lifeworks.com.