In aggregate, the world in 2015 was healthier, richer, better fed, freer, and more secure than in the past – and yet it drew to a close on a note of globalized anxiety. Unfortunately, 2016 could be characterized by even greater uncertainty and higher volatility. The painfully slow and uneven global economic recovery will be at the mercy of a multitude of possible negative shocks.
At a personal level, both the uncertainty theme and the prospect of more negative shocks in 2016 raise the issue of financial wellness – particularly in those countries where social benefits are less generous. Most institutions that deal with “financial wellness” equate it with “being protected against risks that are difficult to predict and may have significant financial consequences.” It’s easy to understand why this issue is acquiring so much relevance as a wellness theme.
In the U.S., for example, adults have named money as their top source of stress for eight consecutive years – 64 percent rank it as a significant or very significant source of stress, more so than health concerns, work, or family responsibilities. Since financial wellness is so vital to the “continuity of life” for employees and their families when a financial problem occurs, its significance for both individuals and companies is likely to increase in the coming years.
In the same way that companies put in place physical wellness programs for their employees, they’ll develop more and more “financial wellness programs” in the form of training and courses to ensure that their staff are covered or prepared for financial emergencies and that their retirement and pensions are adequately financed.