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Talk Money Week: Two-fifths of adults worry about retirement cash

Written by: Emma Lunn
Almost two-fifths (38%) of working adults are not confident about their financial preparations for later life, according to research by Fidelity International.

As part of Talk Money Week, Fidelity is highlighting the issues around money, debt, and mental wellbeing that many people struggle to talk about.

Fidelity’s Global Sentiment Survey found a quarter (25%) of working adults have spent more than they can afford over the past six months, with more than a third (36%) saying they are stressed about meeting their immediate financial needs such as food, mortgages or rent, and utilities.

This precarious situation is taking a toll on the nation’s wellbeing, with one in five (19%) workers saying they felt stress, anger, and fatigue due to a loss of income, while more than half (56%) said they felt the same due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Young workers are also struggling, with almost a third (28%) of those in their twenties describing their day-to-day finances as poor. Unsurprisingly, two-thirds (65%) of those in the same age group are also stressed about meeting their long-term financial goals.

Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity International, said: “The rapidly rising cost of living is having a disastrous effect on millions of households across the UK. Consumers today are becoming more and more concerned about their ability to afford everyday essentials such as petrol, childcare and energy. Unfortunately, as a nation we aren’t good at talking about money, which means many of those affected are suffering in silence – feeling alone, anxious and isolated.

“As an employer, it’s important to encourage people to feel that they can talk about their money challenges, and to make sure there are signposts to organisations that can provide guidance and support, should they need it. Workplace pensions are a natural starting place for many employers to encourage such engagement. This is also why initiatives like #TalkMoney week are so important – it reminds us that being open and engaged with money is an essential part of our overall financial wellbeing.”

Tips if you’re struggling to talk about your finances

As part of Talk Money week, Fidelity is publishing a podcast to help those who are struggling to talk about their finances. Tips from the podcast include:

Think about the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘when’

Whether you are the one who needs help, or you are concerned about someone else, consider the right time and place to approach the conversation. It’s important to set the scene with the other person and explain why you’d like to talk to them before doing so.

Be ready with conversation starters

The hardest part about a difficult conversation is knowing how to start, which is why having a conversation starter ready could make things go easier. Example conversation starters can be an anecdotal story, a similar situation to your own that may have recently come up on the news or a TV show, or a bill that’s arrived. But in certain cases, you may need to be more direct.

Keep the conversation flowing

It’s often easier to shut off or run away from difficult conversations, but this is less likely if you keep the discussion two-way. The other person needs to be involved and not simply a listener – when they are speaking, make an effort not to interrupt so that you can both contribute.

Remember, you are not alone

Millions of people struggle with money issues every single day, however the only way to solve these issues is to talk about them. Taking this first step now, instead of putting it off, may not only resolve these issues faster in the long-term, but it can also have a noticeable positive effect on your mental wellbeing and the mental wellbeing of those around you.

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