Financial concerns share headspace with sex

Lemonade is casting doubt over perceptions that sex dominates headspace after asking four groups of employees at differing life stages – young, free and single, young family, mature family and pre-retirement – how often they think about their finances. Collectively just over a third, 37 per cent, admitted to daily thoughts.

Despite being young, free and single, nearly half of this group (42 per cent) thought about their finances every day, marginally behind those with young families (43 per cent). One in five mature family respondents and 24 per cent of pre-retirees said daily.

David Pugh, Lemonade managing partner, comments: “We’ve all been told how sex dominates peoples’ thoughts, yet little is reported about their financial concerns. No matter what your age, it’s that ‘elephant in the room’, it pervades our thoughts and distracts us, yet few talk about it and even fewer are given options to address it.

“Employers have a role to play here; they’re keen to safeguard employees’ well-being, but to properly do this, they should include financial education within their benefits package.”

When it comes to communicating about finances, Lemonade says face to face is the preferred option; chosen by 45 per cent of the overall group. Those at both ends of their life stages – young, free and single and pre-retirees – rank face-to-face as their top preference; young and mature family respondents put digital ahead or equal to face-to-face. Printed material ranks the lowest.

David continues: “This is why a company handout or suggestion to trawl through websites will not work. Financial education is about discussing topics that resonate with a particular generation at a particular stage of their life, face to face. It’s answering specific questions and not presenting a ‘one size fits all’ product portfolio regardless of the audience.

“In our seminars, we know the key concern for young free and singles is getting on the housing ladder, for young families it’s protecting their family if the worst happens and for mature families/pre-retirees it’s wanting to be able to stop work while they’re still healthy. Pre-retirees are equally keen for their pension pot to last as long as they do.”

Lemonade is running a series of financial education seminars for Aberdeen Asset Management. Brian Thomson, head of reward and operations, concludes: “This is a case of practising what you preach. Financial education is critical which is why we go into schools to teach young people about investments and run sessions for our own clients.

“We are working with Lemonade so that our own people – wherever they work in the business – can broaden their own personal finance knowledge and achieve their goals whether it’s getting on the housing ladder, budgeting, pensions or options following retirement.”

*Survey undertaken with 100 employees – Q2, 2015.