Research shows mental health strain of personal finance issues exacerbated during lockdown
More than half (55%) of Brits aged between 45-54 agreed they are more worried about their financial situation than before the lockdown - and almost a third (30%) said this is negatively impacting their mental health, according to a study by Aviva.
The research, which surveyed 2000 UK adults (300 of which were aged 45-55) suggests that this age group - as known as the ‘sandwich generation' due to its tendency to support both children and parents - is shouldering the heaviest financial burden as a result of the pandemic.
One in six (16%) said their adult children have become more financial dependent on them a result of Covid-19 - the highest of any age group.
Along with mental health problems, almost two in five (38%) are having trouble sleeping, 19% are experiencing physical health problems, and 13% say that it is causing problems with their family relationships.
Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: "While no one is immune to the knock-on effects that the economic downturn will have - the impact on the mental health on the squeezed middle is far-reaching. Too often this generation finds themselves shouldering their own financial burden, and at least part of their children's, and it's vital that more support is offered to them.
"Having confidence in being able to plan for the future is more important now than ever before, yet the vast majority do not, or cannot, access regulated financial advice. This means millions are acting alone, hoping for the best."
McQueen believes that employers can help by looking after the wellbeing of their employees, which is the reason why Aviva introduced a national mid-life MOT programme for people over 45, he said.
"Beyond this, we are committed to helping deliver better help and support for our customers and want to work with the government and regulators to make sure that suitable advice is accessible and affordable for the majority, within a properly regulated framework."
It's good to talk
Aviva's research also revealed that the majority (60%) of mid-life adults who discussed their finances with a family member or close friend agree they feel better for having discussed it.
Of these respondents over half (52%) agreed that they feel closer to their family and friends as a result of opening up, 49% said they now feel less embarrassed or inhibited when talking about money, and 48% agreed they have learnt about new options for their finances having had a conversation.
McQueen added: "Having open and frank conversations with family and friends is the first step to improving your financial situation, however too often these conversations are avoided or put off all together. Speaking about your financial concerns can lighten your load, reduce the stigma, and encourage the sharing of advice and guidance. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved - and that's certainly the case when it comes to your finances."
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