We’ve all had worries about money from time to time, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your clients are more anxious about their finances than usual?
Although UK inflation has been falling in recent months, the cost of living crisis continues and wages are generally not keeping pace.
“Financial anxiety” – a chronic feeling of stress or worry about one’s financial situation – is affecting an increasing number of people at all levels of wealth. According to research published by IFA Magazine, 32% of people in the UK feel anxious about money matters.
If your client doesn’t have a strategy for achieving their financial goals or feels unable to put their plan into action this could lead to an unhealthy level of stress and anxiety.
Read on to learn more about financial anxiety and find out how your client could regain a sense of confidence about managing their money.
How financial anxiety could affect your client’s life
Many people who experience financial anxiety may seem to have all the trappings of a financially secure life – a good career, savings and so on.
And yet, they still worry constantly about getting into financial difficulty.
This chronic financial anxiety may be well hidden by your client’s apparent wealth, but it could potentially be affecting all areas of their life. Common symptoms of financial stress include:
- Poor sleep
- Weight gain or loss
- Physical pain and illness, such as headaches
- Relationship difficulties
- Problems concentrating.
If your client begins to focus on negative information or becomes more risk-averse than normal, these could be signs of financial anxiety.
Thankfully, there are practical strategies your client could use to help them feel more confident and positive about their financial situation.
Tips for helping your client cope with financial anxiety
Help them identify the specific triggers of their financial anxiety
Understanding the root cause of financial anxiety is often the first step towards developing healthy coping mechanisms.
There are many potential triggers of financial anxiety. For example, your client may fear instability and uncertainty, or they might be worried about not being able to provide for their family.
Engaging your client in casual conversation about their finances and other areas of their life might give you an idea of how much anxiety they’re feeling. This could provide you with a valuable opportunity to offer reassurance and guidance.
Encourage them to tackle physical stress with breathing exercises
Anxiety can have a physical impact on the body, and this often becomes a vicious circle. The more physically unhealthy your client becomes, the harder it may be for them to find the energy and motivation to tackle their anxiety.
Deep and slow breathing can have a positive impact on mental health. It could also help your client to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety when it arises.
Educate your client about personal finance
A lack of financial knowledge may exacerbate anxiety and contribute to feelings of uncertainty.
And a surprising number of individuals lack a good level of financial understanding. Research published by FTAdviser found that 73% of people in the UK fall below the threshold for being “financially literate” (a score of 6.5 out of 10 questions posed).
So, by educating your clients about their financial options, as well as the broader economic climate, you could help build their confidence in managing their money.
Provide a balanced perspective
If your client tends to focus on the negative, you could guide them towards taking a more balanced perspective.
For example, if they feel despondent because one of their investment funds performs poorly, you could point out that fluctuations in the market are inevitable but that few downturns last indefinitely.
Reminding your client of the actions they could take to manage risk, such as diversifying their portfolio and taking a long-term perspective on investing, might also give them a sense of control.
Suggest they speak to a financial professional
A financial professional could support your client to build the mental resilience they need to cope with their anxiety triggers.
Research published by Royal London has found that 46% of consumers feel extremely worried about the current cost of living compared to just 21% of those who have the support of a financial professional.
A financial planner could also help your client create a realistic financial plan for achieving their goals, which may help to reduce their anxiety.
Get in touch
If your client is worried about their finances and would like some support in managing their money, we’d love to hear from them.
Please email us at email@example.com or call 0345 505 3500.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.