Data and Research

Managing Life Events Can Improve Financial and Overall Well-Being

“A critical part for employers is understanding how life events impact a person’s total well-being and engaging employees with the right benefit to the right person at the right time,” says Jeanne Thompson, with Fidelity.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | May 02, 2017
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What’s going on in people’s lives impact many other aspects of life and reveal a strong connection between health and wealth, Fidelity contends.

This year, the average person will most likely experience four life events such as starting a new job, caring for a family member, buying a new house or having a child. Fidelity collaborated with the Stanford Center on Longevity and surveyed more than 9,000 employees to understand how those events affected a person’s health and wealth.

Not only does debt take a financial toll on people’s lives, but the survey found nearly 70% of women indicated taking on debt led to higher stress levels, compared to 47% of men. Thirty-six percent of women sleep worse (21% of men), 34% of women gained weight (17% of men) and 29% of women were less active (12% of men).

On the flipside, paying off debt has a major impact on overall happiness, especially for women: fifty-nine percent of women reported paying off debt made them happier, compared to 50% of men, 62% of women indicated their lives were improved (53% of men), and 44% of women reported lower stress levels (37% of men).

Adult children who move back home can also take a toll. One in nine Boomer parents surveyed said their kids returned “to the nest” in the past year. Fidelity found those new housemates come at a cost: 76% of parents said they face higher expenses. The health impacts are significant for women, as 46% reported sleeping worse and 40% reported gaining weight.

Coming Up: The generation experiencing the most negative impact from life events

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