A recent study has demonstrated there is an “intrinsic link” between improved mental health and receiving financial advice. If you are an expat living in Europe, dealing with the many complexities of international life, managing your finances can be even more complex. This research shows that getting good financial advice and having a plan in place is not just good for your current and future financial position, it may also be good for your wellbeing.
The study undertaken by HSBC looked at 3,000 adults in the UK.
This is what they found:
- 74%, i.e. almost three-quarters of adults that sought financial advice were more likely to have average or above average mental health.
- 72% of respondents that have a professional financial plan and that review it at least once per year similarly had average or above average mental health.
- By contrast, for respondents that classified as not having a financial plan only 42% were shown to be in the average and above average group, and 48% felt they had below average mental health.
- Further, and markedly, their results showed that 42% of respondents that identified as not seeking financial advice stated their mental health has slipped below average.
The researchers concluded there is a direct link between having a financial plan and obtaining financial advice and better mental health outcomes. They stated that “Making small changes to your financial planning today can not only have a big impact on your current wellbeing, but also improve your overall health, especially both physically and more importantly mentally in the future.”
Getting advice can make you feel better, in part because of the processes of engaging an expert, taking control, mapping a plan and actively and regularly reviewing that plan.
This is good news because both as we have seen anecdotally, and from research from First Direct in their Money Wellness Index, money problems and mental health are often linked. It may be that your mental health impacts the way you manage your money, or the other way around, that financial pressures are causing stress, anxiety and other mental health issues. The First Direct research suggests one in three people will feel this stress at some stage.
Feeling under financial induced stress can lead to:
- Not being able to sleep because you are worried about your current or future financial position
- Feeling out of financial control
- Anxiety from the feeling that you can’t achieve your goals because of your financial position
- Stress from managing your cost of living
- Stress that you are not adequately preparing for your retirement
- The stress of not knowing where to start or how to manage your money and investments
But it is not just about tight cash flow. There is also stress from having money. It has been noted that people experience the pressure of managing your money, making sure it works for you and that you can achieve your objectives.
What you can do
- Set out a home budget. Many banks have useful budget management tools built into their apps
- Get strategic on your debt and manage it. Remember, debt isn’t always bad.
- Get professional and independent advice that is specific to your situation as an expat in Europe
- Put a well structured financial plan in place and review it regularly.
- Speak with us at Black Swan Capital.
If you would like to discuss your financial situation, get advice, put a plan in place and get help managing your investments, contact us at [email protected] and we will be pleased to work with you towards achieving your objectives and ideally reducing the stresses associated with finance and money.