Growing Your Savings Can Have Health Benefits

Be prepared for a potential unstable job environment.

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Fear of being laid off from your job or getting fired would cause you to worry about your finances, including how you’d be able to keep paying your bills.

But such fear can cause another problem, too. It can put you at risk for numerous health problems, according to researchers at Ball State University and the University of Toledo.

They analyzed data from more than 17,000 workers who took part in the government’s 2010 National Health Interview Survey and found that workers who feel insecure about their jobs are more likely to report lifetime histories of ulcers, diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease.

High school dropouts and workers with household incomes below $35,000 were more than twice as likely as other groups to report anxiety about potential job losses. High school dropouts have fewer job prospects and a higher jobless rate than better educated workers.

Globalization, outsourcing, corporate consolidation and the rise of short-term contract work are among the factors making workers anxious.

The study didn’t mention the loss of jobs from automation. That wasn’t as much of an issue in 2010 as it is today and is likely to be in the near future as more jobs — especially those of a repetitive nature that can be handled more efficiently by robots — become automated.

Job stress seems to have a connection with mental and physical health. Study respondents who were worried about unemployment were five times more likely to have experienced symptoms of mental illness in the prior 30 days than were workers who felt secure in their jobs.

The 2010 federal survey was based on questions asked while the country was climbing out of a recession.

One in three workers at that time reported anxiety about his or her job status. The Ball State-University of Toledo study was conducted in 2015 and the findings reported in 2016. It showed that 10 percent to 20 percent of workers suffered job anxiety, but the authors said the conclusion holds true that the changing nature of work and its effect on Americans’ sense of job security are public health concerns.

So you need to recognize the connection between health and wealth — that the stability of your income afforded by having a stable job affects your ability to have a peaceful, worry-free life.

How do you protect yourself if you feel your work environment is becoming unstable?

One way is by growing your savings. If you have plenty of money set aside, you’ll worry less about getting laid off or fired. We help our clients by recommending strategies well-suited to their circumstances and goals. As the study indicates, this is likely to result in better physical health as well.

We’d be happy to assist your family and friends in the same way.

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