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More than half of Scottish adults are stressed or overwhelmed by their financial situation, according to a new report by Schroders Personal Wealth.

The Schroders Personal Wealth Money and Mind Report, April 2022 took in 2000 adults across the UK, 168 of whom were based in Scotland. It looked at a wide range of age groups and levels of wealth to analyze how they feel about their financial situation.

The research showed that 54% of Scottish people state that they regularly (11%) or occasionally (43%) feel stressed or overwhelmed by their financial situation. This is slightly higher than the UK average of 52%.

Donald Gateley, Schroders Personal Wealth Regional Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said that unsurprisingly the figures were even higher than the previous analysis made in 2020.

“The findings in 2020 were quite stark for Scotland,” he said. “Our research then found that nearly half (44%) of Scottish adults felt regularly or occasionally stressed or overwhelmed by their financial situation. Worryingly, this has increased in our 2022 research to 54%.

This is hardly surprising though with the country being gripped by a pandemic and several nationwide lockdowns for the past two years.

There is a huge acknowledgment that the human suffering and loss of life experienced as a result of COVID-19 may have an impact on society far greater and far longer than we can fully appreciate at the moment. We also recognize that at the time of publishing this report the UK is experiencing 30-year high inflation rates, a rise in living costs and interest rates that are slowly increasing, the ultimate consequence of which is still to be felt on a national scale. ”

The report also found that concerns over money worries can spill into other areas of people’s lives. 23% of Scots said concerns about their financial situation had impacted their performance at work.

As businesses struggle to recover from the pandemic restrictions and continue to monitor their employees’ welfare, money worries are often the biggest cause of stress, often resulting in staff sickness and absence.

According to the Center for Economics and Business Research, 18% of full-time and part-time workers noticed a decline in productivity at work due to financial worries. This implies that approximately 4.9 million UK full-time and part-time employees have experienced a fall in productivity at work due to their financial condition.

The Schroders report asked respondents what could help to increase their financial well-being and it was the prospect of having money to spend on experiences with friends and family which came out on top with 49%. This was closely followed by having money to spend on themselves (45%) and being more confident in managing finances (44%).

According to 83% of Scots, financial success is the freedom to do what they want without worrying about money. Retiring early was the top choice for 64% and just over a third (37%) said that it was the most obvious indication of the amount of wealth they have that determined financial success.

Just under a third of the over 65s in Scotland have regrets about how much they’ve saved for retirement. And 35% are at least slightly concerned that their retirement savings won’t last as long as they may need.

Despite these findings, two thirds of Scots choose not to use a financial adviser to help them manage their finances.

Achieving financial success is likely to require a financial plan, yet people seem reluctant to rely on the services of a professional financial adviser.

Only 19% of people in Scotland reported that they would turn to a financial adviser if they had any financial worries. 52% would prefer to confide in their partner and 20% choose to open up to their parents. Nearly a quarter of Scottish adults would keep their money worries to themselves.

The journey to achieving financial well-being starts with improving your relationship with money and setting financial goals. If someone is struggling it can be hard to ask for help.

At Schroders Personal Wealth, qualified and friendly Personal Wealth Advisers could help Scots perform a financial health check to understand if their services are right for them.

There are no hidden fees or charges, you’ll only pay if you choose to go ahead with the recommendations in your personalized financial plan.

“Lack of understanding or confidence in your financial position can have a detrimental impact on your well-being. This is why we’re passionate about ensuring individuals and their families are engaged with their finances and having regular, open and informed conversations about their personal circumstances,” Donald added.

“Our objective is to make advice more affordable and accessible to more people so that everyone can experience the power of having a personalized financial plan.

Financial well-being is something everyone can aim to achieve, and together, we’d like to help you get there.”

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