TELUS Mental Health Index reveals one in four workers in the U.S. are worried they will not be able to retire

More than half of workers don’t know how much savings they need to retire; inflation identified as a leading financial concern

CHICAGO, Oct. 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS Health today released a special report on Financial Wellbeing as part of its TELUS Mental Health Index, revealing one in four (25 percent) workers in the United States worry about their ability to retire. The Index also found that more than half (63 percent) of workers do not know how much savings they need to retire, while citing inflation as a leading financial concern.

The Financial Wellbeing Index score of workers is 65.9, the lowest score since the launch of the Index in January 2021. The mental health score fell 1.4 points from August 2023 to 69.7.

“The current economic landscape has workers concerned about their financial futures and looking for advice on how to navigate a path forward,” said Juggy Sihota, Chief Growth Officer, TELUS Health. “Employers who grasp the undeniable connection between mental and financial wellbeing have a unique opportunity to offer all-encompassing and impactful support. By providing access to comprehensive benefits plans, tools and resources, employers empower their employees to forge a financially secure tomorrow for themselves and their loved ones.”

More than half of workers (52 percent) would put a surprise windfall toward retirement savings.

  • Of those surveyed, 63 percent are unsure how much money they need to save to maintain their desired standard of living. This group has a mental health score 10 points below the national average (59.9) and a financial wellbeing score six points below the average (50.9).
  • Workers who have a clear understanding of their retirement savings goals exhibited above-average financial and mental health scores (76.6 and 77.1, respectively), surpassing the national average.
  • Workers who are concerned about never retiring have significantly lower mental health (53.7) and financial wellbeing (45.3) scores compared to their counterparts.
  • Only a quarter of workers expressed no retirement worries, enjoying optimal financial wellbeing and mental health scores exceeding 80 points.

Workers’ top current financial concern is keeping up with inflation (26 percent).

  • Eleven percent of workers are concerned about covering basic needs.
  • Twenty-two percent spend 50 to 70 percent of their income on basic needs.
  • Sixteen percent of workers are not putting any earnings into savings. This group has a mental health score of 53.3.
  • Workers without emergency savings have a mental health score of 52.4, which is more than 15 points below the national average, whereas workers who have emergency savings score significantly higher at 76.0.

Three in four workers (78 percent) said it is important for their employer to offer retirement savings in a benefits plan.

  • One-third (34 per cent) of workers surveyed said financial planning is most important in a benefits plan.
  • More than one in ten workers (14 percent) said unlimited mental health coverage is most important in a benefits plan.
  • Thirteen percent of workers prioritize benefits that provide coverage for parents and adult children with workers under 40 being two and a half times more likely than workers over 50 citing benefits that provide coverage for parents as the most important.

“From the responsibilities of caring for children, aging parents and loved ones, to the aspirations of homeownership and retirement, preparing for the future can impose significant stress for people, both mentally and financially. Without a clear roadmap, the journey can often feel overwhelming,” said Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research & Client Insights, TELUS Health. “We consistently see a striking correlation between the absence of emergency savings and lower mental health scores indicating the vital importance of equipping individuals with resources to help plan ahead.”

The September TELUS Mental Health Index also revealed important findings related to spending on basic needs, preferences for windfall money, and the financial and mental health concerns of gig workers, as well as individuals supporting adult children or their parents. Read the full U.S. TELUS Mental Health Index report findings here.

About the TELUS Mental Health Index
The survey by TELUS Health was conducted through an online survey from August 4 to August 18, 2023, with 5,000 respondents. All respondents reside in the U.S. and were employed within the last six months. The data has been statistically weighted to ensure the regional and gender composition of the sample reflects this population.

The TELUS Mental Health Index is based on a response scoring system that then turns individual responses into point values. Higher point values are associated with better mental health and less mental health risk. Scores between 0 to 49 correspond with distress levels, scores between 50 to 79 correspond with strain levels and scores between 80 to 100 correspond with optimal levels of mental health. The TELUS Financial Wellbeing Index is measured by responses to four factors: perception, knowledge, productivity impact and behavior.

About TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a global healthcare leader serving people in more than 160 countries delivering both digital innovation and clinical services to improve total physical, mental and financial health and wellness across the full spectrum of primary and preventive care. By leveraging the power of technology to deliver connected solutions and services both in-person and virtually, TELUS Health is improving access to care and revolutionizing the flow of information while facilitating collaboration, efficiency, and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers and people globally, progressing its vision of transforming healthcare and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Our clinical team is composed of renowned and passionate health professionals around the world delivering best-in-class people-centric care to hundreds of thousands of employers, professionals and their families.

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Media contact:

Marielle Hossack
TELUS Media Relations