Written by Nick Hall, Business Development Director, Wealth Wizards
The alignment between mental wellbeing and financial wellbeing is well known. The Money & Pensions Service puts it like this: “People who experience financial wellbeing are less stressed about money. This, in turn, has positive effects on their overall mental and physical health, and on their relationships.”
The effect of help with our finances is also well documented. A recent survey by Royal London**, for example, showed that support provided through financial advice helps reduce worry by more than half – 21% of advisers say their clients are anxious about the cost of living, compared with 46% of the wider population.
And yet, as we know, so many people in the UK are unable to access the financial advice and guidance that could make a difference to their financial wellbeing, and in turn their mental and physical wellbeing.
The current UK cost of living crisis is serving to emphasise how important that is for our nation. We never know what’s coming around the corner and it is important that as a nation we are more financially resilient.
Wealth Wizards believes that using digital services is the only way our industry can viably help support the large number of people who need to better understand their finances and so improve their financial wellbeing.
Giving people access to engaging services that deliver helpful, user-friendly, jargon-free material, which enable them to see how they can best manage their money, where they can save, how to invest, and what they need to do to secure their retirement, can help educate, build knowledge and engender greater financial confidence.
From the perspective of an advice business, digital can help deliver this service cost effectively and resource efficiently. It can make serving lower value clients viable, and also open up new revenue streams, at scale, for progressive advice businesses.
For larger advice firms, consolidators, networks and platforms, in particular, there are considerable opportunities to be had. Life assurers and banks are already employing digital financial guidance models to help people make better-informed decisions around their retirement savings and options.
And it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. Businesses can build their capability on a modular level, adding more capability as it suits their business model.
Using digital services, as an industry we are in a position through available digital technology to deliver accessible financial advice to so many more people and cost effectively for businesses. Imagine the impact of this on our financial wellbeing and by association, mental wellbeing in the UK.