American Workers Banking On A Refund & Taking It To The Bank. From The Principal Well-Being Index: American Workers. (Graphic: Business Wire)

American workers view themselves as more physically fit (57 percent) than financially fit (28 percent), according to new research from the Principal Financial Well-Being IndexSM: American Workers. While employees report lagging financial health, the vast majority (84 percent) recognize maintaining physical health is an investment in their financial future.

Nearly half of workers (46 percent) feel stressed about their current financial situation, although stress seems to diminish with age and among those seeking help. Only a third (35 percent) of baby boomers report they feel stressed about finances compared to half of Gen Y workers (51 percent). Those working with a financial professional were much less likely to feel stressed about their finances (33 percent compared to 51 percent).

“American workers recognize the long-term financial benefits of staying healthy, but financial stress is often a constant pressure that can have a significant impact on their physical health,” said Luke Vandermillen, vice president at the Principal Financial Group ®. “With spring in full swing, now is a good time for Americans to apply their good fitness habits to their financial lives as well. Mark some time on the calendar for financial spring cleaning; meet with a financial advisor, set goals and take action.”

The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers surveys American employees at small and mid-sized businesses with 10 to 1,000 employees, and is part of a series on the financial well-being of Americans released quarterly by The Principal ®. The survey is conducted online by Harris Poll ®.

Financial CheckupAs a way to give themselves a financial checkup, more than half of employees (52 percent) say they have monitored their spending levels in the past year. Nearly two in five (39 percent) created a budget to keep finances in check, up significantly from 28 percent two years ago.

In order to help maintain their financial health in the event of a job loss or other unexpected event, nearly three-in-five (57 percent) have an emergency fund in place. Those who work with a financial professional are 1.5 times more likely to have a fund in place. Nearly one-in-five admit they have recently dipped into their emergency fund to cover monthly expenses.

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