At the start of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) in the UK, please find comments below:
- Quilter corporate affairs director, Jane Goodland, on the link between financial wellbeing mental health and
- Rachael Griffin, financial planning expert at Quilter, on steps people can take to protect their financial security if they become financially vulnerable in later life due to age related mental illness.
Quilter corporate affairs director, Jane Goodland, says:
“Campaigns like Mental Health Awareness Week play an important role in combating the stigma that prevents people from talking openly about mental health issues. A similar problem continues to exist when it comes to money. Money matters remain off limits in conversation for many people who often do not have the kind of support networks around them to deal with these challenges. Instead, when faced with problems linked to money, like debt worries or other financial problems, we tend to try to deal with it alone rather than seeking help and advice.
“Mental health and money troubles share a close link. It is often said that money alone does cannot give you happiness, and that is certainly true. But money can definitely be a source of unhappiness and potentially contribute to mental health challenges for those that find themselves in financial difficulty. Figures from the Money and Mental Policy Institute show that nearly half (46%) of people in problem debt also have a mental health problem and 86% said that their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse.
“Giving people an opportunity to talk about their financial issues can often be the first step to resolving a problem. If you’re worried about your finances and how it could impact your wellbeing and mental health, there are plenty of options. Government-backed services like The Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service can help you get on top of basic financial matters and are free to use. And charities like StepChange or Citizens Advice can provide support to those struggling with debt. Ultimately, the best way to get peace of mind and reassurance that your finances are in order and working for you is to see a financial adviser to get a complete financial plan to meet your own individual needs.
“Financial strain can be a big burden for people to carry and is not easily fixed. But whatever the scale of your financial wherewithal, it is important to build a proper financial plan so that you’re in control of your finances. That starts with understanding your outgoings and expenditures and trying to make sure you always have enough set aside to cover life’s essential costs for at least a few months if you were to lose your main source of household income or experience some other financial shock, like a costly home repair bill. Unfortunately, many people don’t have that financial buffer in place, making them vulnerable if their finances take a turn for the worse. This can easily lead to strain on someone’s mental health, especially if they’re under pressure to support themselves and a family.”
Quilter tax and financial planning expert, Rachael Griffin, says:
“Age related mental illness is a challenge that society is gradually learning to manage. Advances in medicine, diet and lifestyle have dramatically enhanced our physical health and life expectancy, but a by-product is that many people now experience age-related mental illness in later life.
“There are lots of challenges to think about when dealing with mental health in later life, and financial matters can understandably feel like a low-priority. But it is a reality that some people may become incapacitated to the extent that they are unable to make informed financial decisions for themselves.
“The number of people now appointing a power of attorney – someone authorised to make financial decisions on their behalf if they become mentally incapacitated – has increased dramatically in recent years. It is a really valuable safety net to have in place as it provides reassurance that a trusted individual is going to be in a position to take control of your financial affairs if required. That means they’ll be able to manage your money to ensure that your finances are still taken care of.
“It also acts as a protection against the risk of being targeted by scammers during a vulnerable period in your life. Unscrupulous people may target older people, particularly those with mental health challenges, and seek to exploit them. If your finances are overseen by someone else that provides a layer of protection.
“Sadly, there have been reports of individuals targeting vulnerable older people and fraudulently appointing themselves power of attorney. This is a crime and the instances are few and far between but have happened. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to detect and the Office for the Public Guardian is trying to raise awareness of the issue among the police and other authorities. The best way to mitigate this risk is simply to appoint someone you trust as your own power of attorney sooner rather than later. Their responsibilities will only kick-in if you become mentally incapable yourself, so this is not about signing over control to someone else now. Instead, it is a case of giving yourself a safety net in place if your mental health deteriorates.”
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Notes to Editors:
About Quilter plc:
Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.
Quilter plc oversees £114.9 billion in investments (as at 31 March 2019).
It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.
The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.
Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Quilter Private Client Advisers; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.
Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.
The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:
- The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors
- Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning
- The private client advisers business is now Quilter Private Client Advisers
- The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions
- The International business to Quilter International
- The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance
- Quilter Cheviot will retain its name.
This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.
Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.
This communication is issued by Quilter plc. Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270. Registered in England.