Originally posted April 22, 2014 by Lisa Barron on https://www.benefitspro.com

American employees see themselves as more physically fit (57 percent) than financially fit (28 percent), according to new research from the Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American workers.

The vast majority (84 percent), however, also believe that maintaining physical fitness is an investment in their financial future.

Still, nearly half of workers (46 percent) are stressed about their current financial situation. Fifty-one percent of Gen Y workers are stressed about finances compared to 35 percent of baby boomers.  And those working with a financial advisor were less likely (33 percent) to be stressed about their financial future.

“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.”

More than half (52 percent) say they have monitored their spending levels in the past year. Thirty-nine percent created a budget to keep finances in check, up from 28 percent two years ago.

Fifty-seven percent have an emergency fund in place, with those working with a financial profession about 1.5 times more likely to have one.

“It’s encouraging to see American workers planning for unforeseen hurdles by giving themselves a financial checkup and setting aside money in an emergency fund,” said Vandermillen.

“Despite a few missteps, like using the fund on monthly bills, these positive behaviors show individuals are making strides and taking personal responsibility to improve their short and long-term financial well-being.”

The Principal Financial Well-Being Index: American Workers was conducted online among 1,123 employees at small and mid-sized businesses from Feb. 4-12.