Wealth vs health

Back to News & Views

More than half ignore medical advice and work despite poor health due to financial worries

When you are off work due to an illness or injury, worries about how you are going to pay your bills can make an already stressful situation worse. So much so that many people are finding themselves in the very difficult position of having to put the need to earn money over their health by continuing to go to work, even when advised not to by a doctor.

Worse still, financial concerns mean some are avoiding seeing their GP altogether, even when concerned they may have a serious illness. Money worries see six in ten people go to work when they are ill, with one in three ignoring their doctor’s advice due to financial concerns, even when they are worried about serious illness, according to new research[1].

No financial protection in place 

Three in ten people have no financial protection if they were off work should they fall ill or become injured, while 27% could financially only last for a month. The findings highlight that sick and injured Britons are forcing themselves back into work, despite doctors’ advice, due to having no financial protection in place.

Nearly a third (32%) admitted to not following their doctor’s advice because they couldn’t afford to take time off, while 43% would put off going to the doctors due to financial concerns – even if concerned they may have a serious illness.

Negative impact on mental wellbeing

The research also highlights that while nearly half (49%) say they would benefit from a policy that would cover their income if off work for an extended period, just 27% actually have any income protection cover in place, with 32% unaware of what such a policy is.

Money worries can have a negative impact on people’s mental wellbeing, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed saying they fret about how they would cope financially if they needed to take four weeks or more off work due to poor health.

Sick and on a reduced income

Three in ten (30%) surveyed have nothing in place to support them financially should they be ill or injured, while 29% would rely on Statutory Sick Pay, which at £99.35 per week for up to 28 weeks (tax year 2022/23), pays much less than many people need to cover the cost of living, which continues to rise.

If on long-term sick pay and on a reduced income, many would use their existing savings (45%), make reduced payments (33%), borrow money from family or friends (25%), or use a credit card or loan (15%). However, during the pandemic a third (34%) of people had already dipped into their savings, meaning they may now have less to fall back on.

Longer-term financial impacts

As a result of this situation, more than half (55%) admit they could only survive for three months, while more than a quarter (27%) would struggle after just one month. The additional financial pressures of being off sick for four weeks or more could push people to prioritise their household expenditures. The top five things that the people surveyed prioritise include utilities (67%), mortgage/rent (65%), food (56%), insurance i.e. car/home/pet (15%) and internet/broadband (13%).

As well as the immediate impact of long-term sickness, many people are also concerned about the longer-term financial impacts, with almost half (49%) of those surveyed saying they worry about the impact on their ability to get credit in future. This is particularly an issue for the self-employed, where 43% worry about losing customers and just over a third (36%) worry that their business would have to fold.

Time to discuss insurance that works while you can’t?

Consider how you’d cover your usual monthly costs if you were ill or injured and couldn’t work for a while. Would you be able to carry on paying the bills using Statutory Sick Pay or your savings? If not, it’s worth thinking about insurance. To find out more, please contact us.

Source data:

[1] Survey conducted by Censuswide for Nationwide between 10–14 February of 2,003 people who are self-employed or employed but receive Statutory Sick Pay when off work through illness or injury.

Book your FREE, no obligation discussion today. Schedule Appointment

Sign Up to our mailing list - Receive regular news, tips and financial commentary from the Gemini Team.

Latest News

  • Just two out of five have planned for inflation in retirement Retirement planning can be complex at the best of times, so it is easy to understand how some people can find it daunting to take into account factors like inflation. The reality is that inflation hurts everyone, but it can be especially harmful to retirees. [...]

  • What’s the right emergency fund amount for you? An emergency fund is money you put aside to cover a financial shock. This could be losing your job, or a large, unexpected expense. Building an emergency fund can help prevent your needing to borrow money or make difficult financial decisions in those moments, by giving you savings to fall back on. [...]

  • 3 tips to maintain your financial wellbeing The rising cost of living is one of the most pressing issues facing many families today. The price of food, energy, fuel and other necessities has risen significantly in recent months. This has made it difficult to make ends meet and has put a strain on many household budgets. [...]

  • How to maintain your financial wellbeing As interest rates continue to rise, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your personal finances remain in good standing. It is always important to remain on top of your finances, but especially during times of rising interest rates, as many people start to feel the squeeze. [...]

  • Inflation, political and general economic impacts There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to delay your retirement. Inflation is one important factor. Over time, the purchasing power of your money can decrease significantly, making it harder to maintain your standard of living in retirement. [...]

  • 1 week ago

    What investors need to know The global stock markets can be highly volatile, with wide-ranging annual, quarterly, even daily swings. Although this volatility can present significant investment risk, when correctly harnessed, it can also generate solid returns for shrewd investors. [...]

  • What really important retirement questions should you be asking? As you approach the last five years before your retirement, there will be a lot of things to consider. You’ll need to think about your finances, your health, your housing situation and your plans for the future to live comfortably in retirement. [...]

  • No one-size-fits-all answer to this question When is the right time to retire? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – it depends on your personal circumstances. However, there are a few things to consider that may help you decide when the right time for you is. [...]

  • Planning for your wealth preservation and the eventual transfer of that wealth When you’ve worked hard and invested carefully to build your wealth, you want to look after it. That’s why it’s important to plan for your wealth preservation and the eventual transfer of that wealth. [...]

  • Planning for your wealth preservation and the eventual transfer of that wealth When you’ve worked hard and invested carefully to build your wealth, you want to look after it. That’s why it’s important to plan for your wealth preservation and the eventual transfer of that wealth. [...]

  • 10 practical steps to ensure your money is working hard for you In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to make sure your finances are in order. The Bank of England believes that a painful squeeze on our living standards, driven primarily by soaring energy prices, is set to intensify and will push the UK economy into recession later this year. [...]

  • 3 weeks ago

    More than half ignore medical advice and work despite poor health due to financial worries When you are off work due to an illness or injury, worries about how you are going to pay your bills can make an already stressful situation worse. So much so that many people are finding themselves in the very difficult position of having to put the need to earn money over their health by continuing to go to work, even when advised not to by a doctor. [...]

Gemini Wealth Management Ltd is Authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority Registered in England & Wales No. 5919877 Registered Office: Gemini House, 71 Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 6BT The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax and trust advice, will writing and some forms of buy to let mortgages. The guidance and/or advice contained in this website is subject to regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to those based in the UK.

Website by Mellow Marsh Software
© Gemini Wealth Management Ltd
Privacy Notice | Cookie Policy