Financial Wellness Matters
"We can see that there is a financial wellness crisis, which is as serious as the global financial meltdown experienced in 2008; one that needs to be tackled with the same level of urgency as the financial meltdown itself."
So said Marlene Street Forrest, general manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), while delivering the keynote address to the Environmental Health Foundation's (EHF), 11th annual Wellness and Lifestyle Awards Ceremony and Dinner under the theme: Financial Wellness: How You Can Achieve It. It was held on Wednesday, April 29 at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, St Andrew.
Street Forrest in quoting a 2011 study noted that following the 2008 global economic meltdown, said, "Job insecurity and uncertainty is on the rise; private sector jobs with a guaranteed pension have become scarce; companies are moving from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans, thereby transferring the liability of financial wellness to its employees, and health plans in general are becoming more expensive, and in some cases as within our own country, the safety net created by governments are either inadequate or non-existent."
She said that a major step for individuals to achieve financial wellness lies in a programme geared towards financial literacy and further noted that individuals need to understand that "life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. The later we delay preparation regarding our financial welfare, the harder it is to be prepared".
"Individuals must strive to get a financial check-up in the same way that a medical check-up is required (as) it is most important to assess where they have the greatest vulnerability," she added.
Among those who received awards for their contribution to wellness were the Grace Community Development Foundation for the category of Social Wellness; Rozi Chung of Studio 174 for Cultural Wellness; The Innovators - a Reality TV show; Rohan Gordon, gym instructor.