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Employee Health Includes Financial Health, Too
Date:12/3/2007

Wellness programs can boost the bottom line for companies and their

employees

CHICAGO, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Many companies have begun implementing wellness programs to curb rising health care costs and help employees identify their health risks and cut back on unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Wellness programs -- which can include offerings from smoking cessation plans and counseling to discounted gym memberships and even acupuncture -- can benefit employees and employers by approaching health holistically, says Chicago-based financial advisor Julie Murphy Casserly.

Casserly says that, as employers consider wellness programs for their staff members, they should keep in mind the role that a person's financial situation plays in their overall health.

"When you're not financially healthy, it affects all areas of your life, including your physical health and your performance at work," says Casserly, president of JMC Wealth Management.

Wellness programs that include personal finance education or counseling can help employees facing financial difficulties and even reduce related health problems such as high stress or depression, says Casserly, who has given financial education seminars as part of wellness programs for Chicago- area companies.

But these wellness programs offer more than just a potential financial boon for employees. With returns of as much as $6 per $1 spent, according to the Centers for Disease Control, they can be a big financial savings for companies as well, cutting down on employee absenteeism and lost productivity and even the costs of recruiting and training new employees.

"In addition to health-related expenses, companies with strong wellness programs can save money simply by retaining their current staff," Casserly says. "A company that addresses its employees' needs holistically, including their financial health, will usually have happier, more satisfied employees, and they'll stick around longer."

Casserly, who helps her clients understand the emotions that trigger their financial decisions, also believes that corporate wellness programs can help employees root out the bad habits and unhealthy behaviors that may lie behind their debt or other financial difficulties.

"If you're making bad lifestyle choices," she says, "you can't make good financial choices."

Julie Murphy Casserly is a financial advisor and president of JMC Wealth Management, a Chicago-based financial services firm that helps clients realize their goals by examining the emotions behind their money.


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SOURCE JMC Wealth Management
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