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Half of the Portuguese feel anxious about personal finances

Half of the Portuguese feel anxious about personal finances

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A recent study by Doutor Finanças, in partnership with Laicos and scientifically endorsed by NOVA IMS and the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon, uncovers significant financial anxiety among Portuguese citizens. This extensive research provides a nuanced behavioral perspective on the financial status of Portuguese citizens, highlighting substantial challenges.

The findings indicate that 64% of the population has low financial literacy, a major factor contributing to widespread financial anxiety. Nearly half of Portuguese citizens lack an emergency fund sufficient to cover three months of expenses, exacerbating stress and diminishing overall well-being. This issue is particularly severe among women with lower incomes and education levels.

Furthermore, the research shows that a quarter of the population struggles to meet their financial obligations. Individuals who are over-indebted report lower life satisfaction, underscoring the substantial impact of financial instability on mental health in Portugal.

A concerning discovery is that only one-third of the Portuguese population possesses strong financial knowledge. Many individuals experience anxiety when considering their personal finances. Despite a notable portion of the population claiming to plan their financial lives, only a minority effectively manage their assets or invest in savings or emergency funds, signaling potential financial fragility among some families.

The study also provides a comparative analysis, illustrating that Portugal's current level of financial knowledge is similar to that of Germany 15 years ago. Additionally, it reveals that 39% of Portuguese cannot handle an unexpected expense of 2,000 euros, and 72% have not developed any financial retirement plan. Furthermore, 45% of the population has never engaged in investment activities.

This critical research was enriched by contributions from key members of the MagIC research centre, including Diego Costa Pinto, Leonardo Vanneschi, and Joana Nunes, alongside Lourenço Palma dos Reis, Alexandre Vieira, and Madalena Peixoto from Laicos - Behavioural Change, and Mário Boto Ferreira from the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon. Sérgio Cardoso and Rui Bairrada from Doutor Finanças also played vital roles.

The findings were presented at an event held at NOVA IMS on May 29th, where the importance of prioritizing financial well-being to enhance happiness and quality of life among the Portuguese was emphasized. Discussions at the event also highlighted the necessity for further research into consumer behavior, taking into account both rational and emotional factors.

For access to the full study, visit: Financial Well-Being Study in Portugal