A recent study by Old Mutual has shed light on the financial challenges faced by working Ghanaians, with 64% experiencing financial stress.

The report highlights disparities, indicating higher stress levels among lower-income earners (below GH₵3,000 per month) and those in the informal sector. Additionally, 55% of respondents reported earning less than pre-2022 or pre-recession levels.

The study reveals that personal savings are a primary recourse for covering expenses, with 61% tapping into their savings. While 54% rely on personal savings as a source of income, only 10% have taken out a loan from a financial services provider. Instead, 24% borrowed from friends or family, and 12% sought funds from ‘Susu’. A notable 21% reported having a credit card.

Various savings channels are employed, ranging from formal to informal, with banks, mobile money, Susu, and unbanked cash among the top choices. Concerns about relevance, affordability (charges), and trust hinder greater adoption of formal savings vehicles.

Top savings priorities include income security, cost-cutting, and secure investments. Emergency savings, particularly relevant for the 40% worried about job loss, rank high. Other key savings goals encompass children’s education, medical expenses, business funding, and family’s future.

The study indicates that 44% rely on a single source of income, while 24% engage in multiple income streams as PolyJobbers, especially common among those earning GH₵3,000 or more.

Despite the importance of retirement planning, less than a quarter prioritize it as a savings goal. Only 37% have started saving for retirement, and confidence in retirement provision is low at 5.8 out of 10.

The research reveals low penetration of formal retirement products, with only 20% holding a pension/provident fund through an employer. Additionally, 88% lack life cover, citing it as a non-immediate priority and too expensive.

In terms of employee benefits, 28% of formal sector workers lack them, while among those who do, medical/health insurance (28%) and pension/provident fund (20%) are most common.

A significant finding is that 54% of respondents own a business, primarily self-financed from business funds or personal savings. Debt avoidance is evident, with only 11% seeking funding from financial services companies.

Old Mutual’s Financial Services Monitor provides valuable insights into the financial landscape of working Ghanaians, emphasizing the need for tailored solutions to address diverse challenges.


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