New research by insurance provider AXA reveals that Brits are failing to think about their future mental, physical and financial health, with nearly half admitting they either tend not to look ahead (26 per cent) or look ahead less than a year (23 per cent). Over a third (38 per cent) say they have no vision of their future, for various reasons.
What’s more, the survey of over 4000 British adults* highlights that a worrying proportion don’t want to talk to their loved ones about things that affect their wellbeing. While 62 per cent of those in a couple said they’d feel comfortable talking to their partner about their mental health, 66 per cent their financial health and 69 per cent their physical health, this indicates around a third wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so. But this lack of openness could be preventing the nation from realising their current potential as well as picturing and planning for their future.
In a bid to encourage people to have more searching conversations about health, finances and their lives in general AXA has partnered with The School of Life to create a box of 100 ‘truth’ questions cards with three levels of difficulty.
The questions challenge people to discuss topics with their loved ones such as:
1.Do you think your best times are behind you, or still lie ahead? Why?
2.Which worries you more – physical frailty or dementia? Why?
3.If your entire financial history were posted online, what would you feel most embarrassed about?
We challenged couples to use the questions to open up – see how they got on here.
David Waters from The School of Life comments: “So often it’s our fears that get in the way of being open and bold in our conversations with people close to us. We fear their response or what they will think of us. But with the right tools, we can progress towards new levels of confidence and honesty.”
Chris Horlick, Director at AXA, adds: “Talking frankly about our health and finances enables us to work towards making the future we want a reality. But that only comes with being honest with ourselves and those we care for. Asking difficult questions can help us to take stock, evaluate our priorities and better understand what’s needed to realise them.”
Three tips for opening up with your loved ones:
1.Make regular eye contact to show you’re listening and increase feelings of trust.
2.Acknowledge your fear or hopes to the other person by saying things like “I’m feeling really nervous about bringing this up. I worry you’ll take it the wrong way or think less of me…” or “I really want you to know how I feel about this because I trust you.”
3.Don’t be afraid of silences in the conversation – they can allow you both to reflect on what’s been said.
To find out more about planning for your future visit www.axappphealthcare.co.uk/ageing-well and join the conversation using #OpenUp.
Ben Faulkner/John DuBois AXA PPP healthcare press office 01892 612822
Nicola Pugh AXA Wealth press office 01256 852041
Notes to editors
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4183 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken 20th-22nd May 2016 and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
About AXA PPP healthcare
AXA PPP healthcare has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides medical insurance cover and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its specialist Health Services division.
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 166,000 employees serving 103 million clients in 64 countries. In 2015, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 99.0 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.6 billion. AXA had Euro 1,363 billion assets under management as of December 31, 2015. In 2015 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 7th consecutive year.
In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 10,500 staff in the UK.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.