How Workers Gave Employers a $570 Refund Check Last Year.

And most workers will likely continue this trend for the rest of their lives.

The American worker cannot unplug from work; some don’t want to seem less capable than others to their boss. Others may feel that staycations are not the same because of remote work.

I have heard countless stories with a similar theme;

-Hard-working parents who passed away just as their children reached adulthood.

-Hard-working individual passes away before they have an opportunity to retire.

-Parents who work so much they don’t get to spend time with their children.

I get it; my family took our first family vacation when I was in my thirties.

In helping people improve their Money Mindset, I see this often; it’s a money fear, the fear of loss.

The fear of losing a job, income, earnings, or benefits is so acute that you believe any mistake, misstep, or perception of a lack of effort will send you into financial trouble.

I promise you it is not worth it.

The stats on work and health are jaw-dropping in this NY Times Article,

Working 55 or more hours a week is

  • A “serious health hazard.”
  • Led to 745,000 deaths worldwide in 2016
  • Impacts 60- to 79-year-olds more, who had worked long hours after 45.
  • Increases the risk of a stroke by 35%
  • Increases fatal heart disease by 17%

To help this fear and overcome the mindset barriers, let’s talk about vacations.

A common misconception is that vacations cost money; untrue, vacations represent opportunities for the simple moments in life.

Not the type of vacations that entail going to Disneyland or a Getaway, but simply disconnecting from work long enough to see what’s around them.

Simply put, Vacation = Unplugging from external stressors.

Yet Americans are sacrificing vacations.

A recent report on forfeited vacation days found that last year employees

  • Forfeited Days
  • A 10% increase over the previous year
  • 1 out of 3 employees leaves half their days or more unused.

Please let that sink in for one moment, and let’s put that in perspective;

  • Employees gave back to their employers worth of work and
  • Roughly do so every year.

Forfeited vacation time not only robs individuals of the simple moments; it devalues the employee, dilutes their most precious asset of time, and prevents wealth accumulation.

My view of the “Great Resignation” is that many people assessed the accumulation of simple moments during the pandemic and decided the “make it make sense” math was off.

This isn’t free money, meaning this isn’t a gift from your employers. It’s a benefit you earn per hour you work.

You work 1600 hours, and you get 80 hours for “free.”

Think of it in fast food meal terms;

Employers offered employees value-sized fries and drinks; employees ate and drank a little bit and threw the rest in the trash.

Employees throw time and money in the trash every year, and it’s getting worse.

Do you know the saying “time is money”?

Consider statistics from another report on forfeited vacations.

  • Workers forfeited the earned income and lost benefits totaling last year.
  • The average workday .

Again, to put this in perspective.

  • Throughout the year, than in previous years.
  • Each worker gave their employer a check at the end of the year.

Investing the $570 “employee refund” each year for 20 years, earning 5% means the employee would have approximately $20,500.

And that’s just one unused vacation day each year.

Consider the math knowing $60,000 is the median retirement savings of adults today.

I want all poor people to enjoy the simple moments of life.

When I say poor people, I mean

-below minimum wage workers,

-underemployed workers

-the gig workers,

-young people starting their careers in expensive cities,

-the middle-class working poor, and those too poor to retire.

So I guess I’m saying I want everyone to enjoy the simple moments of life.

The thought of being a good worker, working longer, being more challenging, and missing vacations is detrimental to mental, physical, and financial health.


You also

-Avoid losing earned money.

-Invest in your financial health to influence your mental and physical health, and

-Create the best mind space for decision-making.

Take vacation instead of being approved for vacation. Do not forego the money and time you have earned.

Enjoy the simple pleasures time and self-care will manifest for you.


George Blount coaches individuals on anticipating, preparing, planning, acting, monitoring, reviewing, and reacting to economic change and financial stress in their lives. Organize your financial life, nurture your money mindset, learn what you never knew about money concepts. Get the Financial Foundation Checklist at:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
George M. Blount, DBA

George M. Blount, DBA

Financial Therapist & Money Mindset Coach