Only 18 percent of workers say their lives are “comfortable” with their current salaries, according to a recent salary survey by Indeed.

Eighteen percent are comfortable.... that is tragic. And according to BlackRock's annual Global Investor Pulse survey, many American's worry more about cash flow than their health, family or work.

“Salary budgets are projected to grow by just  3.2%, a slight uptick over 2018’s  3.1% increase. With the current inflation rate estimated at 1.6%, that means a wage increase barely proportionate to the rising cost of living.”

With experts not expecting a significant increase in wages across the board, it can be hard to retain members of your work force especially when more and more are leaning toward asking for a raise.

“The discomfort with current salary levels may come from the fact that raises are on the low end: of respondents who got them, most (85%) report a raise of 6% or less, with 44% receiving 3% or less. And men are getting higher raises than women: the largest proportion of men (45%) report a 4% to 6% increase, whereas most women report a raise of 3% or less (48%).”

With limited budgets and more people looking for raises, those who were surveyed said they would consider leaving their current jobs for a pay increase:

“20% say they would “definitely” consider this, and 39% would “possibly” make a move. Twenty-nine percent say they would not leave for more money, and 13% are unsure.”

PTO Exchange offers a solution to human resource departments: self-directed PTO.

PTO Exchange has developed a patented platform that allows employees to convert unused paid vacation time into tangile goods and services that matter the most to them.

Instead of employees having to wait until the end of employment to reap the benefits that are so desired, employees are able to self-direct those wages when they are most needed.

“Paid time off is meant to reduce stress,” co-founder and CEO Rob Whalen said. “It’s a benefit that's part of your overall compensation. You should be able to own it, self-direct it and use it when needed…period.”

As productivity and stress trend upward, taking time away from your job may be more stressful if you are living paycheck to paycheck.

“Relieving stress is not just about taking days off,” Whalen added.

At the end of the day, paid time off is meant to reduce stress and improve your well-being. Your benefits should be flexible to support the life transitions that we all go through.

Learn more at