Employee financial wellness improved in the first quarter of 2013, extending a long-term trend that began in the first quarter of 2010. Employees’ overall financial wellness score reached 5.2 out of 10 vs. 4.9 out of 10 one year ago, as measured by Financial Finesse’s proprietary financial wellness scale.
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After starting the year with a significant backslide in financial wellness, employees regained some of their financial footing and closed out the year slightly behind 2011, though still ahead of 2009 and 2010. The most substantial decline occurred in the area of cash management:
Over the last few years, our research has documented how U.S. employees have generally emerged from the Great Recession with improvements in their day‐to‐day money management but with a continuing shortfall in their retirement readiness. However, the Great Recession has not left all age groups in the same place. Each generation faces its own unique set of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges when it comes to planning for retirement:
Financial Finesse awarded Silver in Best in Biz Awards for Enterprise Product of the Year. The award went to the firm’s patent-pending online Financial Learning Center for innovation and business success by a national panel of independent press and industry analysts.
After a rough start to 2012, employees’ financial wellness seems to have returned to 2011 levels. Wellness scores were at or above 2011 numbers in most categories, capping a steady climb back following declines earlier in the year. Part of the recovery in financial wellness may be due to the shift in focus back on day-to-day cash management issues.
Employees are continuing to focus on retirement planning, but slight improvements in retirement planning behavior are being overshadowed by steps back in money management behavior. This is a serious concern due to expected changes in the economic climate. Reductions in government and corporate benefits, and expected increases in health care costs, inflation, and taxes are likely to put significant pressure on employees and require much more aggressive savings rates in order to meet retirement goals.
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The Financial Wellness guide provides HR professionals with insights, best practices, case studies and tools to develop custom financial wellness programs that effectively change employees’ financial behaviors and improve their overall wellness. The guide is designed to act as a comprehensive workbook including our trade secrets and proprietary behavioral change model as well as other models for successful programs to help HR and benefits professionals design and implement a financial wellness program from start to finish, whether it is entirely in-house or through a third-party vendor. To download an abstract of the guide, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
Webcasts on Trends & Best Practices in Financial Wellness
To get the most up-to-date trends in financial wellness you are welcome to apply to enroll in our special webcast events – Sneak Peek on the Latest Trends and Best Practices in Workplace Financial Wellness Programs, with Financial Finesse, CEO Liz Davidson. These events are held monthly. To view a schedule of events and apply to enroll, please click the button below:
Employees are continuing to approach their finances with a proactive, take control mindset, with a particularly strong focus on retirement planning. They also demonstrated some minor, but broad based improvements to their financial wellness in Q2—recovering some ground from a backslide in Q1.
Even though women make up the majority of college graduates and are increasingly making strides in the workforce, there is still a significant and growing gender gap when it comes to financial wellness. Women lag men in many areas of financial planning, and they are significantly behind in two of the most critical areas—basic money management, which is the foundation for financial planning, and investing, which is a necessary skill to grow wealth over time.
Money, work, and the economy continue to be the leading causes of stress in America today, but stress levels due to financial concerns have been steadily decreasing over the past few years, and as we move farther away from the height of the Great Recession, many employees appear to have put it behind them. In general, this is a positive trend, but there are some signs that complacency may be settling in.