2018 Financial Wellness Year in Review

Abstract

In this report we propose best practices for workplace financial wellness programs to offer retirement guidance across an employee’s full career and analyze the positive impact of financial coaching on improving retirement outcomes. We offer a model for measuring the ROI of reducing the costs of delayed retirement for these employees.

Financial wellness improved in 2018 aided by long-term users of holistic, multi-channel financial wellness benefits. Improvement occurred in most areas, including cash and debt management, college and retirement planning, and investing. An in-depth look at workers who engaged in financial wellness benefits since 2013 found significant improvement in retirement preparedness and investing confidence.

The financial stress of American workers moved slightly lower, but levels remain alarmingly high for single, African-American moms. The gender gap in financial wellness slightly widened, particularly in the areas of cash and debt management. Student loans continue to hamper the financial wellness of younger workers, while pre-retirees remain surprisingly unprepared for retirement. Lastly, minority workers improved more than other groups in overall financial wellness.

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