Many employees are living with chronic financial anxiety and struggle. From rapid changes in the workplace due to automation to the increasing burden of student loan debt and the rise in everyday living costs, many American individuals and families feel suffocated by the financial system.
The growing cost of everyday living expenses is causing some Americans to question whether or not they will be able to retire comfortably, if at all. According to a 2019 study by GOBanking Rates, those that are worried about finances are concerned about having enough money to cover everyday living expenses in retirement.
Whether an employee is burdened by student loan debt or the stress of funding retirement, research shows that all employees are eager for guidance and support in successfully managing their finances, eliminating the stress that comes along with it. This guidance and support most frequently comes in the form of financial wellness benefits.
Financial wellness is a term used to describe the state of one’s personal financial situation. Financial wellness is the antidote to rising levels of financial stress.
This heightened sense of financial stress is supported by research from various studies. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “American consumers have come through the Great Recession feeling uneasy and financially insecure. Many, if not most, families say they live paycheck to paycheck. And a majority consider their financial situation to be only ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.”
The financial tension felt by families is present at home and, though many do their best to leave it there, it is understandable that most can’t help but carry these worries into the workplace. This affects their productivity and focus. Research goes on to show that these effects cost businesses over $400 billion a year.
Financial stress isn’t limited to employees that are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling with their monthly rent and mortgage payments. Employees earning a relatively decent income are also impacted. While stress may not be the appropriate term to describe their experience, employees do hold feelings of financial insecurity or uncertainty. These uncertainties are related to other aspects of their financial life. These aspects may include their retirement package, their HSA plans or purchasing a home.
Amanda is one of those employees who earns a relatively decent income, but she is unsure about her future financial security. Through her employer, she enrolled in the FinFit program. After her financial assessment, it was determined that her financial health was in a vulnerable state. Despite earning over $150,000 per year, she was spending more than she earned, she was late on her monthly bills, and had an uncomfortable amount of credit card debt.
Once in the program, she created a personalized roadmap for her financial goals and began working towards them while studying the financial education courses in Ready University. Within six months, her financial state moved from vulnerable to healthy!
Employees are eager for financial wellness benefits to alleviate money-related stress and to feel confident in their ability to have financial security in the future. When reviewing financial wellness benefit options, companies need to ensure that they offer a holistic package that includes the types of financial products and services mentioned above. One of the unique resources offered through FinFit’s financial wellness program is the personalized assessment of an employee’s financial health, coupled with a premier collection of resources to support financial goals identified through the assessment.
Some of these resources and tools include:
With a little education and resources, employees can make a huge shift in their financial lives. A perfect example is Jake’s financial journey. When Jake first enrolled in FinFit, his finances were in a vulnerable state. He was earning less than $35,000 and was having a difficult time saving for home repairs and staying on top of his monthly bills. Through the financial assessment, he identified these two areas as a part of his 12-month goals. Using the MoneyView dashboard, he started tracking his expenses and identifying where he was overspending. After six months, Jake was much closer to achieving his goals and had shifted his financial state from vulnerable to healthy.
The impact of financial stress can not be overstated. 56% of workers struggle with day-to-day financial issues, such as medical, home, or car repair expenses, insufficient savings, credit card or student loan debt, or any number of other financial challenges. This stress can lead to a lack of workplace focus, illness, absenteeism, and lost productivity.
At FinFit, we have worked with over 150,000 employers to help their employees experience tangible, long-lasting improvements with their financial health. After taking part in the program, almost 70% of employees were able to begin saving on a regular basis, some as much as $400 per month. Whether it’s boosting savings, managing their investments, or getting spending under control, employees know that financial wellness benefits is the missing link to them achieving financial success and feeling stress-free while on the job.