Fidelity Finds Individuals Have Unique Financial Wellness Needs

Emergency savings, budgeting and prioritizing goals are concerns all plan sponsors should address in their financial wellness programs.

By Rebecca Moore | September 29, 2016
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An analysis of individuals participating in Fidelity’s financial wellness program finds there are definitely some groups that have unique needs, and suggests ways plan sponsors can tailor their programs to address these concerns.

Meghan Murphy, director of thought leadership at Fidelity in Boston, tells PLANSPONSOR approximately 270,000 individuals have completed Fidelity’s financial wellness checkup, which shows “they want to tell their situation and get ideas for next steps.”

Overall, most people (88%) are not confident about their financial future. More than half do not have healthy saving and spending habits or behaviors, and only about one-third (38%) have more than three months’ salary in an emergency fund. The top three topics that they are interested in: health savings accounts (HSAs), simple rules for saving and spending and saving for an emergency fund.

One group Fidelity pulled a snapshot of is what it calls “Unconfident Millennials.” Most of these individuals (89%) don’t feel confident or are wary of their current financial picture. About one-quarter (22%) are do-it-yourselfers, but they admit that they’re not confident in their investing and managing skills. Despite having the longest time horizon, more than one-quarter (28%) don’t invest in the markets.

Murphy adds that most Millenials said they are either stressed financially or just ok. Forty-two percent have little or no emergency savings. “Emergency savings is something on which plan sponsors can focus,” she says. “If individuals don’t have that, credit card debt increases, they are less likely to save and financial confidence decreases.”

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