UpFront | Published in November 2016

Factors for Achieving Financial Wellness

Employees enrolled in more than three nonmedical benefits are most likely to say they feel very secure in their lives

By Javier Simon | November 2016
Art by Liam O'Donnell
A study found that employees enrolled in more than three nonmedical benefits are most likely to say they feel very secure in their lives, very confident in covering unexpected expenses and very satisfied with their jobs.
According to research by Lincoln Financial Group, 55% of American workers believe they are on the right track to financial wellbeing, while 45% fear they are not. Out of those who said they were not on the right track, 34% said they hope to be on it soon; 11% said they do not expect to be on it anytime soon.
These findings come from the firm’s “Special Report: Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America on Employee Benefits.”
The research also surveyed the habits and lifestyle choices made by respondents. The results show, 71% of those who said they were on the right track had created a financial plan. Seventy-eight percent of those on the right track said they exercise at least once a week. Sixty-three percent of the “right track” group reported feeling optimistic because they felt better about themselves. Fifty-seven percent of employees enrolled in more than three nonmedical benefits said they are on the right track to reaching financial wellness.
“All of these factors are connected,” says Eric Reisenwitz, head of group benefits product and operations at Lincoln Financial. “If you have a healthy lifestyle and you feel good, you are more optimistic. That can translate to motivation to do the right things when it comes to your money. And if you take the time to think about a broad financial plan, you might also take the time to evaluate the benefits you’re offered through work and determine how you can best take advantage of them.”
Employers can help employees learn about and apply for the workplace benefits best suited to them. Recent research shows that 41% of employees find their companies’ open-enrollment process “very confusing.”
Lincoln Financial’s research revealed some key preferences that employees seek when it comes to benefits: Ninety-one percent said they are more likely to enroll in benefits they feel familiar with and educated about; 83% want their employer to offer a variety of benefits, even if they have to pay more for them; and 80% would prefer to receive personalized recommendations for their workplace benefits.
“Today, many employers offer a broad spectrum of benefits, beyond traditional medical insurance and retirement plans. We just need to ensure those ancillary benefits come along with the appropriate education. If employees can take advantage of their benefits packages, they’re taking a step in the right direction,” Reisenwitz says

The Benefits Ladder to Financial Wellness

Enrolled in 0 nonmedical benefits

Enrolled in 1 – 3 nonmedical benefits

Enrolled in more than 3 nonmedical benefits
I’m on the right
track to financial
 I feel very secure
in my life
 I’m very confident I could cover illness or injury expenses I’m very satisfied
with my job
 My employer is very proactivein helping me understand benefits