Research Reveals Factors to Achieving Financial Wellness

One of those factors is having employee benefits to help cover unexpected expenses.

A study found that employees enrolled in more than three non-medical 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 respondents who said they weren’t on the right track, 34% said they hope to be on it soon; meanwhile, 11% said they don’t expect to get on the right track anytime soon.

These findings come from the firm’s “Special Report: M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits.”

The research also surveyed the habits and lifestyle choices made by respondents. According to the study, 71% of those who said they were on the right track created a financial plan. Forty-three percent of those who said they were not on the right track did the same. Seventy-eight percent of those on the right track said they exercised at least once a week. This was true for 58% percent of those not on the right track. Sixty-three percent of those on the right track reported feeling optimistic because they felt better about themselves. Only 47% of those not on the right track said the same.

Fifty-seven percent of employees enrolled in more than three nonmedical benefits say 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 Group. “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.”

NEXT: How Employers Can Help

Employers can help employees learn about and apply for the best workplace benefits available to them. Recent research found 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: 91% say they are more likely to enroll in benefits they feel familiar with and educated about; 83% want employers 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.

“Clearly, achieving financial wellness requires a number of different factors—but it only takes a little bit of effort to get started on the right path,” says Reisenwitz. “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… because if employees can take full advantage of their benefits packages, they’re taking a step in the right direction.”

Additional results from the Special Report: M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits will be released throughout 2016.