SURVEY SAYS: Feeling Financially Well

Defined contribution plan sponsors offering overall financial wellness to employees is a growing trend these days.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do YOU feel financially well? What kind of financial wellness help could you use, and does your company offer overall financial wellness education/tools for employees?”

The majority of responding readers (65.4%) work in a plan sponsor role, 15.4% are advisers/consultants, 15.4% are TPAs/recordkeepers/investment managers, and 3.8% are attorneys.

Asked if they feel financially well, more than half (51.8%) of readers said yes, 29.6% chose “somewhat” and 18.5% said no.

Preparing for spending in retirement (57.7%) was the top-picked financial wellness help readers said they could use. This was followed by saving for health care (38.5%) and establishing an estate plan (34.6%).

“Maximizing benefits choices” was selected by 19.2% of responding readers, and “paying off debt,” “saving for children’s college education” and “establishing emergency savings” were each selected by 15.4% of readers. More than one in 10 (11.5%) would like help establishing a budget, and 7.7% would like help establishing a plan for ongoing savings.

“Other” responses included “How to withdraw retirement funds to maximize tax efficiency. (when and how much to pull from pre-tax vs. Roth, etc.)” and “Paying off my children’s student loans since we did not (could not) save for their education as they were growing up.”

Sixty-three percent of readers indicated their firms offer financial wellness education/tools, and 37% reported their firms do not.

In verbatim comments, readers touted the provision of financial wellness education and tools for employees and weighed in on what they’ve seen as most helpful. One reader warned of thinking about how long retirement will be and what inflation will do before getting a false sense of financial wellness. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “I really wish more people would tackle their finances head on. If they only knew how beneficial it would be to make sacrifices and wise decisions now! Get rid of that debt and save, save, save!” 

A big thank you to all who participated in our survey!


I'm thinking a pay rise would help me accomplish most of these goals. Sigh...not going to happen anytime soon...

While I think employees could use help getting their finances in order, it would be easy to start intruding on employees' personal financial decisions. The employer could gain access to employees' confidential information. But if the education is too general and high-level, it may not be useful. From what I have seen, employees could use the most help in developing a strategy to pay down debt and understanding ways to finance their childrens' college education (e.g., what grants and scholarships are available).

I am fortunate to have a DB plan as some level of retirement security. The risks associated with a contributory plan make it difficult to truly rest easy.

Sometimes spouses do things that jeopardize your retirement savings, such as overspending and racking up debt--which you would never do!

As of today, I'm in great (financial) shape but so we're my parents the day they retired. Twenty years later they weren't. It wasn't poor planning or a spendthrift life style. A loaf of bread, a gallon of gas, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc. didn't freeze with their income. They adjusted accordingly and passed, poor, but content and at home. The point being, even without all the king's horses, I should be so lucky.

Money is often considered the number one stressor. And we all know what stress does to us mentally and physically. Bingo - that impacts your bottom line. Help your employees thrive in their financial well-being by offering guidance and education. Your employees - and your bottom line - will thank you.

With life expectancy longer and the inability to borrow for retirement, I think my financial wellness will stem from working longer.

I really wish more people would tackle their finances head on. If they only knew how beneficial it would be to make sacrifices and wise decisions now! Get rid of that debt and save, save, save!

In a society where, other than for a few, wages are almost stagnant, it is almost impossible to save enough for retirement and still have enough left over to pay the bills

Dave Ramsey is the guru for Financial Peace. His programs of Financial Peace University (FPU) for church groups and SmartDollar for companies, teach members and employees to save money and pay down debt. "The borrower is slave to the lender".

Appears that much of the future financial wellness of seniors will depend on decisions of idiots in the White House. That's scary.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.