An Integrated Approach to Encouraging Wellness & Retirement Savings

There is a new hot topic in the wellness program arena—“financial wellness”—and programs are sprouting up to create a more integrated approach to wellness. Most of these programs offer learning modules—either through seminars, articles to read or videos to watch, and tests to take to gain points for completing them. The intent behind them is noble—getting employees to become more educated with their financial planning today and for retirement.

 

The Need for Financial Wellness

In a survey of 1,000 full-time employees at a medium-sized company, 78% of employees reported feeling distracted at work due to financial stress.[1] Along with that, 54% said their number one was finances, and 45% reported their number one was health issues.[2] The draw of financial wellness programs is substantial with 74% of employees citing financial wellness programs as an important benefit.[3] Furthermore, 60% of employees said they would be more motivated to stay at a company that offers financial wellness programs that help them better manage their finances.[4] Also, more than half of American employees enrolled in an employee wellness program reported improvements in their health. Therefore, HealthyCapital’s programs have seen, first hand, that purely showing individuals their healthcare costs in retirement will increase their retirement contributions by 22%, on average!

While many employers are offering separate financial wellness programs in addition to their general wellness programs, the two may not be such a leap apart. In fact, motivating individuals to take better care of their physical self can now be done with financial motivations, and the two plans can align nicely together. Imagine if your wellness program could show your employees that just by limiting their salt intake, drinking in moderation, and going for a walk a few times a week, they could save $5,500 every year! Thankfully, that is the case for 35-year-old Jane, who has high blood pressure.

Let’s take it one step further—and show her the potential of investing the money into her retirement account. That would amount to $338,000 at age 65! Add a health coach, wealth coach, point system, personal goals, open challenges, and personalized and individualized information for both physical and financial health, and you have a truly integrated approach. That is what HealthyCapital can deliver for you.

 

An Integrated Approach

The median 401(k) balance at ‘retirement’ age (60-69) is $62,000.[5] Also, most retirees state that they think they can live comfortably during their retirement; however, in contrast, AARP found that 59% of retirees stated that it was only “somewhat likely” or “not at all likely” that the money they accumulated in their investments, social security, and savings will be enough to cover expenses throughout retirement.[6] The health care component to retirement costs is a leading cause of insecurity surrounding retirement funds. A recent Gallup poll found that 45% of Americans said a major health care expense could cause bankruptcy.[7] And yet, this understates the importance of providing education for employees surrounding retirement—and how to appropriately prepare for retirement.

Overall, taking an integrated approach to encouraging wellness and retirement savings simultaneously can create a simple, intuitive program that lends to a healthier (both financially and physically) workforce.

three women employees walking and staying healthy with integrated approach to financial wellness

Barney, Lee. “Financial Wellness Programs Can Benefit Employers in Several Ways.” June 6, 2019, https://www.plansponsor.com/financial-wellness-programs-can-benefit-employers-several-ways/.

Brockman, Katie. “The expense nearly half of Americans think can bankrupt them.” May 31, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/05/31/45-american-worried-healthcare-expenses-could-bankrupt-them/1292919001/.

O’Shea, Arielle. “The Average 401(k) Balance by Age.” May 31, 2019, https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/investing/the-average-401k-balance-by-age.

Sullivan, John. “What Gives—Are Americans Confident in Retirement Security or Not?” April 27, 2019, https://401kspecialistmag.com/what-gives-are-americans-confident-in-retirement-security-or-not/.

 

[1] Barney, Lee. “Financial Wellness Programs Can Benefit Employers in Several Ways.” June 6, 2019, https://www.plansponsor.com/financial-wellness-programs-can-benefit-employers-several-ways/

[2] IBID

[3] IBID

[4] IBID

[5] O’Shea, Arielle. “The Average 401(k) Balance by Age.” May 31, 2019, https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/investing/the-average-401k-balance-by-age

[6] Sullivan, John. “What Gives—Are Americans Confident in Retirement Security or Not?” April 27, 2019, https://401kspecialistmag.com/what-gives-are-americans-confident-in-retirement-security-or-not/.

[7] Brockman, Katie. “The expense nearly half of Americans think can bankrupt them.” May 31, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/05/31/45-american-worried-healthcare-expenses-could-bankrupt-them/1292919001/.