Five Financial Wellness Trends

Workers and employers definitely share one similar goal: financial stability.  But the key to solving this concern may be easier than ever before.

By implementing simple and behavior based modifications as the driving force of wellness, employees can gain financial and physical stability. Studies show that nearly 6 in 10 (59%) employees worry about their future financial state. And sources like Forbes and 401k Specialist support that this lack of financial well-being is also having a negative effect on employees’ productivity, engagement, and health. In 2019, trends in financial wellness have turned into opportunities for employers to assist employees with their financial stresses.

Studies show that nearly six in ten (59%) employees worry about their economic well being, and recent articles published by Forbes and 401k Specialist have found that this perception of financial vulnerability is having a negative effect on productivity, engagement, and health. Fortunately, recent financial wellness trends may now provide employers with the opportunity to alleviate some of their workers’ stress.

Dan Shawbel companies are starting to recognize the importance of improving the financial and mental health of their employees. “With 78% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, and student loan debt at over $1.4 trillion, workers are struggling and it’s affecting their health. Workers are stressed out, burned out and it’s affecting not only their productivity but their satisfaction on the job.”

Similar sentiments are echoed in a Northwestern Mutual report, in which “more than a quarter of millennials say financial stress affects their job performance and makes them feel physically ill and depressed. Nearly half of employees have financial concerns, causing them to lose an average of six productive work days annually.”

In recent years, companies have begun offering technological programs and more comprehensive benefits that focus on financial wellness in an attempt to reduce employee stress, improve productivity and increase the bottom line.  Here is a list of some of the latest trends:

Education-Focused Benefits

  • Student Loan Repayment Benefits

According to Elizabeth Halkos, 2017 was one of the worst years for student debt. As a potential solution, many employers are now offering student loan repayment in their benefits packages.

  • Financial Education

This change, according to Halkos, will trend toward a multi-generational approach so that employees and their families can learn about investments strategies that will help them succeed in their personal financial landscape. This approach ensures that employees are provided with support that may help alleviate some of their short- and long-term financial stress.

Technology-Focused Benefits

  • Financial Wellness Applications

More than ever, Americans use cell phones as their primary source for information. This creates the opportunity for employees to learn about personal investing through the comfort of their own device. And doing so is the optimal way to disseminate important information, increase participation, and measure engagement.

Financial Wellness Meets Physical Wellness

  • The intersection of Health and Wealth

According to Rebecca Moore, only 14% of employees have access to a financial wellness program, and within that metric, 63% of employees used it. Of those without a program available to them, 53% have reported that they want access to one that helps them maintain a healthier financial life (see survey). On the other hand, 70% of companies offer physical wellness programs. By combining the two, employers offer a one-stop-shop to both physical and financial wellness.

Here is an example of just how much.

A 45-year-old female with type two diabetes can increase her life expectancy by almost 10 years and decrease her annual out of pocket healthcare costs by $3,500 – simply by following a diabetic diet, being more active, and taking her medications as directed. An extra $3,500 every year in her pocket and an additional ten years – talk about motivation!

  • Giving Employees a Raise

Providing a holistic wellness program that offers both financial and physical wellness guidance demonstrates the consequences of poor healthcare decisions. By showing employees how simple changes (like reducing salt) can save them hundreds, or even thousands a year; companies can finally give workers the raise they were looking while also tapping into a happier, healthier, more productive workforce. (Click here for a recent article on the intersection of health and wealth that details how creating a healthier employee base can give companies, as well as the employees, a valuable pay bump.)

Financial Wellness Highlights

From the rise in technology to personalized programs. From reinventing the perception of how health and wealth interact – financial wellness is experiencing a renaissance. As such, 2019 may mark a paradigm shift. Showing the world how companies approach employee wellness. Therefore, following these trends is paramount to creating a culture of physical and financial well being in which organizations thrive.