It doesn’t grow on trees. It can’t buy happiness. You have to spend it to make it. Whatever your views on money, you have to admit that it’s a pretty important part of life in modern society. Financial stability is the foundation upon which we build our personal lives, our careers, and our health. When the foundation cracks, it affects everything.
You may have been taught not to talk about money, but that just leaves people with unanswered questions. Here are the answers to your financial wellness questions.
Are people really that stressed about money?
Yes. According to the APA Stress in America Survey, 64 percent of people cite it as a source of stress. This makes money is the top cause of stress, ahead of work, family responsibilities, and personal health concerns.
Why are people stressed about money?
Many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck while carrying large amounts of debt. Student loan debt is a growing problem. Credit card debt is also a common issue. Many people are also struggling to save for their children’s college tuition or their own retirements.
Why don’t people just save more?
Getting ahead financially can be difficult when people have conflicting financial goals, such as saving versus paying off debt. Small expenses like eating out can add up, and unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills can undo any progress. Many people need help setting priorities and creating a financial plan.
How does financial stress impact the workplace?
When employees are stressed about money, they bring that stress to the workplace. They may be tired because they aren’t sleeping well and unable to focus. They may miss work because of their stress. They may take on another job or side gig, or they may quit for a higher paying job.
Where can people learn better financial habits?
People depend on their employer for an income and benefits. Given this, it is not surprising that many people also want benefits that help them manage their finances.
What insurance and savings options can help employees achieve financial stability?
Because people have a wide range of financial concerns, a wide range of benefit offerings are needed to help them.
- Retirement plans can help them save for the future.
- Health care plans can help them manage medical costs. This may include a health insurance plan as well as a health savings account, dental care, and vision care.
- Common voluntary benefits can help them manage typical issues. These may include life insurance and disability insurance.
- College tuition assistance programs can help them cover education costs.
- Student loan repayment programs can help them pay off existing debt.
Is offering these benefits enough?
Probably not. Benefits can be confusing. Many people may not know what to enroll in or how to get the most out of the benefits they have. People cannot use benefits they don’t know they have access to. Therefore, it’s important to raise awareness of benefits.
At the same time, people may feel they can’t afford to participate in benefits because their finances are stretched so thin. It’s also important to provide education on other financial issues.
How can employers help educate employees on financial wellness?
In addition to offering various savings accounts and insurance products, employers can offer benefits that focus on financial education. These may include:
- One-on-one financial counseling sessions
- Online workshops on financial topics like paying off debt, saving money, and buying a house – Dave Ramsey offers several for businesses
- Online calculators and tools that help them save or stay on budget
- Brown-bag lunch workshops and guest speakers (invite local financial planners)
- Optional savings incentives or a company match to help your team members establish and build an emergency fund
- An after-tax emergency savings feature as an add-on to your 401(k) offering
The bottom line: By reducing financial stress and increasing financial proficiency, you and your team will be more focused and productive at work. That’s a win-win for everyone.