The Financial Wellness Trifecta

September 8, 2020

Written by: Mason Moses

My family enjoys watching the Triple Crown horse races; the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stake. We are not racing experts by any means, but the pageantry, tradition, amazing animals, and fun in attempting to pick the winner are appealing to even my 9, 6, and 2 year old. Picking the one winner of these races is hard enough; however picking the first three horses to win in the exact order (a trifecta) borders on being sheer luck.

When it comes to providing financial wellness programs to your staff you do not have to rely on luck as there are proven strategies to adopt. As an investor you need that trifecta of components to provide a service that effectively meets the needs of your staff. The best part is, in the world of investing, there can be more than one winner!

The 2019 PwC Employee Financial Wellness survey found that Millennials (46%) and Gen X (44%) are more likely to say that they are loyal to their employer if the employer cares about their financial well-being. That same survey found that nearly half (49%) of those who are distracted by their finances at work say that they spend three hours or more at work each week thinking about or dealing with issues related to their personal finances. That can be detrimental to you as an employer.

The following components can work together to build a strong financial wellness program that will  improve the lives of teachers. Implementing one of these is a win, but implementing all 3 provides a well rounded program. To adequately meet the full needs of your team implement the trifecta:

1. Quality Retirement Plan Options: Having a quality retirement plan option is the foundation of a good financial wellness program. The plan should consist of low-cost funds that are monitored and adjusted by a registered investment advisor who will take the fiduciary responsibility for the plan. If your plan consists of various 403(b) vendors, then the advisor should be able to do more than review and adjust funds in the plan.

2. Financial Coaches: The 2019 PwC survey found that the financial wellness benefit most employees want to see is access to unbiased counselors. This makes sense as 75% of workers primarily rely on either friends, family, commissioned-based brokers, or someone else other than an independent financial advisor for financial advice. To help teachers understand their options and educate them on financial topics (such as their pension, major purchases, loan options, college planning, etc) it is important to provide access to quality, unbiased financial coaches knowledgeable about your staff’s needs. Whether it is the funds in the 457 or helping them decide which 403(b) vendor is right for them, the Coach should be able to speak to the needs of the teacher.

3. Provide Quality Resources Available Remotely: While meeting in-person is a great option, TeleWealth launched to provide more flexibility and the trend of people wanting to do more from home is not likely to go away. That means in addition to coaches that can meet in-person, you need financial wellness tools so your teachers have access from anywhere at any time. The online portal should also take the “air, land, and sea approach.” This means that options are given to staff on how they consume the information. Some people learn best by reading blogs and other materials; others may prefer videos related to topics of interest, while more may prefer seminars given by content experts. Providing various ways to learn at the leisure of the participant is a key part of a quality financial wellness program.

Provide your teachers the best financial wellness program available. Hitting the trifecta is easier than picking one winner if you commit your organization to providing a well-rounded financial wellness program.

 

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