RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With 2017 around the corner, Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) recommends that consumers think now about strengthening their overall financial situations, starting with a year-long resolution that maximizes their workplace benefits using four seasonal steps.
As part of a new campaign, the company is encouraging Americans to set and achieve realistic financial planning goals over the course of the year. According to Lincoln Financial’s recent Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America survey results, more than half of those surveyed (56%) say it is hard to balance living in the moment with planning for the future, underscoring the need to thoroughly evaluate and leverage workplace benefit offerings.
“Employee benefits should be a valuable component of your overall financial plan,” said Lisa Buckingham, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Lincoln Financial. “The key is educating yourself on the available solutions, then tapping into those that will help you achieve your retirement and savings goals. Although annual enrollment happens for most of us every fall, there are little steps people can take all year-round that can complete their financial picture.”
Lincoln Financial recommends consumers follow these four seasonal steps to help ensure they get the most out of their workplace benefits*:
- Winter: Boost Retirement Contributions. Americans leave $24 billion in free money on the table each year by not saving up to the employer match.1 Consumers should start by committing to save at least up to the employer match, if available. Those already meeting the match should resolve to increase their contributions each year, or with each increase in pay. The M.O.O.D. survey revealed that only 19 percent of people feel prepared for retirement — but the more people save, the more prepared they will be.
- Spring: Evaluate How to Handle Old Retirement Accounts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in January 2016, the average employee stays in a job for 4.2 years. That could translate into a lot of different retirement accounts to manage over time. Consumers can do a little financial spring cleaning by reviewing any accounts they may have with previous employers. There are three options that accompany a change in employers over the years: keep the money in the previous employers’ accounts, roll it into the current employer’s plan or roll it into an IRA. A financial advisor can help people understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
- Summer: Protect Your Paycheck and Look into Disability Insurance. According to Lincoln’s M.O.O.D. study, only 12 percent of those surveyed feel prepared to handle an income disruption. Consumers should check to see if their employer offers short-term and long-term disability insurance. These coverages supplement a portion of an employee’s paycheck in the event of a serious illness or injury. Benefits are paid weekly or monthly and employees decide how the money is used, just like a regular paycheck. People who take the time to do their homework while on the beach in the summer will head into annual enrollment feeling more confident.
- Fall: Evaluate Employee Benefits Options. With the demands of work and personal responsibilities, many consumers wind up selecting the same coverages year-over-year. But lives change, and benefit options change too. Consumers should set aside a moderate amount of time for some self-education on their available workplace benefits before making their annual elections. Today, many employers offer a lot more than medical – including retirement plans, and a broad array of insurance coverages, such as disability insurance, accident insurance, life insurance and critical illness insurance.
“Lincoln Financial believes that educating consumers is the best way to help them achieve their financial goals,” said Buckingham. “In addition to taking advantage of workplace programs and resources, we also recommend working with a financial advisor to achieve strong retirement outcomes.”
Visit www.lincolnfinancial.com/resolution1 for more information on maximizing workplace benefits, as well as creating a larger financial plan for you and your family.
* Steps are not firmly tied to any particular season and can take place at any point throughout the year.
About 2017 Resolution Solutions
Lincoln Financial Group launched its 2017 Resolution Solutions campaign to help consumers set and achieve realistic financial planning goals over the course of the New Year. The three-part series features tips on maximizing workplace benefits; protecting the ones you love; and preparing for an upcoming retirement.
About the M.O.O.D. of America
Results for the 2016 M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America poll are based on three national surveys conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group in March and April 2016.
The M.O.O.D. of America survey was conducted among 2,267 adults 18 years of age and older across the United States, and included a sample of the General Population as well as over-samples to ensure data cuts by key demographic sub-groups that are of particular interest for this research. The final sample includes 405 African Americans, 402 Asian Americans, 402 Latino Americans, and 418 LGBT Americans. The margin of error is ±1.9% at the 95% confidence interval.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $228 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
1 May 2015 Financial Engines report.