RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new study from Lincoln Financial Group finds that when it comes to feelings about finances, working America is nearly split down the middle: 55 percent of employed Americans feel they are on the right track to achieving financial wellbeing, while the remaining 45 percent feel they are NOT currently headed in the right direction.
This breaks down into three “tracks” on the road to financial wellness:
- 55 percent of employed Americans are on the right track;
- 34 percent are NOT on the right track but hope to be soon; and
- 11 percent are NOT on the right track and do not see themselves getting on the right track anytime soon.
The study — The Special Report: M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits — dug deeper into the lives of the 55 percent, or the “right trackers,” and uncovered some key behaviors and influencers in those individuals’ lives that contribute to their feelings of financial security. These factors include:
- Financial planning — 71 percent of those on the “right track” have created a financial plan, vs. 43 percent of those not on the right track.
- Forward-thinking — 98 percent say they are focused on the future, vs. 80 percent of those not on the right track.
- Physical health — 78 percent of right trackers exercise regularly (at least once a week, and often more frequently), which compares to 58 percent of those not on the right track.
- Emotional health — 63 percent say they are optimistic because they feel good about themselves, vs. just 47 percent of those not on the right track.
Lincoln research also found that the use of workplace benefits has a strong positive impact on feelings of financial security. Fifty-seven percent of employees enrolled in more than three nonmedical benefits say they are on the right track to reaching financial wellness.
In addition to being on the right track, those employees who are enrolled in more than three nonmedical benefits are most likely to say they feel very secure in their lives, very confident in covering unexpected expenses, and very satisfied with their jobs.
“All of these factors are connected,” said Eric Reisenwitz, head of group benefits product and operations at Lincoln Financial Group. “If you have a healthy lifestyle and you feel good, you are more optimistic. That can translate to motivation to do the right things when it comes to your money. And if you take the time to think about a broad financial plan, you might also take the time to evaluate the benefits you’re offered through work and determine how you can best take advantage of them.”
The Road to Financial Wellness: Employers Can Help
For many working Americans, the fall season and early winter months mark what’s referred to as the “open enrollment period” for employee benefits. And while the Lincoln study found that use of workplace benefits can boost financial wellness and security, employees often are not getting the information they need to make informed choices. Nearly half of employees (48 percent) say the information they receive regarding their benefits is confusing, and only 21 percent say their employer is very proactive in helping employees understand their benefit options.
The research shows that employees are looking for education, variety, and personalization to improve their experience with workplace benefits:
- 91 percent say they are more likely to enroll in benefits they feel familiar with and educated about.
- 83 percent want employers to offer a variety of benefits, even if they have to pay more for them.
- 80 percent would prefer to receive personalized recommendations for their workplace benefits.
“Clearly, achieving financial wellness requires a number of different factors — but it only takes a little bit of effort to get started on the right path,” said Reisenwitz. “Today, many employers offer a broad spectrum of benefits, beyond traditional medical insurance and retirement plans. We just need to ensure those ancillary benefits come along with the appropriate education… because if employees can take full advantage of their benefits packages, they’re taking a step in the right direction.”
Additional results from the Special Report: M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America on Employee Benefits will be released throughout 2016.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower Americans 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 $223 billion in assets under management as of June 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.