Sixty-four percent of workers turn to their 401(k) plan provider as their first source for financial advice, including advice on topics besides retirement, according to a survey by T. Rowe Price. Additionally, the demand for financial advice has increased.
Three of the most cited objectives for advice were saving for retirement outside of the workplace retirement plan (74%), saving to fund health care expenses in retirement (74%) and saving in the workplace retirement plan (71%).
Specifically, workers want help selecting investments, figuring out how much to save and tracking their progress. Asked about their objectives related to retirement, 34% said they would like advice on how much to save for retirement outside of the workplace retirement plan. Thirty-two percent want advice on saving to fund health care expenses in retirement, and 31% want advice on how to save for retirement in their workplace plan.
However, 60% said they are not receiving financial advice, with 43% saying cost is the reason.
Millennials said they would like advice that is accessible on their mobile phones. Generation X wants advice services that fit into their busy schedules, and Boomers want advice that is easy to use. Sixty-four percent of Millennials say they rely on digital tools and calculators either somewhat or a great deal, while this is true for only 55% of Generation X and 42% of Boomers.
“As individuals juggle many financial goals, their need for financial advice has grown, and we see many turning to their retirement provider for that guidance,” says Aimee DeCamillo, head of T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services Inc. “The availability of financial wellness programs alongside a retirement plan is more important than ever. Employers can support this growing need by offering access to educational resources, greatly influencing not just the retirement readiness of their employees but their overall financial health as well.”
The survey also found that 64% of workers say that reducing debt is a major or minor financial objective where advice could be useful. Fifty-seven percent say they always or often pay their credit card balances in full when they are due. For 75%, credit card balances are their highest form of debt, followed by car loans (54%).
Sixty-five percent say that having an emergency fund is a major or minor financial objective where advice could be useful. Thirty-one percent have an emergency fund, but 47% would turn to their credit card if faced with a financial emergency. Thirty-two percent would turn to a family member for help.
Fifty-six percent say that managing and budgeting day-to-day expenses is a major or minor financial objective where advice could be useful. Forty-two percent have a fixed spending budget, and of this group, 63% stick to that budget. Seventeen percent say they always or often have difficulty paying their monthly bills.
T. Rowe Price’s findings are based on an online survey of 3,005 adults who are currently contributing to a 401(k) plan and have an account balance of at least $1,000. NMG Consulting conducted the survey for T. Rowe Price in July and August.