Fidelity Debuts Financial Wellness Help Tool

The money “checkup” tool asks people about their goals and reveals where they need help.

Fidelity launched an interactive money checkup that analyzes the diverse needs of individuals and provides guidance so they can easily take action.

The money checkup guides people through a series of questions—from their age and salary to their savings and debt. It asks about their financial goals and then highlights the areas where they need help. Fidelity says the guidance is different from what is typically available because it provides considerations for everyone—from Millennials having to make first-time decisions to people managing day-to-day expenses to those who are financially established.

People can get this information from Fidelity in the way that best works for them—on the phone, online and at Investor Centers.

The design of the money checkup is based on Fidelity’s experience working with more than 25 million people and more than 20,000 employers, as well as research that pinpointed stumbling blocks that may lead to financial distress. The company looked at how people across financial situations and generations were dealing with those pitfalls and what kept them from taking action.

Findings from this research include:

  • Nearly one in three (31%) employees are taking 401(k) loans to pay down/off credit card debt, and one in five (19%) took a 401(k) loan to pay outstanding bills;
  • One-third of people in a recent survey said they are extremely interested in receiving information about how to create an emergency fund; and
  • An overwhelming majority (83%) of people said being financially well helps them be physically well, because they are less stressed and worried. When Fidelity looked at the correlation between 401(k) loans and debt that is other than a mortgage, about 20% of those people said they felt “afraid” of their financial situation.

“We all need help achieving financial wellness—from young adults preparing for life’s ‘firsts’ to the financially established who face more complex financial decisions,” says Brian Murphy, senior vice president at Fidelity Investments. “The money checkup is designed to help everyone understand where they need assistance and provide the proper resources so that they can take the next best step.”

More about the interactive money checkup can be found here. For further information about Fidelity’s Financial Wellness program, visit its microsites designed for Millennials having to make first-time decisions, those managing day-to-day expenses and people more financially established. In addition, a podcast about financial wellness by Fidelity’s Jeanne Thompson can be found on Fidelity’s Viewpoints site along with additional guidance.