Financial Stress Calls Employees to Action

An analysis from Financial Finesse finds employees reported more financial stress in Q2 2010, but instead of retreating in fear, they were called to action.

Twenty percent of calls into Financial Finesse’s Financial Helpline service, were related to retirement planning. Employees are also becoming more proactive about all long-term financial planning issues, as calls for long-term planning issues increased from 37% of calls in second quarter last year to 48% of calls in Q2 2010.  

Less than 18% of employees indicated they are on target to reach their income replacement goals in retirement. The top five retirement planning questions callers were asking in Q2 were: How much do I need to save for retirement; What type of retirement account(s) should I contribute to; Should I convert to a Roth IRA; What is a Roth 401(k) and why should I participate; and How do I structure my withdrawals from my retirement plan?  

Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said they contribute to their employer-sponsored retirement plan.  

More than three quarters of employees (78%) reported some form of financial stress, with 33% reporting high or overwhelming stress. Only 22% of respondents reported feeling “low” or “no” financial stress.  

Employees seem to have responded to the stress by improving the way they manage their finances. Calls about Debt and Budgeting & Saving came in at a combined 32% of calls, down from 38% of calls one year ago.  

With the exception of investment planning, wellness scores for users of the Financial Learning Center improved in all areas. Improvements were made in the key areas of debt management (4.4 to 5.0), money management (5.1 to 5.5), and retirement planning (4.3 to 4.9). Users continue to score highest in insurance planning (7.4), and lowest in investment planning (2.7).  

Trend analysis research is compiled by tracking calls into Financial Finesse’s Financial Helpline service, which is available to over 500,000 employees from more than 300 organizations.