Recent research shows that people of all ages are seeking more help with financial wellness and retirement savings and planning, and many are interested in financial wellness help from financial advisers.
EY Navigate, a financial wellness service provided by EY to help employees with retirement planning and more, recently gathered data on the trends and needs of the more than 8,000 Fortune 500 employees who interact with the service. It found that use of the EY Navigator website and mobile application increased 47% from 51,000 visits pre-pandemic to 75,000 visits during the pandemic.
Specifically, across all ages, the number of times each topic was discussed by those calling the EY Navigate Planner Line pre-pandemic versus during the pandemic increased 35% for cash and debt, 31% for retirement accumulation, 28.5% for employer retirement plan rules and 21% for retirement distributions.
Calls to the EY Navigate Planner Line from Generation Z and Millennial employees far outpaced those from older age groups, by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. However, interestingly, the number of cash and debt calls from Baby Boomers ages 57 to 66 saw the biggest percent increase, at 77% from pre-pandemic to pandemic.
In another potentially unexpected finding, the biggest spike in retirement accumulation calls was in the same Boomers age group. EY planners say this reflects those employees putting a renewed and urgent focus on accumulating enough wealth to retire, or to be able to retire, as soon as it may become necessary. In addition, retirement distribution discussions spiked the most (46.5%) among the Generation X group (ages 41 to 56). EY planners say this reflects a renewed focus on retirement readiness, return-to-work hesitancy and those considering a much earlier retirement due to the pandemic.
EY says employees who worked with a financial planner by phone during the pandemic were much more engaged, with significant increases in the number of discussions on cash and debt management, retirement accumulations and distributions, and retirement plan rules. This indicates that those users called their planners much more often over the course of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, nine in 10 Americans surveyed by Fidelity’s eMoney Advisor indicated they are receptive to financial wellness discussions with advisers. More than 86% seek an adviser to grow their wealth and 85% seek an adviser to achieve financial peace of mind.
The research found 31% of respondents said difficulty getting sound advice was a hindrance in their financial wellness mission. Eighty-six percent of survey participants said they would select an adviser based on whether the adviser took the time to customize and understand their needs and goals, and 84% said they would select an adviser based on the adviser’s advice and methods and how the practice aligned with the employee’s overall goals.
More than one-third (34%) of survey participants said the inability to view their finances in one place was an obstacle in their quest to achieving financial wellness.