Financial Wellness In A Covid World
The global pandemic and resulting market crash and job losses were a stark reminder of how ill prepared most American workers were in an emergency. For companies that offer 401(k) plan, having a robust financial wellness program in place can often help employees deal with this type of financial stress. On that note, and as part of Gulf Coast Financial Advisor’s 401(k) plan participant educational services, we’ve selected audio clips from a recent Qualified Plan educational webinar that Josh hosted with Matthew Eickman, the National Retirement Practice Leader for Prime Capital Investment Advisors & Qualified Plan Advisors, where Matthew and Josh discuss the present and future of financial wellness. In this episode, Josh and Jay provide context to the Financial Wellness content provided by Matthew, particularly around the definition of financial wellness has evolved over the past handful of years, and how Covid accelerated the existing need to have financial savvy and educated employees. This episode also discusses the measurable hit to production when your workforce is financial stressed – it’s a significant detrimental impact! If you’re a plan sponsor or 401(k) plan decision maker, take a few minutes to hear practical advice and guidance on a properly structured Financial Wellness program! Josh is connected to Prime Capital Investment Advisors and Qualified Plan Advisors. His company, Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, is part of their network of independent advisors, which gives him the support of a multi-billion dollar investment company but still provides for independence and ownership of his practice.
Key Takeaways: – Plan sponsors may have had the best intentions of offering financial wellness programs, but Covid exposed the fact that employees were simply not ready for a financial crisis. – The post-COVID-19 era will have an economy shaped by new habits and regulations. Both people and organizations will discover the benefits of a new way of living and working, which will challenge traditional business and lifestyle norms. – Some of the “New Normal” changes may stick, or possibly even embraced, such as remote working, a mixed work/life balance, access to e-commerce & logistics and E-health. – Some potential implications of the New Normal for Employers include mass unemployment, bankruptcies, bail-outs, employees working remotely, challenging engagement and communications and reduced productivity. – The potential affect on Employees include stress over job security, isolation and disengagement from employer, struggling to maintain a consistent schedule, anxiety / loneliness / depression, technology challenges, funding an emergency account, paying off debt, retirement readiness and child care. – In a Covid related study, financial or money challenges causes the majority of stress for employees – over 50%! – Proactive employers are responding with properly structured wellness programs, and seeing improvement in work enjoyment, loyalty and attitude.