Employee Financial WellnessEmployee Financial Wellness is not a single ideal state of wellbeing. It means very different things to different people depending on their age group, life stage and personal circumstances.

For example, a recent graduate struggling with student debt has a low level of interest in planning effectively for retirement. Likewise, an employee nearing retirement is unlikely to need advice on getting a mortgage.

Employers need to be aware of their employees’ life-cycles in order to provide appropriate financial incentives. Unfortunately this is not always the case. In fact, a recent survey by PWC – the PWC HRD Pulse Survey 2017found that “96% of employers do not tailor their reward offerings to meet the different generational needs of their workforce”.

Understanding employee life-cycles is just as important when it comes to providing employee financial wellness supports. Whether Employee Financial Wellness programmes are delivered in-house, or outsourced to financial planning experts such as myself, the first task is always the same.  Namely, it is to assess and segment the demographic of a company’s staff to cater for the different generational needs of an employer.

Once you understand the particular demographic at hand you can tailor an employee financial wellness programme that best supports their needs. From my experience delivering these programmes, I have compiled a list of relevant topics for each of the key employee life-cycle stages. They will help to provide some context for financial planning requirements.

Before delving into each life-cycle financial planning stage let me differentiate between ‘income’ and ‘income capital’.

  • ‘Income’ is what an employee currently earns.
  • ‘Income Capital’ is the employee’s earning potential for the remainder of their life.

Employee Financial Planning Topics for Millennials – Early Career

Millennials are at the early career stage. Their current earnings are relatively low, but their income capital is high.

Areas of interest to this group include:

  • Student debt management
  • Increasing experience levels to increase income potential.
  • Holidays/Travel
  • Mortgages/House savings
  • Basic insurance needs, health etc.
  • Tax understanding
  • Basic pension interest.

 

Employee Financial Planning Topics for Gen X – Mid Career

At the mid-level stage of their career these employees will be earning a good income, and income capital forecasts & planning are very important.

Areas of interest to this group include:

  • Savings and Investments
  • Family/kids costs
  • Childcare costs
  • Future Education costs
  • Mortgages and Protection
  • Insurances – Protection Structures.
  • Tax efficiencies.
  • Retirement Planning (now more real to employees)
  • Asset Debt management
  • Financial Planning

 

Employee Financial Planning Topics for Baby Boomers – Late Career

In the later stage of an employee’s career they will enjoy very good earnings, income capital no longer a key need.

Areas of interest to this group:

  • Retirement
  • Protection
  • Kids gifts/house deposits/college costs.
  • Investment of accumulated costs.
  • Succession Planning
  • Cash Flow Forecasting

Of course, there will always be some crossover between these topics and the demographics and life-stages of employees. Equally, an employee’s individual financial circumstances are just that – individual. That’s why I always recommend that an Employee Financial Wellness programme should provide the opportunity for one-on-one financial planning consultations to understand and address the needs of each employee.

As a means of broadly identifying key areas of financial planning requirements for specific demographics, however, the above list will help you to tease out what is and isn’t relevant.

If I have missed any key topics please don’t be shy. Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comment box below.  We love to hear from you.

Nick Lawlor

Managing Director

Nick is a Certified Financial Planner, Qualified Financial Adviser, Specialist Investment Adviser and the Managing Director of New Beginning Financial Services.   Nick leads the Employee Financial Wellness team and is responsible for all elements of the service from tailored programme design to implementation.

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