In a recent plan participant survey by OneAmerica, the results are clear that many participants are having financial stress, and not all of it has to do with saving for retirement. In fact, the survey shows that there is a direct correlation between the age of a participant and where their financial stress may lie. Younger participants seem to be more worried about paying their day-to-day expenses, while older participants are more worried about their ability to save for retirement:
- Those age 34 and younger indicate concern about having enough money to pay monthly bills (28 percent) followed by not having enough for retirement (22 percent).
- Not having enough for retirement (30 percent) followed by not having enough to pay monthly bills (27 percent) are top concerns of participants age 35–49.
- Participants age 50 and older are more likely to cite concerns about not having enough money for retirement (46 percent) followed by not being able to afford quality healthcare (19 percent).
This may not be a surprising revelation, but it can definitely help to reaffirm to financial advisors how they should be gearing their education towards their clients. Plan with younger participants can make use of better features and education platforms that may help them to realize how important it is to get started on saving for retirement. Education on how to properly manage debt alongside saving for retirement could be a much needed lesson for younger participants who are paying back student loans and cite paying monthly bills as a top concern.
One very interesting piece of information revealed by the survey, is that plans that do work with a financial advisor have “lower financial stress and higher knowledge on more retirement and financial related topics.” So it definitely seems that plans that are already working with financial advisors have more peace of mind when it comes to their financial stress and ability to save for retirement. A clear lesson to take away from this survey is that participant education is a critical need of plan participants, especially to those that are facing some serious financial stress.