Financial wellness is essential to saving for retirement

The retirement plan at work doesn't have a chance to be successful without a helping hand and tools to achieve financial wellness.

Introducing a workplace retirement plan can be a compelling way for employees to take control of their retirement savings, but for so many people that don't have control of their personal financial situation, the retirement plan at work doesn't have a chance to be successful without a helping hand and tools to achieve financial wellness.

We tend to talk about retirement plans in a vacuum — what it is and why it's important, but there is a real need to connect it to people's lives. Otherwise, when speaking with your employees, they may nod at you as if they understand what you're saying, but will have no idea how to implement retirement saving strategies. If they have credit card debt or don't know where their money is going each month, they won't be able to contribute to even the best-designed plan.

As a business owner, you know just how important debt management, credit card responsibility and emergency funds are to a stable financial future. You're also likely aware of how difficult it is for many people to establish a plan to make it happen.

There isn't a silver bullet to financial wellness, but it's important to recognize that part of good retirement plan design is ensuring that the people for whom it's designed can take advantage of it. We bring our experience and knowledge to introduce programs that help people achieve better outcomes which are more important than ever.

A common plea for those having trouble saving for retirement is to cut back on eating out or brew your coffee at home instead of splurging for the $5 latte, but it's not that simple. A recent study showed that 6-in-10 people can't cover a $500 emergency expense without pulling out a credit card. If you're having trouble finding the funds to fix your car, it's just not realistic to contemplate putting an extra one percent of your pay into your 401(k).

Many employees need guidance because they don't just need the opportunity to contribute to a 401(k), they also need the capacity to take advantage of it. That's where financial wellness programs can make an important difference. These programs take many forms from online tools to smartphone apps to in-person seminars. The combination can be compelling with the right delivery.

Questions?

Contact Brad Bechtel using the information below about creating effective programs to discuss with your employees and communicate more effectively about improving their financial health. It's a great step toward helping your team members achieve the retirement they deserve.

Brad Bechtel

Senior Vice President
Employee Benefit Services

Brad Bechtel leads AGH’s employee benefit services (EBS) division, which serves clients nationwide. EBS is one of the region's largest providers of retirement plan recordkeeping services for daily valuation plans. The division provides consulting services to clients on employee benefit plans, including plan design, implementation, operation, fiduciary due diligence, compliance, and through affiliate AGH Wealth Management, discretionary and non-discretionary investment fiduciary services, investment advisory services and employee education.

Bechtel is experienced in executive compensation, including non-qualified, phantom stock, top hat and excess benefit plans, as well as other deferred compensation approaches. He has consulted for numerous Fortune 500 corporations on investment management and fiduciary due diligence. He also provides search and selection due diligence consulting services for companies seeking new investment and recordkeeping providers for their qualified plans. Bechtel is a registered investment advisor who holds Series 7, 24 and 66 FINRA registrations, and he is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries.

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