EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Financial Finesse
, a national provider of workplace financial wellness programs, has released its latest research report on employee financial trends based on an analysis of questions received by its team of certinfied financial planner professionals and employees’ responses to an online financial wellness assessment.
The firm found that employees’ proactive focus on retirement planning was sustained in the first quarter of 2012. Yet, despite a strong market rebound over the past couple of quarters, employees remained uncertain about their investing decisions and ability to retire. This appears to be a result of employees continuing to realize they are not on track to retire comfortably since the recession.
Notable findings from the report were:
Employees continue to report dangerously low levels of retirement preparedness. Only 14 percent of employees reported being confident they were on track to retire with 80 percent of their income (or their goal) in retirement. This is a slight drop from 15 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
Employees are becoming more proactive about their finances in general, and retirement planning in particular. Adjusted for seasonal tax questions, 73 percent of employee financial questions were proactive, focused on taking control of finances to increase success, versus reactive, focused on addressing a pressing financial problem. This is an improvement from the first quarter of 2011 when 67 percent of employee financial questions were proactive in nature.
Investing confidence has not improved despite recent stock market gains. Only 33 percent of employees were confident their investments were allocated appropriately in the first quarter of 2012 down from 34 percent in the first quarter of 2011.
Liz Davidson, CEO and founder of Financial Finesse, says that although employees are far from where they need to be, they are showing positive growth by realizing they are behind as they continue to put strong emphasis on proactive financial issues. Davidson is concerned, however, by a slight drop in financial wellness scores reported in the first quarter of 2012 vs. 2011 and worries that, if it continues, it could impact the trend toward more proactive financial planning
According to Davidson, “More employees are concerned about where they stand regarding their financial picture and are seeking ways to improve it, with the biggest growth among a group that we’ve traditionally had a hard time reachinglower-income employees. This is obviously a very positive trend, and we hope to see this group continue to improve their financial planning awareness, and ultimately their wellness.”