Who cares most about money? Millennials do. And in a twist, they’re turning to their employers for financial wellness information and tools they can trust.
According to new findings from Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s 2017 Workplace Benefits Report Millennial Supplement, Millennials spend more time at work worrying about their personal financial wellness than their older counterparts, and they are actively looking to their employers for tools, education, support and guidance.
Around 40 percent of employees say they would like their employer to provide additional help with financial matters, but an even higher proportion of Millennials are asking for help.
According to the 2017 Workplace Benefits Report, a significant number of Millennials say they feel unprepared to manage their finances and need help with topics across the financial wellness spectrum, including saving for retirement (43 percent), general savings help (40 percent), paying down or managing debt (34 percent), saving for major expenses (36 percent) and budgeting (31 percent).
The report also found that:
- More than 40 percent of Millennials say that they left high school and college unprepared for the real world
- 43 percent want more help with investing
- 40 percent wanting more information on how to do their taxes
- 21 percent of Millennials say they want more help with saving for a home
- 18 percent want help with their student loans
Nearly half of Millennials want their employer to provide access to a variety of financial wellness tools, including a financial professional who can help create a personalized financial strategy. Forty-six percent of Millennials want their employer to bring in financial experts to provide additional training and education about financial matters. And, 45 percent want their employer to provide education and tailored training that is tailored to specific age groups or that is customized to financial issues they’re currently facing.
Financial stress is a huge issue for employers and employees. Mercer recently released a study that concluded that $250 billion is lost to financial stress each year, with employees spending an average of 12 work hours each month focused on their financial issues. PwC’s 2017 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that 53 percent of employees are stressed about their finances.
Millennials, who are burdened with the weight of student loans, are more financially stressed than any other generation, so it’s not surprising they spend more work hours than average focused on their personal financial issues.
One of the surprising findings of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch report is that the lack of confidence in financial matters affects Millennials’ workplace behavior. On average, employees spend 3 work hours each week (12 hours per month) dealing with financial stressors. However, more than 60 percent of Millennials are spending an average of four work hours each week on personal financial matters, the study found.
Changing the Financial Wellness Paradigm at Work
Thirty years ago, employees would have never dreamed of asking their employer for help in reducing financial stress and solving big financial problems. And, employers wouldn’t have thought to offer.
Today, more employers have made the connection between financial stress and lower levels of productivity and retention, higher absenteeism and health care costs, and their related outcomes. They’re listening to their employees who are asking for a best-in-class solution that identifies the underlying causes of financial stress and proffers personalized solutions to dial it down.
But providing reading material doesn’t help employees reduce financial stress. Measuring financial stress and then creating personalized action plans based on deeply specific, personal insights is what Best Money Moves does best.
Best Money Moves is an award-winning, cloud-based, mobile-first platform+coaching program that provides unique insights about money and financial stress to employees and employers, and uses machine learning to drive personalized information and solutions.
Ilyce Glink is the Founder/CEO of Best Money Moves, an award-winning financial journalist, radio talk show host and the author of 14 books on personal finance and real estate topics.