Even as the notion of “financial wellness,” or a picture of an individual’s overall financial health, remains largely the same, the picture of these individuals and what’s important to them is evolving.
Financial Finesse recently released findings in their extensive “2019 Year in Review”, and below are some highlights.

The Good News
  • The overall average financial wellness score for Americans increased from 5.4 to 5.6 (on a 10-point scale). This can be attributed to employees taking full advantages.
  • The rate of employees withdrawing from their retirement plan accounts is declining. The percentage of employees requesting retirement plan loans or hardship withdrawals decreased to 17% from 29% in 2016.
  • The number of employees contributing to a health savings account continues to rise. HSAs and their triple-tax advantages are continuing their time in the spotlight. 74% of workers contributed to their HSA, up from 70% the previous year.
Figures to Watch
  • 22% of workers reported a “high” or “overwhelming” level of financial stress. This number increased by 2% from last year.
  • The gender gap in financial wellness grew. Management of debt, investing and retirement planning were among the areas where men reported higher scores than women.
  • Debt problems do not discriminate by age. Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers all reported getting out of debt as a top priority, with many millennials experiencing the added burden of student loan debt, and baby boomers facing the issue of having enough savings in retirement.
Key Takeaway

One factor that seemed to influence an employee’s reported financial wellness was the degree to which they engaged in resources and learning. Employees that were fully engaged in both online and group learning sessions saw 80% more improvement in their overall financial wellness score than those who were only engaged online, and participation in retirement and other benefit plans increased among those who were fully engaged. As an employer, offering learning opportunities for your workforce and encouraging their participation can open the door for empowered, financially fit employees. Check out our Health + Wealth Hub for financial wellness articles, and contact us to learn more.
 
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