Too often financial wellbeing is focused on only one aspect of overall financial wellbeing - debt management/ consolidation, pensions or making decisions at retirement.
However, the truth is financial wellbeing is about making the most of the financial opportunities in front of you at every stage in life, optimising them for your own goals, needs and circumstances. It isn't about making everyone a millionaire, it doesn't just apply to early or late career and it isn't only about debt or pensions.
To achieve financial wellbeing, employees need help to join the dots: to understand all the benefits available to them from Employee Assistance Programmes to workplace loans to share save schemes to pensions to discounts on healthcare, gyms and retailers and importantly how to select and use those most relevant to them.
They then need help to understand how to join the dots from year to year, from early career to mid career to late career, from student debt to first mortgage to first baby, from moving house to funding education and planning towards retirement and to looking at passing on wealth to children and grandchildren.
Most solutions only target one aspect of financial wellbeing. The best financial education programmes target overall wellbeing and can help employees from hire to retire and to understand and make the most of all their benefits.
This is as beneficial for individual employees as the organisations they work for, helping both to unlock the value across the whole of their benefits offering.
The price of happiness Having enough money for a comfortable retirement is important – but it’s not a cure-all. Helen Swire asks how employers can help staff to manage their finances 11 October 2016 Helen Swire “Annual income £20, annual expenditure 19 shillings and sixpence, result – happiness. Annual income £20, annual expenditure £20 and sixpence, result – misery.” So says the perennially debt-ridden Mr Micawber in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, perhaps one of the more realistic views of saving to be found in literature. It neither suggests that one can live without money, nor that life without wealth is impossible – merely that a life of living beyond your means will only lead to unhappiness in the long run.