Invest Financial Planning

The New Value Proposition Of Financial Wellness Programs For 2024

Haley Paskalides  |  November 15, 2023

A look at why more small and midsized businesses don’t offer financial wellness programs — and why they should start.

To dive into the data that just came out of HerMoney’s 2023 State of Women survey, the HerMoney Podcast team recently traveled to The Inc. 5,000 conference in San Antonio, Texas, to speak with members of the executive team at Principal Financial Group®, a global financial investment management and insurance company, and with a live audience of some incredible female entrepreneurs. 

Host Jean Chatzky was joined by Teresa Hassara, Senior Vice President, Workplace Savings and Retirement Solutions at Principal®, and Beth Wood, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer with Principal, to discuss findings from the survey. The survey, which included more than 500 owners of small and midsize businesses, found that only one-third of small and midsize businesses offer a retirement plan — and just over half offer one or more elements of an overall financial wellness program to their employees. 

Additionally, the survey found that 90% of employees at small and midsized businesses — an overwhelming majority — said that they want a robust benefits package, yet just 63% of small and midsized business owners said it was important to their employees… In other words, we have a major disconnect between what employees want most and what employers are offering. 

And speaking of a disconnect, our survey also showed a big disparity in financial confidence between men and women. While 58% of men say they’re confident about money management, just 45% of women would say the same… and when it comes to investing, the numbers are even worse — just 22% of women considered themselves knowledgeable about investing compared to nearly half of men (46%). 

Listen in as Beth, Teresa, and Jean dive into the data and discuss what good financial wellness programs look like, and what these programs can — and should — contain. They also dive into why there’s a disconnect between what some employers provide, and what employees want.

Of course we also dive into accessibility, and how employers can improve the level of access and awareness for their employees. Within that framework, of course we also talk about cost, and why many business owners may overestimate the costs of these programs… by as much as five times

We also tackle the gender divide — our survey showed that women are benefiting less than men are from financial wellness programs — and it’s not because they don’t know the programs exist… Women reported a 61% awareness of the financial wellness offerings available to them, compared to just 49% of men. Yet it was men who reported a greater reduction in their stress levels (28% for men vs. 18% for women), a more substantial increase in their emergency savings (25% vs. 13%), a greater reduction in debt (21% vs. 9%), and a more substantial improvement in setting tangible financial goals (23% vs. 15%). Beth and Teresa weigh in on why this is, and how women can better leverage these programs, and become more confident with money management at the same time. 

Read more from HerMoney’s 2023 State of Women survey, sponsored by Principal Financial Group: 

This podcast is proudly supported by Edelman Financial Engines. Let our modern wealth management advice raise your financial potential. Get the full story at Sponsored by Edelman Financial Engines – Modern wealth planning. All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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The HerMoney podcast is supported by      Edelman
All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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