It’s not all about the 401(k) anymore.
According to Financial Finesse’s 2012 third quarter research on trends in employee financial issues, employees’ financial wellness improved in most financial planning categories, at times surpassing 2011 levels.
But a significant trend from the report found employees are shifting their focus to short-term money management issues after several quarters of focusing on long-term financial planning.
Budgeting and debt management questions made up over 30% of all questions received by the company’s financial planners, up from about 22% last quarter, and reaching levels not seen since Q3 of 2010.
Financial Finesse founder and CEO Liz Davidson said in a press release that this was indeed paying off, as interest in long-term planning with 401(k) plans has risen since 2011.
“The reality is that beyond saving up to the company match, most employees will generate a higher return paying down high interest rate credit card debt than investing those savings in their retirement plan,” Davidson said.
“Not only does the math support this, but when you consider the research on behavioral finance and what motivates employees to build and sustain positive financial habits, this is a much more effective way to build wealth than putting retirement savings first.”