When it comes to helping employees navigate their way out of the pandemic pandemonium, where time was a flat circle and sometimes stood still, Plan Sponsors can help their employees when they provide information in a variety of ways. Any education is always helpful, whether the employee uses it at year end or when they are ready to move forward.
At the end of the year, most employees will want to evaluate their retirement and investing plans against their goals. In 2020, that process may have raised a few laughs as well as a few tears. Following such an unpredictable year, employees may be wondering if they can or should even set goals anymore. Plan Sponsors can help employees all year long by providing information about proper goal setting. Here are a few ideas.
If it’s not in writing, it might as well not exist. Having numbers in floating around in your head does not a solid goal make. Employees may need templates to help them construct realistic, time sensitive goals. If your plan has investment advisors who can offer year end education programs, ask them to provide templates or case studies so employees can get concrete ideas. They may also want to offer options for how and when to write those plans. For example, some employees may need plans to be readily accessible on their desktops or smart devices. Others may need plans to physically be in writing so they can share them with spouses or review with parents or elders. Keep in mind that not every community considers investing to be an individual action.
Your goals, Your goals, Your goals. If mimicry is the highest form of flattery than we must be praising the heck out of our neighbors each time we side eye their new car. But a goal set because it’s a what other folks are doing or because it’s what a grown up would focus on are recipes for long term unhappiness. Many people don’t want a retirement based on traveling or plan to relocate to somewhere coastal with a higher cost of living. Those who want a simpler lifestyle in retirement need a different goal. Similarly, folks without children may have greater ability to set aside income for retirement now, but might need extra savings to cover premiums for long term care insurance to make up for not having children to help with their needs. Education around specific pain points, like insurance, children’s needs and retirement plans can be helpful for employees. Case studies full of specifics may help employees get ideas about how to individualize goals too.
Know What You Don’t Know. A plan sponsor can help employees identify common surprises or unplanned events. For example, it’s murphy’s law that your refrigerator will break the day before you host Thanksgiving or your niece’s quinceañera causing a last-minute panic buy of a new fridge. Other known unknows may include health surprises, like sports injuries for children. They may also include costly rehabilitation for mental health issues like depression or substance use disorders for family members.
Be coachable. Goals work as motivational tools. But they also help communicate your needs to others. Working towards achieving goals can also help identify missing resources and information. Employees may need help identifying what they are missing or what stands in their way of achieving those goals. That might include helping employees identify knowledge gaps in their financial literacy. It might also include basics like which budgeting process works best for the employee (is it a checklist? A chart? A daily reminder?).
When it comes to helping employees navigate their way out of the pandemic pandemonium, where time was a flat circle and sometimes stood still, plan sponsors can help their employees best when they provide information in a variety of ways. Any education is always helpful, whether the employee uses it at year end or when they are ready to move forward.
These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal