Recordkeeper Financial Wellness Portals: My Personal Experience
As you might imagine, I access the website of my own retirement plan from time-to-time - not so much to check on my personal account, but to see the latest and greatest participant offerings from the recordkeeper. Upon my latest visit, I noticed that there was a “financial wellness” tab. As Top of Mind readers are aware, I frequently write on the topic of financial wellness and its intersection with retirement savings. Thus, I was excited to test out this new financial wellness tool offered by my recordkeeper.
For the most part, the financial wellness portal did not disappoint. It is easy to use and features questions that I could answer off the top of my head. Shorter is usually better in these scenarios, and, at less than five minutes, the survey completion time is close to ideal. The results are easy to understand as well, as they are based on a stoplight (red, yellow, green), rather than a quantitative score. The actions required to improve any red or yellow are stated in actionable, straightforward terms.
However, in my opinion, the financial wellness portal fell short in perhaps the most critical area – prompting the participant to actually take the action to improve his/her financial wellness. While the tool is quite adept at describing the necessary action, there is no way for the participant to take the direct action stated. For example, one of the areas in which I was deficient was emergency savings. Instead of providing me with a direct link to an automatic savings app where I could immediately remedy this situation by signing up for an automated emergency savings option, the portal merely tells me that I need to set up this type of account, leaving me to do the research myself. I suspect that many people may fail to follow through with the suggested action, since the solution is not readily provided.
Assuming the financial wellness portal offered by my recordkeeper is typical, these financial wellness tools still have a way to go to be successful in driving participant action that improves an individual’s retirement readiness and overall financial wellness.
Note: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.
Investment products available through Cammack LaRhette Brokerage, Inc.
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