As Baby Boomers enter retirement, many are struggling with rising debt. This worrying trend can lead to financial instability and a lower quality of life in retirement. Healthcare costs are another major cause of rising debt for older adults. As people age, they’re more likely to develop health issues requiring medical attention, and healthcare costs are rising. The average retired couple can expect to spend around $315,000 on healthcare expenses in retirement. Living expenses can also present financial challenges: As people age, they may need to modify their homes to make them more accessible and safe. Increasing numbers of seniors are reentering the workforce to offset rising inflation and make ends meet.
Gen Xs might be in their prime earning years, but they’re also likely to have aging parents and children leaning on them for financial support. This may be one reason why so many in this demographic have almost nothing in their savings accounts. Instead of one-third, like the rest of the population, about 45% of 45- to 54-year-olds have $100 or less in savings. Given these pressures, middle-aged Americans generally worry more about personal financial issues than young adults or seniors.
Millennials and Gen Zs face unique financial challenges and anxiety about managing money. Specifically, individuals in this demographic struggle to balance day-to-day living expenses with saving for the long term:
Evidence supports the notion that the younger generations’ dire financial situation is linked to their particularly low levels of financial literacy. While financial literacy is low within each generation, it’s the lowest among Gen Z.
Organizations can help struggling employees of all ages get their finances back on track by fostering a culture that promotes financial literacy, support, and stability. However, given the different ways each generation manages money and the unique challenges they face, you need to ensure your employee financial wellness program meets them where they are.
The 2022 Investopedia Financial Literacy survey revealed that younger generations feel they have more to learn about personal finance fundamentals, while older generations are more concerned about planning for the future and maintaining their wealth:
In tailoring your programs, it’s also important to accommodate different generations’ learning styles and preferences. For example, young adults who have grown up with the Internet and social media will likely be more comfortable with digital, often video-based content to learn about investing and personal finance than their Baby Boomer colleagues.
Fortunately, the employee financial wellness benefits market has expanded with offerings that give employers many options, including one-on-one financial counseling, earned wage access, and employee discount programs. Many of these initiatives can be implemented at little or no cost to the employer.
Whether your organization already offers an inclusive inter-generational financial wellness program or is just setting out, it’s never too late to take stock and ensure the program delivers value to everybody.
In promoting your financial wellness benefits, use a blend of traditional and digital communication channels such as notice boards, flyers, newsletters, one-on-one meetings, emails, and your company intranet to ensure that employees of all ages are aware of your programs’ value.
Different segments of your workforce have varying financial needs and challenges, so be sure to offer financial wellness solutions tailored to the specific age demographics of your employees.
It’s also vital to understand that promoting financial wellness isn’t just about offering educational resources and tools. It’s also about fostering a workplace culture that supports financial wellness, encourages open dialogue about financial issues, destigmatizes financial hardship, and provides compassion and support to employees experiencing distress, regardless of their age or circumstances.
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