The emergence of financial wellbeing and beyond

About 10 years ago, the roots of Financial Wellness (FW) go back to the need for HR departments in American companies to better train and involve their employees.

Without financial well-being, productivity suffers and employees spend too much time dealing with personal financial problems; not doing their job.

Fortunately, a lot has changed. Human resources departments have embraced help from the financial services industry to get better results. The goal: better financial and health literacy – and happier and healthier employees who are better equipped to deal with health and financial risks.

In recent years, financial wellbeing has expanded beyond employee engagement. It has become a hot topic of conversation for independent financial advisors, especially those serving the sweet spot of previous and new retirees who are often advisors after age 50.

“Wellness is an ongoing process, not just a goal,” said Steve Gresham, executive director of The Execution Project. “As a consultant, your customers want and need help to stay on course. We’re working to bring the industry together to unlock digital tools that can help consultants better serve their clients’ needs. “

In order for FW to be effective for consultants and customers, it can be helpful to simplify this complex topic in a grid (see below) and to concentrate on central topics and questions. The four quadrants of the grid are: fact, shape, feelings, future, and feelings.

Facts show the current status of FW; Form considers FW delivery platforms; The future strives for what holistic VC could be; and feelings convey emotions for both clients and the consultant community.

According to Frank McAleer, Next Chapter Advisory Council member and Senior Vice President of Wealth Planning at Raymond James Financial, defining and designing a FW service offering has become increasingly important to the financial services industry. “Simply put, everything relates to our customers and helps them achieve the ultimate goal of holistic planning efforts, which is ‘peace of mind’. Most clients want the reassurance that all life event possibilities have been considered and that they are adequately prepared. Ultimately, it is crucial that these solutions are made available to customers in a concise and efficient manner. ”

The advisory team for the next chapter has started work on four financial wellness projects

Over the next year, Next Chapter * seeks to engage the financial services community and align six key projects. The first attempt focuses on financial wellbeing – and incorporates the all-important aspects of longevity and health planning.

Four possible projects:

1. Find an industry standard definition of “financial wellness” and create a bullet-point checklist for the key points customers need to understand in order to be fully prepared for longevity – Financial Wellness – A Customer’s Guide.
2. Create a hierarchy of financial wellbeing – a parallel to Maslow’s hierarchy – that goes from the basics to the most advanced needs and problems.
3. Work with consulting firms (medium to large, in the US) to provide case studies of best practice in providing financial wellbeing.
4. Create a DIY financial wellness checklist / annual check-in.

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