October is Financial Planning Awareness month and it’s the perfect time to press pause, take stock of our finances, and make plans for the future.
This month is all about raising awareness of this important topic and to make sure employees are getting the best advice possible as they plan for immediate and long-term financial goals, such as:
- Paying off debt
- Planning for major life events
- Researching investment options
- Estate planning
- Planning for retirement
The truth is, the sooner you start your financial plans, the better off you’ll be.
When is Financial Planning Awareness month?
October is Financial Planning Awareness month. It’s the perfect time to assess your finances, right before the holidays and the coming new year.
Why is financial planning important?
Financial planning is multi-faceted, but you can think of it as a step-by-step guide that helps you plan and reach your life’s goals, whether that’s planning a wedding, expanding your family, or taking a big vacation.
Financial plans take an encompassing look at your financial life, including income, savings, debts, assets, and investments. A well rounded view of your financial state helps balance competing financial priorities. You’ll be able to identify areas of your finances that require immediate action while setting a framework to reach long term goals.
You can create a financial plan on your own, or with the help of a professional.
A good financial plan should include strategies around:
- Managing cash flow
- Making large purchases
- Investing money
- Saving for children’s education
- Planning for retirement
- Transferring your wealth to others
Making a financial plan is only half of the work. You should review your plan at least once a year to ensure it remains relevant as your circumstances evolve.
How can you encourage employees to participate in Financial Planning Awareness month?
Employers can treat Financial Planning Awareness month as an essential check point in the journey to financial wellness. HR professionals can help their employees get engaged in several ways.
Focus on financial education and personalized guidance
The first step to financial wellness is understanding the basics, and many employees can benefit from increasing their financial literacy. Offering educational resources and guidance from financial experts are great ways to get your employees on board with taking their financial planning seriously.
Provide financial wellness as an employee benefit
Holistic financial wellness programs are becoming an increasingly popular perk offered by employers. Financial wellness programs help employees get more out of their paychecks. Employees benefit from resources to manage their day-to-day spending and expenses, track and measure progress toward saving and retirement goals, and reduce debt.
The best options even offer access to one-on-one financial planning with Certified Financial Planners™.
But the perks of financial wellness programs don’t stop at monetary benefits. Individuals with better control of their finances report less stress and improved mental health—plusses for employers, too.
Promote 401(k) and other benefit use
Many employees aren’t engaging with their benefit packages. Whether they’re unaware of the perks available to them, or simply haven’t made the time to review their options, promoting the benefits of a 401(k), such as taking advantage of employer matching if available, can give them the extra push to start their retirement savings.
Engage through multiple channels
AFCPE Research shows that group meetings, one-on-one sessions, and emails are all successful ways to engage employees. Taking a varied approach to how you connect with employees around Financial Wellness Awareness month can improve engagement, and increase employee buy-in.
Financial planning can be daunting, so removing as many barriers as possible increases the likelihood of your employee engagement. Offering a simplified approach to financial planning such as a financial wellness program, in addition to informative one-pagers, quarterly check-ins, and office hours make financial planning all the more accessible to your teams.