80% Are Re-Evaluating Life and Finances, Study Suggests

A recent Lincoln Financial Group report, 2021 Retirement Power Study, supports feelings that the past 18 months have significantly impacted businesses, the economy, and society as a whole.  It suggests that nearly eight in ten U.S. workers are reevaluating what is important in life, including their financial situation, career, and retirement plans.

According to a recent press release highlighting the study, people who are participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan are especially motivated to make changes. More than two-out-of-three (69%) say they intend to save more money in their retirement plan. And retirement plan participants aren’t alone. One-half of those who do not participate in employee offered retirements say that they are planning to start contributing.

“It is clear that while the COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone to different degrees, what the majority of workers have in common is their focus on improving their financial wellness,” said Sharon Scanlon, senior vice president, customer experience and producer solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. “People are looking to their employers now for resources and education that will help them turn those good intentions into action so that they can achieve financial security.”

The study also shows that retirement plan participants are more likely to turn to their employer for information about financial topics, which provides the opportunity for employers to help employees lower stress and improve retirement readiness by focusing on three areas: financial wellness, education, and retirement income security.

Financial Wellness: More than three-quarters (76%) of employees surveyed reported having at least three competing financial priorities, which understandably makes it hard to balance the needs of today with saving for the future. These competing priorities may also increase stress as nine out of 10 employees report feeling stressed, something that can also have negative job performance impacts, but the study suggests that employers can help reduce this stress by offering financial wellness resources. 

The study shows that 86% of employees who use financial wellness tools say they see positive impacts. When an employee sees a holistic view of his or her financial health, including spending, savings, debt, and protection, it can help plan for and achieve multiple financial goals.

Financial Education:  Education can help employees make sound financial decisions and can drive overall confidence and engagement. Savers who use employer-provided financial educational resources are more than twice as likely to have increased the amount they contribute to their retirement plan in the past year, and education is desired.

Eight in 10 employees indicate there is more they want to understand when it comes to certain financial topics, including investment options within their plans. It is crucial for employers to provide access to and awareness of the right tools that can help employees understand how to make better decisions when it comes to saving for retirement, including one-on-one retirement consultations, retirement income projections, calculators, and more. With 60% of participants saying they are saving less than needed to be on track for retirement, these are all important factors to help them understand how and why to save more.

Retirement Income Security:  As employees continue to endure the uncertainty and financial anxiety brought on by the pandemic, their interest in retirement income products has dramatically increased. 72% of employees report they are interested in what guaranteed income products can mean for their financial futures, and almost half say they would increase their contribution if guaranteed income were offered.

“After a year filled with the unexpected, people are looking for something they can rely on,” said Ralph Ferraro, senior vice president, retirement plan products and solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. “In-plan guaranteed income solutions can help provide that, giving people the confidence that they will not outlive their retirement savings.

This study and others continue to reinforce the message that your prospects and clients are anxious about their financial lives, and they need your guidance.  There may never have been a better time to help people with the solid financial advice and products you offer.


Charles K. Hirsch, CLU, is the president of Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC, a communications consulting operation in Florissant, MO. For many years, Chuck was the editor and publisher of Life Insurance Selling magazine and has published several of the leading life insurance industry magazines. He continues to contribute articles on a regular basis to industry publications, in addition to providing a wide range of writing, editing, content development, and marketing services through his firm. He is a regular contributor to NAILBA Now e-Newsletter as well as to Perspectives magazine.