We at Actuarial Benefits & Design Company have seen retirement programs retreat from fully paid employer plans to those designed to require employee participation. Along with this change in the trend for employers to take care of their employees, those employees who do participate and save within a 401(k) plan are too often asked to also become retirement-saving savvy and understand all the ramifications of their retirement plan choices.
In our busy day-to-day world, not many have time—nor some the inclination—to fully understand and appreciate the world of budgeting and saving for retirement. Since inception, we have been encouraging our clients to offer employee educational opportunities with unbiased and non-product specific tools. Generic and relevant information for their life stage. When asked, we explain the retirement plan’s Summary Plan Description to employees in groups over lunch or other organized meeting times. We help clients develop a comprehensive Financial Snapshot of each employee’s compensation and benefits package.
Education is a powerful tool towards confidence with any aspect of life and retirement savings is no exception. We encourage our clients to empower themselves and their employees through education; become a full partner with your investment advisor in your retirement savings and the accumulation of your retirement income. We do not speak to the investment side of savings. We defer that education to trained professional investment advisors. We offer generic and relevant financial learning tools for you to gradually become confident in any life stage you encounter and pass that knowledge on to your staff. Being members of these nonprofit professional affiliations has brought great fulfillment to us over the years and these websites are among the best offered and indeed contain award-winning material. All free.
For relevant personal application of these ideas, you should contact your CPA, or personal financial planners who have special designations such as PFPS, CFP, ChFC. Be sure to use an attorney to assist you with your estate planning. Once you get your plan in place, you will be confident, and able to de-stress and focus on the enjoyment life brings. Along the way we know you will not forget to Feed the Pig!
Useful financial literacy links:
Benjamin Banks’ Web site (www.feedthepig.org)
Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: New Evidence from the Rand American Life Panel by Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia Mitchell
360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (www.360financialliteracy.org)