Not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses is the most frequently cited financial concern for Millennial (48%) and Generation X (51%) employees, while not being able to retire when they want to is the most frequently cited concern among Baby Boomers (46%), according to the 2018 edition of PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey.
Among all respondents, more affordable health care is the top cited factor that would most help them achieve their future financial goals. However, one-quarter of respondents said a financial wellness benefit with access to unbiased counselors is the employer benefit they would most like to see added in the future. Baby Boomers (32%) and Gen X (27%) employees are more likely than Millennials to say they most trust an independent financial planner who does not sell investment or insurance products for their financial advice and education, while Millennials are more likely to say they most trust friends and family (24%)
Thirty-five percent say their employer offers services to assist them with personal finances, and nearly two-thirds (65%) say they’ve used the services. Forty-one percent say their employer’s financial wellness program has helped them get their spending under control, while 39% say it has helped them prepare for retirement, and 31% say it has helped them pay off debt.
Financial issues impacting retirement savings
The survey found 42% of employees who have children older than 21 provide financial support to their adult children, and more than half (53%) are willing to sacrifice their own financial well-being for their children. Nearly half (49%) of employees who support adult children say they find it difficult to meet household expenses on time each month. More than one-quarter (27%) have withdrawn money from their retirement plans to pay for expenses other than retirement, and 40% expect they will need to do so.
Twenty-three percent are providing financial support for parents or in-laws, and more than half (52%) who do say they find it difficult to meet household expenses on time each month. Forty-five percent who provide financial support for parents or in-laws have withdrawn money from their retirement plan for expenses other than retirement, and 62% expect they will need to do so.
Fewer Millennial and Gen X employees are carrying credit card balances, although the number who find it difficult to make their minimum payments has actually increased among Millennials. Fewer employees overall (and Gen Xers in particular) are using credit cards to pay for monthly necessities they can’t otherwise afford.
Of the employees consistently carrying balances on their credit cards, 70% have developed a plan to reduce their debt. Nearly three-quarters (72%) say they developed their debt reduction plan on their own, and only 16% used help from a financial professional. Eighty-six percent of those with a debt reduction plan say they have been following their plan on a consistent basis. Overall, less than half (47%) of employees say they would be able to meet their basic expenses if they were out of work for an extended period of time.