People are now feeling more stress over not having control of their financial situations. They are getting more help from employers because the employers are realizing the impact of this financial stress on work productivity, healthcare costs and absenteeism. "This is a growing trend of financial wellness in the workforce," says Erik Carter, Senior Residential Planner with Financial Finesse.
The stress seems to be coming from uncertainty and in that sense, Carter says you can look at the rise of stress as a good thing. On the one hand, too much stress can overwhelm you to the point of inaction and on the other hand, if there's not enough stress, that can cause complacency, especially about retirement planning. Realizing you're not on track for retirement can actually motivate people to take action.
There are signs of potential improvement, notes Carter, such as people running retirement estimators, which is the first step in determining if you're on track for retirement. Also, other behaviors indicating an improvement are retirement contributions, reassessing investments or seeing some initial steps in that direction. These are all good signs, says Carter, but there's still a long way to go to close that gap.