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Tackle, tailor, teach: The three Ts of financial wellness communication

As the workplace becomes increasingly diverse, setting employees up for financial success is becoming more challenging. With multiple generations, family structures and different levels of health care understanding that may exist, effectively engaging employees in their own financial well-being is no easy task.






A recent Mintel study, the American Lifestyles: Markets in Motion‡, shows there is a clear difference in how generations feel about their finances. The report from April 2018 states adults aged 55-plus are more than twice as likely as those aged 18 to 34 to report a “healthy” financial situation—the complication is that most employers must educate and support both these demographics at the same time. As such, companies must take a unique approach to financial wellness communication to ensure all employees are properly educated on solutions that can benefit their own financial situation.

Here are three financial wellness communication items to consider:

Gather and analyze data – and then set strategic goals based on findings

Tackling, or understanding, how different demographics feel about and approach financial decision-making is the first step in setting the stage for overall financial wellness. Traditionally, retirement plans like 401(k)s, and health savings vehicles like health savings accounts (HSAs), have been considered and communicated separately. However, as planning conversations shift toward holistic wellness planning, these programs are now being discussed together—as complementary resources that can work together to support financial wellness today and in the future.

UMB regularly analyzes the data on its more than 1 million active HSA accountholders to better understand how users engage with their accounts. Data segmentation is a key component of both understanding employees’ current needs, and defining meaningful goals and strategies to help move each segment forward on the financial wellness path.

For example, by utilizing segmentation tools, employers can determine if employees are contributing enough money to their HSAs, and through financial wellness communication, help them set specific goals to increase participation in investments. These efforts, combined with a tailored approach to 401(k) investing, can help employees learn how to make educated decisions about their financial future.

Remember one size doesn’t fit all

However, everyone has one thing in common–health care will be one of the greatest expenses incurred during retirement.

Stress education and small steps

Educating employees about the importance of utilizing HSAs as a long-term savings option and pairing it with their 401(k) is a great place to start. Also, by debunking the use-it-or-lose-it myth that is often mistakenly tied to HSAs, employers can encourage users to save even just a portion of their yearly contributions, which could make a big impact in the future.

For example, if an individual saves $75 a month—the equivalent of eating fast food twice a week—for 30 years, they would have another $27,000 for their health care retirement needs. If they saved the maximum individual amount of $3,450 annually for the same timeframe, they would have $103,500.

By understanding employee differences, learning about their health care spending habits, and tailoring solutions to their individual situations, employers can help ensure overall financial wellness and motivate positive actions. This includes providing targeted education about tailored, long-term savings options, which can help prepare employees for health care costs now and in the future.

Learn more about UMB Healthcare Services to understand how we can help you reach your goals.
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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s Web site and go to Web sites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other Web sites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.