RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When it comes to financial fitness, careful training and preparation may not get your face on the front of a cereal box, but it could score you a gold medal in savings. There’s opportunity for Americans to shape up their finances, as new research from Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) shows that one in four employed adults feel they are lagging behind in saving for retirement, and fewer than one in 10 would award themselves a gold medal across five key categories of financial fitness (managing debt, sticking to a budget, saving for retirement, choosing benefits at work and being financially prepared for an emergency).1
Over the past year, the pandemic has changed the game, with 93% of employed U.S. adults saying they would like to take one or more specific actions to improve their finances.2 Yet, just like it can be hard to find time to get to the gym, the same goes for finances. Employees have many competing financial priorities and juggling day-to-day expenses can have an impact on savings. In 2020, 24% of plan participants decreased the amount they contribute to their retirement plan, and 17% have taken a loan or made a withdrawal from their plan.3
According to the new research, more than 60% of those who say they can’t afford their ideal retirement said they would like help with budgeting and financial goal-setting.4 The good news is there is always time to formulate a financial game plan and score a spot on the savings podium.
“Having the right benefits in place to protect you today, while planning for your tomorrow, has become more important than ever, and it all starts with having a complete picture of your financial wellness,” said Jamie Ohl, executive vice president, president, Workplace Solutions, head of Operations and Brand, Lincoln Financial Group. “It’s a journey, much like fitness, and you can’t start without taking the first step toward the financial future you envision.”
Amid the increased need for advice and resources, Lincoln Financial offers three simple steps to shape up your savings:
Step 1: Make sure you have the right equipment: Get an accurate financial snapshot of where you are now. A good place to start is with financial wellness tools — which many employers offer to their employees. With these tools, you can create a personalized action plan and improve your financial well-being, whether that is a plan to pay down debt or create an emergency savings fund. You can also take advantage retirement income estimators to get a realistic view of your income sources in retirement. And for those struggling with competing financial priorities, including debt, Lincoln’s debt calculator can help.
Step 2: Set a goal: Just like athletes aspire to be at the top of their sport, you can set a specific goal to work toward – and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way. A good rule of thumb is to save at least 10% to 15% of one’s pay, but if that feels out of reach, start where you can and try increasing contributions by a little each year to see big changes in total savings over time. In the years leading up to retirement, you have the option to make catch-up contributions to get yourself back on track if you are behind where you want your savings to be.
Step 3: Meet with a financial “coach” to determine a game plan: Improving your financial fitness is a team sport. Your financial professional, employer, retirement plan provider — they’re all there to help. A financial professional can help you take a holistic view of your finances, from accumulation, to protection to distribution, helping ensure all considerations are taken into account and planned accordingly. If your employer offers retirement consultants, schedule a meeting to help you understand the full picture of your savings and where to focus your efforts.
For more resources, tools and calculators, visit LincolnFinancial.com/retirement.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help people take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, and guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $311 billion in end-of-period account values as of March 31, 2021. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, we earned perfect 100 percent scores on the Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index, and rank among Forbes’ Best Large Employers and Best Employers for Women, and Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
1 Lincoln Financial, Monthly Consumer Sentiment Tracker, March 2021
2 Lincoln Financial, Monthly Consumer Sentiment Tracker, July 2020
3 2021 Lincoln Financial Retirement Power
4 Lincoln Financial, Monthly Consumer Sentiment Tracker, March 2021