BOSTON — Since the moments that matter can be financially challenging — whether it's buying a house, having a baby or planning for retirement — Fidelity launched an interactive money checkup that analyzes the diverse needs of individuals and provides guidance so they can easily take action.
The money checkup guides people through a series of questions — from their age and salary to their savings and debt. It asks about their financial goals and highlights the areas where they need help. The guidance is different because it provides considerations for everyone — from Millennials having to make first-time decisions to people managing day-to-day expenses to those who are financially established.
The design of the money checkup is based on Fidelity's experience working with over 25 million people and over 20,000 employers, as well as extensive research which pinpointed stumbling blocks that may lead to financial distress. Fidelity looked at how people across financial situations and generations were dealing with those pitfalls and what kept them from taking action. Findings from this research include:
- Many borrowing from tomorrow's funds to pay today's debt: Nearly one in three (31 percent) employees are taking 401(k) loans to pay down/off credit card debt, and one in five (19 percent) took a 401(k) loan to pay outstanding bills1.
- Guidance needed for saving for the short term: One-third of people in a recent survey say they are extremely interested in receiving information about how to create an emergency fund2.
- Financial stress leads to emotional distress: An overwhelming majority (83 percent) of people said that being financially well helps them be physically well3, because they are less stressed and worried. When Fidelity looked at the correlation between 401(k) loans and debt that is other than a mortgage, about 20 percent of those people said that they felt "afraid" of their financial situation4.
"We all need help achieving financial wellness — from young adults preparing for life's 'firsts' to the financially established that face more complex financial decisions," said Brian Murphy, senior vice president at Fidelity Investments. "The money checkup is designed to help everyone understand where they need assistance and provide the proper resources so that they can take the next best step."
Employers Recognize the Need for More Financial Wellness
Ninety-eight percent of Fidelity's workplace clients adopted its Financial Wellness program, which offers financially focused insight into a broad range of topics, such as buying a house, having a baby, getting married, getting divorced and saving for college. People can get this information from Fidelity in the way that best works for them — on the phone, online and at Investor Centers.
For more information on Fidelity's Financial Wellness program, please visit our microsites designed for Millennials having to make first-time decisions, those managing day-to-day expenses and people more financially established. In addition, a podcast on Financial Wellness by Fidelity's Jeanne Thompson can be found on Fidelity's Viewpoints site along with additional guidance. Stay tuned for more information from the Fidelity Labs incubator team that is exploring the student loan space to understand how to alleviate this issue.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.3 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of April 30, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.