With workplaces managing the challenges of having 3-5 generations working together, it is reasonable to expect that workplace wellness programs also need to tailor their programs to fit their unique needs and perspectives.
As Boomers approach retirement, there are many questions and uncertainties that are causing stress and may be impacting their performance in the workplace.
- 44% of Boomers expressed concern about outliving their retirement savings.
- Baby Boomers say that maintaining a comfortable living (37%), meeting their health-related needs and keeping healthy (31%) and traveling (15%) are their top priorities for their retirement years.
- Most Canadian Baby Boomers believe they will be more active (62%), relatively better off financially (54%), retired longer (44%) and healthier (41%) than their parents in retirement.
- One-half of Boomers believe they have done a great deal (13%) or quite a bit (39%) of planning for their financial needs in retirement, while a further 31% have done some planning and 15% have done very little planning or none at all. (The Retirement Landscape, ScotiaBank).
Workplace Wellness Programs can help to provide information, counseling and mentoring in these areas to minimize the stressors that they are facing.
Retirement Lifestyle Coaching
There is no one-size-fits-all retirement. Today’s retirees are embarking on late-in-life second careers, giving back to their communities, founding organizations and traveling the world. Some are struggling with ‘who’ they will be during their retirement. Consultation and referrals for personal development and growth opportunities, from mentoring, volunteering and taking classes, to setting goals and achieving lifelong dreams, can help Boomers find new purpose and redefine “retirement” for themselves.
Employees who can envision their future selves are more likely to understand their financial needs during retirement.Click to tweet
The advisers with Commonwealth Financial Network suggest one strategy for embracing your future self is to have employees envision not only their financial retirement goals, but also lifestyle retirement goals. By forcing today’s self to recognize how he or she will look in the future, employees are more likely to save for that future, they say.
Opportunities to save on the activities that Boomers are finally able to relax and enjoy, such as early bird specials, group travel deals and reduced ticket prices would be valued. A concierge service that can act as an information hub and ticket seller for travel, culture, entertainment, dining and shopping senior discounts is a great incentive to offer this group of employees.
Health and Benefits
According to a report from Sanofi, 12% of Boomers will be able to continue with their current health benefit plan at a price. 11% will be offered a separate plan at a price. 15% of Boomers will only be offered the contact information for a plan provider which they can purchase privately, while 62% of Boomers will not be given any information on what their options are. (Sanofi, 2014) Employers can prepare Boomers by providing various health benefit plan options and information that can then be incorporated into their retirement planning.
Note: 63% of Boomers agree that health benefit plans are a perk or privilege, rather than a right or an obligation of the employer, the level of agreement falls to 50% among generation Y employees. When offered the choice between $5,000 in cash per year or their health benefit plan, 45% of Generation Y’s would opt for the cash, compared with just 25% of Boomers. (Sanofi, 2014)
Legal and Financial Consultation
From debt counseling to estate planning, legal and financial affairs are a key concern for Boomers. Referrals to experts and resources for will preparation, retirement budgeting, identity theft prevention and assistance with credit/debt issues can help this group plan for a secure financial future. Most Boomers don’t know how to turn their nest eggs into reliable retirement income. Employers can provide additional help by offering retirement income options in their defined contribution plans.
Money Is A Top Source of Stress For Boomers
The Canadian Payroll Association’s (CPA) sixth annual National Payroll Week Research Survey found that 79% of employees expect to delay retirement until age 60 or older, up from 70% over the past three years. The No. 1 reason cited for retiring later in life is that employees are not able to save enough money.
68% think that they will need between $500,000 and $2 million upon retirement, yet 75% say they have put aside less than a quarter of what they will need in retirement. Part of the reason for low savings is that 44% of employees are spending all of, or more than, their net pay. The survey identifies children, home renovations and education among the top reasons for increased spending.
A BMO Nesbitt Burns study noted that 76% of the sandwich generation feel that the stress of everyday living—such as working, taking care of family, paying household bills, helping older relatives, etc.—is having an impact on their ability to meet long-term financial goals. The sandwich generation—those ages 45 to 64 who are caring both for their aging parents and for their own children—has saved just $258,000, which is $560,000 less than what they feel they need to have for retirement.
Living Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque
More than half (51%) of employees report that it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their pay cheque was delayed by a single week. The majority (52%) of Canadians have less than $10,000 in emergency savings, with 41% holding under $5,000. And according to the BMO survey, the ideal emergency savings fund should be equal to three to six months of your income.
BMO Financial Group’s RRSP study shows that 34% hope to use lottery winnings to pay for retirement, including 14% that will rely on it heavily. 89% of future retirees plan to rely on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to take care of their expenses during their golden years. And 31% say they’ll heavily depend on the CPP. The average amount a recipient gets is just $594.19 a month. The study also identifies other sources of income to fund their retirement: RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts (88%), part-time work (59%), selling their home/property (49%), an inheritance (40%) and support from their family/children (28%).
Canada’s Retirement Income System Maintained Its B Grade
According to the most recent Manulife Investor Sentiment Index Canada’s retirement income system maintained its B grade in the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index (MMGPI), reinforcing its position as one of the leading retirement income systems in the world. (7th) Canada’s retirement system continues to be one of the strongest retirement systems in the world by providing a combination of universal pensions, income-tested employer pensions, individual RRSPs and individual TFSAs.
Today’s Generational Landscape
Traditionals (born before 1946/over 70) Value loyalty and discipline. These workers tend to respect authority. They adapted to an environment of scarcity, and as a rule, they are pragmatic and disciplined.
Baby Boomers (1946-1960/50s to 70s) Expect success and are prone to be workaholics. They are optimistic and self-motivated. They are concerned about financial security and retirement.
Generation X (1961-1979/mid 30s to early 50s) Have the advantage of the best academic training. They are breaking with traditional patterns, including creating informal work environments and transforming corporate structures from hierarchical into horizontal and flexible entities. Personal initiative has produced a lot of entrepreneurs from this generation. A key value of Generation X is the achievement of balance between career goals and quality of life.
Generation Y (starting from 1980-1990/25-mid 30’s) Have lived their entire lives with information technology. They tend toward individual needs and often demand a high level of autonomy. Value relationships with co-workers and supervisors. They want to work, but they don’t want work to be their life.
Generation Z (1990 to 1999/15-25) Grew up with great uncertainty and war. Always experienced a constant stream of data. Lots of energy and enthusiasm, but may be lacking personal responsibility, interpersonal skills and work habits. They are going to need guidance in customer service, interpersonal relationships, personal work habits and appropriate conduct. They will require structure, performance standards and clear rewards.
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