“To enhance our Financial Wellness program, Fidelity developed a way to measure Financial Wellness and offer a clear way to assess if a person is financially well. The score is based on what we believe are the four key domains of Financial Wellness: budget, debt, savings and protection, all of which are equally significant,” said
Fidelity’s Financial Wellness Score is based on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents extreme financial distress and 100 indicates the maximum level of financial wellness.3 To assess how financially well workers are today, Fidelity conducted a survey of more than 6,0004 people to understand how they are doing in each of the Financial Wellness domains. Fidelity also examined the behaviors of the respondents within their retirement plan including savings rate and loan history.
Applying the Fidelity Financial Wellness Score, the results reveal 14 percent of those surveyed are financially “excellent” (a score between 81 and 100), 37 percent are “good” (a score between 61 and 80), 33 percent “fair” (a score between 41 and 60) and 16 percent “need attention” (a score between 0 and 40). Here are the observed attributes of respondents in each category.
The survey also reveals: Generation X is the most financially stressed: More than half of GenXers5 (52 percent) feel neutral or negative about their debt situation. By comparison, nearly two-thirds of Boomers6 (65 percent) feel like their debt is manageable. For many, money brings happiness: 57 percent of those surveyed said they could not be happy unless they are financially secure. Surprisingly, Millennials7 are more likely to feel this way than other generations with 66 percent agreeing with the statement. People are most concerned about debt: 30 percent agree strongly that their household has too much debt and 11 percent say they think about debt “all the time.” Financial stress hits home for women: Women are twice as likely to report feeling worried or sick about their financial situation as men.
“When the Financial Wellness Score is made available this summer as part of Fidelity’s Money Checkup, it will be a wake-up call for some employees and for others it will bring peace of mind. The score will bring clarity to where they stand financially and put a spotlight on next steps,” added Thompson. “We’ll be working with employers on how they can incorporate this Financial Wellness measure as part of their strategy to give employees the financial confidence and control they need.”
In the past year, there have been more than 1.9 million visits8 to Fidelity’s Financial Wellness content by people looking for help with establishing emergency savings, managing college debt, claiming
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