4 ways to help increase your financial literacy
Finding an employer who cares enough to put together a thoughtful benefits package should be front-of-mind when it comes to deciding which company deserves your valuable services and talents. In fact, 88 percent of respondents in one survey1 said that they would give better health, dental and vision insurance either "some" or "heavy" consideration when choosing between a high-paying job and a lower-paying one with better benefits.
Having an excellent benefits package provides you with a leg-up with regard to making the most of your hard-earned money. Even with an employer that offers all the perks, though, there are additional ways that, as an employee, you can take matters into your own hands and make the most of your benefits. For example, an excellent benefits package can only go so far if you aren’t sure how to best use it. Luckily, there are plenty of financial literacy resources to help you learn more about the smartest ways to use the benefits you’re given.
1. Get back to basics.
It’s difficult to think about your financial future when you’re bogged down in making the most of your cash in the present. Things like creating a budget and saving for college, retirement or purchasing a home can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Employer-sponsored programs that walk employees through key financial concepts like these can help you make better decisions and manage your money in a more concrete way. FutureFIT® University, for example, helps participants take control of their finances so that they can be better prepared for the road ahead. Just pick a topic — like financial basics, financial caregiving or investing in your future, for example — and the program walks you through individual, easy-to-follow sections pertinent to each topic. Complete them at your leisure to feel better prepared for each task.
2. Dive a bit deeper.
If a traditional classroom setting is more your style, webinars are an easy way to get a visual education on important financial literacy topics from everything like tax planning and navigating college admissions and financial aid to Social Security and retirement strategies for women. Pick from live options that you can watch in real-time, or on-demand selections that you can watch whenever you have free time.
3. Consult the experts.
Even with the ability to gather information on your own, it helps to get some professional help from time to time, especially when it comes to making the right decisions regarding your retirement plans. Online retirement tools and services — like the Retirement Pathfinder® — help you do just that. Just input your specific goals online to create an expert-driven, long-term savings strategy for your future, or opt for guided assistance to help get answers to common retirement questions, address shortfalls and savings gaps and more.
4. Stay up to date.
Learning the basics is one thing, but financial news happens quickly, and it’s important to stay up to date on changes that may impact your accounts and future plans. The Education Center provides market commentary and articles with general information that might be useful in everyday financial planning, like new changes to 529 plans, the financial steps to consider before starting a family and the do’s and don’ts of portfolio allocation, among other things.
You’ve done your due diligence in finding an employer that rewards your talents with an excellent benefits package. By taking advantage of the opportunities above, you can make sure you’re doing your part to make the most of your money for your current goals, as well as your future ones.