DIY crowd falls behind in meeting financial goalsNews added by Benefits Pro on May 8, 2014

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Lisa Barron

Although four in 10 employees identify themselves as DIYers (Do-It-Yourselfers) when it comes to making financial decisions, they are falling significantly behind on prioritizing and meeting key financial goals, according to a study by the Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America.

The second annual Guardian Workplace Benefits Study found that this is especially true for millennials, who may need professional advice to achieve their financial aims.

“The majority of employees are starting to realize the true value of their workplace benefits, but a workplace benefits program doesn’t work if employees drop the ball,” said Phyllis Falotico, assistant vice president, Group Marketing, at Guardian.

“DIYers forgo professional help managing their finances and may think they’re in charge, but the fact is they’re falling behind their peers when it comes to living up to their financial responsibilities. These employees are not getting the information they need on their own, so it’s important for employers to provide access to expert financial advice, and effectively engage this group in a way that makes them take action.”

Fifty-two percent of DIYers attribute all or most of their financial preparedness to the benefits and retirement plans available through their employers, according to the study. But because DIYers are emotionally resistant to being helped, employers and providers alike need to rethink their approach to reach this segment, Guardian said.

The problem escalates for DIYer millennials, who continue to struggle with prioritizing the right kind of financial objectives and lack a clear understanding of their workplace benefits, the study found.

Only a quarter of millennials actually use most of the opportunities to learn about benefits that are available through their employer and instead rely too heavily on sources such as friends, family, the web and social media for benefits information.

The study concluded that DIYers overall underperform on key financial objectives compared to the one-quarter of survey participants who identify themselves as DIFMs (Do-It-For-Me).

For example, when asked how well they are doing on having financial security if a wage-earner can no longer work due to a disability or serious illness, 64 percent of DIFMs answered positively compared to 51 percent of DIYers.

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