Surveys on working Americans tend to be exercises in the observation of dichotomies: They point out inconsistencies, paradoxes and opposing views in how workers perceive their financial well-being today relative to an uncertain future. True to form, new research from Lincoln Financial Group carries forward the tradition.
The second in a series of releases from Lincoln Financial’s 2015 study, “Special Report: Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America on Employee Benefits,” finds that more than 8 in 10 employees (out of 933 workers polled) are not confident they could cover daily expenses in the event of a major injury or illness. Yet, three-quarters of them say they feel “in control” of their lives.
The contrasts don’t end there. Whereas nearly 9 in 10 employees (88 percent) are generally “optimistic” about their future, fewer than 1 in 5 respondents feel “very secure” about their financial future.
Why the difference in confidence today versus tomorrow? A key concern of respondents is their ability to fund health care expenses in their golden years. Four in ten (40 percent) believe health care costs will negatively impact their retirement.
Hence the need, the survey points out, to enroll employees in non-medical, voluntary benefits programs that can cover at least a portion of future health care expenses.
“Encouraging enrollment and providing education surrounding non-medical benefits can better prepare employees for unexpected expenses that arise from an illness or injury down the road,” says Eric Reisenwitz, senior vice president of group protection operations and product for Lincoln Financial Group. “These products help bridge the gap between current confidence and future concern in covering health care expenses — ultimately improving employee optimism.”