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Schwab Launches Interactive Platform to Help Retirement Savers

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What You Need to Know

  • My Financial Guide offers modules that take users through a financial assessment focusing on emergency savings, debt, insurance and estate planning.
  • Behavioral economics drove much of the platform's interactivity.
  • Each module provides a checklist on next steps based on user input and tracks progress toward goals.

Schwab Retirement Plan Services has launched an interactive, online dashboard that helps retirement plan participants assess their financial health and then aids them in creating a custom plan that offers steps toward specific savings goals, the firm announced Wednesday.

In its annual survey, the firm found that 61% of participants think their financial situation needs professional advice‚ up from 50% last year.

The offering, My Financial Guide, gives “workers the power to take control of their financial situations on their own terms,” according to Nathan Voris, director of Schwab Retirement Plan Services. He noted that some workers can be “confused with the industry jargon and find it difficult to start the planning process.”

The dashboard offers modules that take users through a financial assessment that helps them address four key areas: emergency savings, debt, insurance and estate planning. Users can select any of the modules that address their needs.

The modules provide education and next steps. For example, the insurance module contains a checklist of definitions of basic terms, reviews major insurance types and offers a step-by-step guide on coverage options to see what meets a user’s financial goals.

In developing My Financial Guide, Schwab Digital Services’ Innovation Lab teams worked with real participants to nail down key financial challenges. For example, they found that some workers don’t feel “worthy of a financial plan,” and workers prefer support on their own terms.

According to the firm, behavioral economics drove much of the platform’s interactivity. For example, the emergency savings module motivates users by seeing their goal mapped out with a percentage progress bar, monthly savings amount and then the next six-month milestone.

Each module provides a personalized checklist on next steps based on user input, and tracks progress toward goals. It also provides the option of obtaining financial coaching and other tools and guidance.