Fun Activities to keep the Kids Busy this Summer

July 17, 2014


D. Herbert

Copyright: scanrail / 123RF Stock PhotoSo school is out, and the kids are getting antsy. After all, they are out of school for three months with nothing to do. Here are a few activities to get the kids involved that will surely keep them busy and happy.

Leggo my Lego

According to the Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics. Of the students who choose to major in STEM fields, only half pursue it as a career.

Read More

Diagnosing and Treating the Causes of Financial Wellness Issues

0da446d.jpgAssessing Financial Wellness

While it may not be a surprise to most employers that two-thirds of American adults are physically overweight, the financial health and fitness of their employees is not always as readily apparent as their physical fitness. And yet, it’s equally as important; if not more so.

Approximately 40 percent of working Americans are not saving any money for retirement, and one-quarter of all American families have no savings at all.i This is despite dire warnings emphasizing the importance of savings, issued time and again from experts and media reports throughout the recent recession and economic recovery.

So why aren't Americans saving money?

The reality is that persistent unemployment and stagnant wages have made it nearly impossible for the average family to save money on their own. Moreover, because low- to middle-income Americans were hit harder by the recession and slow recovery than wealthier workers, the savings gap continues to widen.

Read More

Do You Have a Financial Plan For When Mother Nature Strikes?

FinFit_Final_Logo_jpg.jpgAs the impending Tropical Storm Arthur concerns those along the east coast ahead of the July Fourth holiday weekend, one can’t help but think of that fact that harmful weather conditions are gripping regions across the U.S., leaving a wake of destruction. Damage from natural disasters not only wreaks havoc on families and their property, it places an enormous financial burden on everyone affected, especially those who aren’t prepared with a rainy-day fund. Even people living in regions of the U.S. that are inclined to severe weather, armed with insurance to cover damages, often are faced with significant reimbursement delays.

When a catastrophic event takes place, such as the recent tornadoes in Nebraska or the flooding in the Midwest, the initial reaction is to assess the damage and deal with the emotional stress, but inevitably, financial stress is not far behind.

Read More

Promoting Financial Literacy: School Boards Need CPAs

14309969_m.jpgThe repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 represented a milestone in the deregulation of the U.S. financial sector. Since then, there has been an increase in adjustable-rate loans, a shift from defined-benefit to definedcontribution retirement plans, and similar developments. These changes have contributed to a complex financial landscape that requires significant skill in financial planning and risk assessment. Americans are beginning to realize that the knowledge needed to be financially literate has increased exponentially from what high school graduates needed to know 30 years ago.

Read More

Workers to Pay More As Health Costs Continue to Rise, PwC Finds

July 17, 2014


Tawny Elgatian

33214038_m.jpgEmployers are shifting health plan costs to employees through increased contributions and plan design changes, a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers said June 30, citing results of a survey by the firm.

“This year's survey results showed a stubborn frustration with rising health costs, but what surprised me is that employers are more typically using standard approaches for mitigating costs,” such as increasing contributions, Barbara Gniewek, a principal at PwC in New York, told Bloomberg BNA.

Even though the average annual increase in health-care costs, after plan changes are factored in, were lower than expected, employers are continuing to shift health plan costs to employees, according to the report, “Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey results,” released June 24.

The increase in health care costs was 4.5 percent in 2013, compared with earlier projections of 5.4 percent. The expected annual increase for 2014 is 5.3 percent.

Some 38 percent of employers said they have increased employee cost sharing through medical plan design changes, and 47 percent said they are considering further hikes, the report said.

Read More

Employers Need More Education on Benefits of Financial Wellness

financial educationEmployers could be doing more to help their employees’ allay stress, according to a survey of business owners and professionals. A report released at the end of May by FinFit, which provides financial wellness solutions, found 78% of respondents don’t offer a loan program to help employees deal with emergency situations, even though almost half said financial stress has sometimes affected their employees’ ability to work.

In fact, over 86% of respondents said that financial stress has had some effect on their workers’ productivity, with 14% saying financial stress “very often” affects employees’ ability to work.

Read More

Survey Reveals Increased Absenteeism and Decreased Productivity Due to Financial Stress

finfit-building-financial-wellness-bg-rectangle.pngVIRGINIA BEACH, Va., May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey of economic stress and financial wellness in the American workplace reveals that significantly more employees are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and that financial stress is a substantial and growing contributor to absenteeism and decreased productivity.

The survey, commissioned by FinFit, LLC, a provider of financial wellness solutions, asked business owners and professionals for their views on the financial challenges faced by employees at their companies and the impact with regard to on-the-job performance. It revealed that employers could be doing more to help ease financial pressures on employees. Highlights of the results include:

Read More

Most People Have No Idea How to Manage Their Money

budget.jpgDo you understand money? Let’s see how well you do with the following questions.

1. Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 percent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow? A) more than $102; B) exactly $102; C) less than $102; D) do not know; refuse to answer.

2. Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account is 1 percent per year and inflation is 2 percent per year. After one year, would you be able to buy A) more than, B) exactly the same as, or C) less than today with the money in this account?; D) do not know; refuse to answer.

3. Do you think that the following statement is true or false? “Buying a single company stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.” A) true; B) false; C) do not know; refuse to answer.

Read More

Financial Wellness as Recruiting Tool

17982080_m.jpgAs the deadline quickly approaches for individuals to sign up for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act, employers and HR departments can't help but consider the ramifications for recruiting efforts and talent retention.

Retirement packages and robust health-insurance plans have long been considered the key to attracting the best and brightest, but the game is changing now that the Affordable Care Act has put coverage within more Americans reach without having to go through an employer.

This reform is causing HR executives to consider alternatives to include as part of a company's benefits package, and financial-wellness programs are quickly gaining visibility as a viable option.

Read More

Follow Us

Email Updates