woman looking through binoculars (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Advisors to retirement plans might want to have a look atthe latest in a new series of research briefs on retirementliteracy issues released by Financial Finesse in partnership with the Society ofActuaries Aging & Retirement Strategic Research Program—andthen recommend them to their plan sponsor clients.

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Companies struggling to keep up with the needs of a wide rangeof employee financial and personal needs, saysFinancial Finesse, could benefit from the research briefs.

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Liz Davidson, CEO of Financial Finesse, said, "[W]e are seeingtraditional retirement planning practices being replaced byholistic financial wellness programs capable of engaging allemployees and providing immediate value to the entire workforcefrom day one."

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But evaluating the offerings of some three hundred-plus vendorsoffering financial wellness programs is a challenge even for thebest informed of plan sponsors. How do they identify whatconstitutes a true financial wellness offering? How canthey evaluate its success?

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Greg Ward, director of the Financial Wellness Think Tank atFinancial Finesse and coauthor of the research series, is quotedsaying, "The goal of our work is to blend the beauty of actuarialscience with the principles of financial planning such that everyAmerican is able to pursue their retirement goals withconfidence."

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The research that went into the series of briefs can help toresolve some of the quandaries surrounding the "historically fuzzyfield of financial wellness," with titles so far available in theseries including "Retirement Health & Happiness," "RetirementPlanning from Start to Finish," "A Spending Plan for Retirement:Estimating Expenses" and "Retirement Planning Tools."

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According to Financial Finesse, the briefs "are intended to helpboth employees and employers better understand how differentretirement planning tools are used," so that they are better ableto estimate how much money they need to save for a secureretirement.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.