This past weekend’s NFL playoff games were maybe some of the best post-season games to watch in a long, long time… with some of the most unexpected outcomes. Who would have believed that all but one of the top teams from the regular season would be unseated from a Super Bowl trajectory?
The power of the underdog is not to be underestimated.
But surprising outcomes and the power of the little guy is a story employers all over the country are all too familiar with right now.
The Great Reshuffle has businesses everywhere – large and small, new and old – scrambling to figure out how to hold onto their employees or even hire new ones. Providing the best employee benefits has become the name of the hiring (and retaining) game these days.
But before I get into more about employee perks…
As you know, tax filing season is officially here, and we are itching to start processing our Washington, DC Metro Area business clients’ returns.
And getting ahead of the game is going to be almost essential this year. With the IRS still jammed up with old returns, processing credits, sending letters, and more – the sooner we can get your 2021 paperwork processed and submitted, the more likely you are to stay ahead of the IRS’s delays.
Busy is the reality we are living in over here at Keith Cole, CPA, EA, more than we’ve ever been in past years.
So don’t hesitate to grab an appointment time on our calendar as soon as possible:
Now, back to discussing employee perks…
Financial Planning: One of the Best Employee Benefits Washington, DC Metro Area Businesses Can Offer
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln
Employee perks are a way of life in business and though they vary from business to business, things like health insurance, PTO, flex time, even Friday donuts are pretty common. However, there’s another perk you might not have considered and could be one of the best your company has to offer: financial planning sessions.
In this current economy, with inflation slapping everyone in the face, hooking your Washington, DC Metro Area employees up with financial planning could be beneficial … for them, and for you.
What do you get out of it?
Did you know that almost two out of every five Americans can’t comfortably cover an unplanned expense? Odds are at least somebody on your staff could hit lean times if they had to fork it over for a medical problem or an emergency car repair. Money woes are top-of-the-heap troubles for many employees, though they would probably never mention it.
And what’s one of the first steps in tackling any problem? Planning.
Frankly, it’s surprising just how little most people think about planning with their money or how much financial literacy is not a priority. And, for the most part, they still don’t teach either subject in school. Plus, sitting down with a financial planner remains out of the reach of most American workers mainly because of the cost (but even because of mindset).
Imagine how much it would impact your employees if you could help them tackle a scary problem like bad finances? As perks go, offering this could be one of the best employee benefits you offer, and it would make you stand out in their eyes – and in the eyes of any potential hires they might refer to you when you have jobs to fill.
Money woes also serve as a huge distraction for your workers. Helping them with money troubles could result in more engagement at the office. And since money troubles tend to stress people out – and we all know the toll stress can take on our health – helping them to have a financial plan means peace of mind for them and better overall health. Added bonus for you: less employee sick time.
Helping employees plan with their money can also mean they’re not always pressing for a raise – or threatening to dump you for better money elsewhere (though offering perks doesn’t take the place of building a great working culture where employees feel seen and their needs cared for – the best deterrent for employee dissatisfaction).
Overall, then, offering financial planning as a perk can be a win-win, pure and simple.
What if they don’t wanna do it?
Though offering financial planning sessions could be one of the best employee benefits you offer, the whole idea could flop, that is… if you just whip it on your people without preparing them for it first. Money is a touchy topic even when all’s well. Nobody’s going to open up about their wants and fears about money unless you make it clear what’s in it for them… and you have answers ready for their objections.
I don’t have enough money to plan with. Sitting down with a planner is especially important for these folks, who more than most, need tips and tricks to whittle debt and stick to a budget as they move toward bigger goals like home-owning or retirement saving.
I don’t need a planner – and I’m too old to start planning. That’s like somebody claiming they have too many friends… Is their retirement all locked up? Are they going to pay the kids’ tuition with twenties from under the mattress? People put off thinking about stuff that has no easy answer. Everyone can always do better with money. And it’s never too late to start.
I’m not showing some stranger my dirty laundry. Any good planner looks forward, not back, with clients. They look to understand someone’s past decisions, not judge them.
I can’t afford a financial planner – and I can’t find a good one. You’ve taken care of this one for them, haven’t you?
Speaking of financial planning …
How much is this gonna cost me?
Let’s say you just want a planner to sit down for an hour or so a couple of times a year with your interested staffers. Advisors’ prices for this can vary – a whole lot – but financial planners’ fees start roughly in the low four figures per day. Hourly fees generally start in the low three figures.
It’s been said that how the advisor gets paid plays into their recommendations. For example, fee-only advisors (aka “fiduciaries”) earn money exclusively from fees paid by their clients (you) with no commissions from selling products or trading securities. If you can’t imagine the difference, think back on retirement-plan seminars you’ve gone to that were put on by 401(k) sponsors themselves …
You can check the background of a financial advisor at BrokerCheck, run by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Popular credentials for planners and advisors are Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). All of these require tons of education and passing tough exams (we’re talking day-long tests).
We think some sessions with a qualified Washington, DC Metro Area financial advisor could be one of the best employee benefits you end up offering. Financial peace of mind means peace of mind for everyone. If we can help you set that up in any way, just give us a buzz:
And remember, booking an appointment with us soon and getting a jump start on filing your 2021 taxes means you stay ahead of the IRS’s delays and get peace of mind early on.
We’re here and ready to serve you,
Keith Cole, CPA, EA