The retirement challenge: Motivate workers to reach their financial goals

Twenty years ago, I was getting up every day at 4 a.m. to hustle to formation. I started with a unit run, sit-ups until I couldn’t breathe and every variation of push-up you can imagine. It lasted until I was a puddle on the ground in muscle failure.

I distinctly remember rushing to the showers, barely able to lift the soap from the tray. The routine happened in deep snow with cleats strapped to my Nikes, in rain and in sweltering heat.

This was the U.S. Army, and I was pushing myself to the brink to be the best possible version of myself. And it wasn’t just me. There were whole platoons of men and women as far as the eye could see doing the very same thing. Every morning, not skipping a beat, like clockwork.

While it wasn’t easy, it was transformative, and it helped me understand the value of a challenge.

Give us a challenge, and we will take it!

From the U.S. Army to the digital scoreboards we carry in our pockets, a challenge is powerful. Goal-oriented tasks get us engaged, motivated and reignited.

And although we may like them, it’s not really about the badges or gold stars that signal our achievements. It’s about the journey to greatness that keeps us moving. It’s about being propelled forward by our natural instincts to improve, grow and evolve personally, professionally and financially.

Let’s rise to the retirement challenge.

As I’ve worked with plan sponsors and advisors, the message is clear. We need fresh approaches to inspire higher levels of retirement plan participation and improved savings rates. We need to challenge workers to take their next steps. We need to ignite their desire to reach financial wellness and independence.

That’s why we’re meeting employees where they are with more impactful motivational approaches, including our annual education challenge.

In 2018, participants in plans with services provided by Principal® will complete tasks to win digital badges, while at the same time taking meaningful, personalized actions like setting up their online accounts, checking their Retirement Wellness Scores and completing My Virtual Coach conversations.

Take the challenge. And motivate your participants to follow.

Though I’m not running five miles every morning anymore, I do still appreciate and apply what those days taught me. Pushing, stretching and striving for more is intrinsic to all of us. Your retirement plan participants are just waiting to be motivated.

They want to be the best versions of themselves. They want to save enough and have enough for their retirement. We can help them live their best lives by harnessing the motivations that get us going and keep us inspired.

The motivators that push us at the gym, at school and in the workplace are the very same motivators at play when it comes to our journey to financial wellness. By tapping into the power of a challenge, we believe we can give participants the nudges they need to get on track and stay on track.

So, what are you waiting for? Find out how to help your participants take the challenge – I know you want to.


Affiliation Disclosure

This document is intended to be educational in nature and is not intended to be taken as a recommendation.

Insurance products and plan administrative services provided through Principal Life Insurance Co. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., 800.547.7754member SIPC and/or independent broker-dealers. Principal Life and Principal Securities are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, Iowa 50392.

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