Some Americans may benefit from specific retirement plans.

Some Americans may benefit from specific retirement plans.

Having a diverse financial strategy can be quite necessary for some individuals when planning their financial futures. This not only means saving money now, but also putting it into various accounts to ensure that everything complements the retirement savings process properly.

Close to all retirement plan sponsors explained that they are happy with their 401(k) offering to employees, according to a report from The Guardian Insurance and Annuity Company, Inc. Close to 90 percent of those polled said that these plans help make their employees save for retirement in an easier manner.

However, not all Americans are able to acquire these options to help make their retirement strategy more diverse. The report showed that 46 percent of companies still do not have an option to provide workers. Another 30 percent noted that they were unsure of what options would help out their employees in the best way.

“While most plan sponsors are satisfied, there are still areas where employers and employees need help,” said Douglas Dubitsky, vice president at Guardian Retirement Solutions. “Small-plan sponsors are increasingly realizing the value of working with third-party support services and financial professionals for outsourced solutions that help save time and mitigate fiduciary risks. This, and the fact that many non-sponsors are extremely confused by their options in the 401(k) market, reinforces what we have seen at Guardian for a long time – there are more and better opportunities for financial professionals in the small-plan retirement market than ever before.”

More Americans use retirement plans
With these issues in mind, there may be more people who are taking the need for more retirement options to heart. According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 76 percent of Americans either created a 401(k) plan, or increased their contributions in 2013. This was 3 percent higher than 2012’s level. For the fourth quarter alone, more than 80 percent did one of these two things.

“During the last few years, it has been encouraging to see companies increasingly use intuitive plan design strategies and other services to make their 401(k) plans more accessible and easy to use,” said Kevin Crain, senior relationship executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “When combined with simplified employee decision-making around enrollment, contributions and wise investing, employers can truly help drive better outcomes for their workforces.”

Some individuals need more personal finance knowledge
Getting the right financial outlook can take some extra work, as knowing what to do is important. However, according to a report from Genworth, just 46 percent of Americans go out of their way to learn more about their financial situation. Another 45 percent explained that the reason for this is that they think financial products are too difficult to learn about.

“It is not lack of access to information that is holding many Americans back from improving their understanding of financial matters,” said Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, a New York-based psychologist and money coach.  “Rather, it is a feeling of being overwhelmed – by the complexity of financial products, by the amount of time perceived as necessary to improve one’s financial knowledge and a disconnect between financial needs and personal needs.  An hour invested today in gaining the financial know-how that will make your life, family and money more secure will pay tremendous dividends over the long run.”

Another 37 percent felt that they don’t really have the time to put aside in order to properly learn about finances, the report added. Nearly one-fifth felt that they don’t know where to start.

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