George M. Blount, Managing Partner
Financial wellness is paying present debts and bills, while saving for retirement funds and potential emergencies. However, this is easier said than done. Both employers and employees experience tremendous stress in maintaining financial wellness. Organizations strive to find the best way to manage their costs and 401(k) or other retirement plan, as they operate in an environment of considerable uncertainty. Companies can be held responsible for breaches related to missing participants, participant loans, plan fiduciary, service provider conflicts and compensation, and many more. For employees on the other hand, costs of child care, healthcare, food, and housing, often supersede saving decisions that further increase financial stress. A financial wellness strategy that spikes engagement, reduces liability, and builds trust would be in the best interest of business leaders and employees. To this end, nBalance Financial, a financial services firm, offers solutions for workplace retirement plans and financial wellness programs to help individuals and businesses navigate income shocks and life events to avoid financial distress.
Using behavioral sciences and financial therapy, the company reduces the fiduciary liability for businesses and helps individuals manage their financial health. These methods maximize financial wellness, increase the trust between employee and employer, and decrease the risk of the workplace retirement plan to the organization. During his research for a dissertation in his college days, George M. Blount, Managing Partner of nBalance Financial, studied the establishment of retirement plans and how those were managed historically and impacts of adding a new element or alternatives to a product or service. He found that employees were using only 10 percent or less of all the available resources. Therefore, using financial therapy, the company ensures that businesses can satisfy the long term goals of employees such as children's education, housing, and retirement funds, using the statements, budgets calculators, or retirement calculators. “Financial wellness has broadened its horizons. From using the products and services, it has become more about helping the workforce with their overall financial health,” says Blount.
Financial wellness has broadened its horizons. From using the products and services, it has become more about helping the workforce with their overall financial health
Following a proprietary approach titled “E.A.G.E.R.” (Engagement, Assessment, Guidance, Evaluation, and Referral), nBalance Financial supports the individual and organizations with questions, decisions, adjustments, and guidance to map out their financial health. This therapeutic process starts with direct engagement with the individuals and organizations to understand their unique situation. Then by assessing their financial situation and goals, the company identifies the cases of high monetary or emotional stress and ensures the strategy for the upcoming session. By offering financial therapy, webinars, and guidance services, nBalance Financial's experts make sure that individuals have the necessary financial literacy skills. The company then continuously evaluates the effectiveness of the therapy and checks whether it is changing the client's behavior towards their financial decisions or habits. Based on the evaluation results, nBalance Financial either refers to a nationwide network of financial therapists or a different discipline as per the need.
Determining the fiduciary management approach that an organization chooses, such as structural, communication, and blended, the company thoroughly understands various methods that businesses undertake to communicate the strategy to their employees. While analyzing the current ways of clients to manage their retirement plans and features, nBalance Financial ensures that organizations are aware of all the alternative fiduciary management approaches. Then finally, the company focuses on the demographics, background, or other general information of the employee base to understand their financial anxiety, decision, the status of their financial lives, and questions that may arise. Since each organization has specific goals with their retirement plan, the ability of businesses to optimize the return for the retirement plan and reduce the risks maintains the balance between the goals of employers and employees. nBalance Financial ensures that employees are aware of the available benefits and the conflicts or risks involved. Simultaneously, the company ensures that businesses can understand and satisfy any concerns of their employees who are in a bad situation and need attention.
In essence, nBalance Financial addresses behavioral, psychological, environmental, and relational aspects of financial health—for organizations and individuals—by utilizing tools and resources, and by applying behavioral science.