The Dirty Secret Advisors Know About Content-Based Financial Wellness Programs

There’s a dirty secret that plan advisors know, but are not willing to admit to employers, and it’s this:

     Financial wellness programs do not change behavior.

So let’s think through this as plan advisor. Even though you know that financial wellness programs do not change employees’ behavior, you’re under pressure to offer a financial wellness program to clients. So you select one that is easy to implement – a program that you don’t have to spend much time implementing or supporting.

Instead of recognizing this employer need as an opportunity to differentiate your services, promote your unique value proposition (i.e. your team and service model) and deliver a profitable new client service, you decide to take the easy way out and provide your client with a content-based financial wellness program providing:

  • Assessments

  • Monthly webinars or seminars

  • Broadly focused online videos and content

After a year (or two if you’re lucky), the employer realizes that employees are not using this service and it’s not worth renewing. So where does that leave you? With the dubious distinction of having introduced a lackluster, or worse, a failed financial wellness program.

Even more than that, you don’t want to be in this firm’s position, where you pick the “safe” solution and then readily admit that you have no point of differentiation or value-add to your financial wellness program (see fourth paragraph). Why bother?

Now I’ll let you in on another secret- this is what employers really want (these are the actual words of a Retirement Benefits Manager for a large retirement plan):

“I would like for the [financial wellness] program to include individualized and actionable steps to reduce debt, improve saving, and increase deferral rates in the 401k plan, without requiring a big up-front investment of time from the employee.”

Now, what if you could meet that employer’s need and also add greater value by providing a solution where a member of your team automatically coached each employee to success? That means you could:

  • Integrate your unique value proposition (i.e. your team)

  • Automate your solution, so that you can easily scale your team

  • Charge for your team’s time spent with an employee

  • Build trust and effortlessly uncover new advisory opportunities

This is financial coaching.

Financial coaching is built around your team, incorporates your service model and is a service, not a tool. Financial coaching also introduces a key ingredient that all financial wellness program are missing:


Without accountability, employees won’t act. It’s that simple. Personal finances are too easy to procrastinate and “do tomorrow” (i.e. never), which is precisely what employees do in content-based financial wellness programs.

Also, in a world where more and more advisory services are “productized,” financial coaching serves as a bulwark against being commoditized and helps you differentiate.

What most advisory firms lack are the skills and resources to build out their own custom solution and that’s where Retiremap 2.0 comes in. We’ve already built a fully customized, branded financial coaching platform that can easily be adapted to your firm.

And for a limited time, we’re offering advisors the chance to pilot Retiremap with any plan having up to 250 employees for only $950/year.

We want to show you how financial coaching can transform how you engage employees and open up a profitable new client service that is also fully aligned with your firm’s mission. Watch this video explaining our new Pilot Program:

There are only a set number of pilot spaces available and they’ll be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you’d like to learn more about the pilot program, watch the video on our Pilot Program page and fill out the form next to it: