Financial Wellness: What is it? How do we make it happen? Roundtable

Financial Wellness: What is it? How do we make it happen? Roundtable

November 15, 2019
Washington, D.C.
by invitation only

The TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center hosted a roundtable discussion focused on financial wellness. The event featured 31 thought leaders—spanning public policy, academia and the private sector—exploring the various dimensions of financial wellness and how to promote it. Topics included the elements of a successful financial wellness program, how to engage diverse populations across socioeconomic levels, and the role of employers.

While the event occurred before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, the issues discussed are particularly relevant as our nation moves forward. Key insights from the discussion are highlighted below. For a full report on the roundtable’s findings and recommendations, click here.

Key Insights:


  • Process discipline—i.e., developing and maintaining good financial habits—is an often- neglected factor contributing to financial well-being.

  • Uncertainty regarding business value has held back employer sponsorship of financial wellness programs.

  • More employees may be inclined to participate in financial wellness programs post- pandemic, but reticence to discuss personal finances in a work setting is likely to remain.

  • Technology and social media can deliver “near-peer” examples of appropriate financial behavior at different life stages.

  • Needs assessments, grounded in objective indicators of financial wellness, are essential for providing tailored resources to employees.