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Financial basics and beyond

​​​​​​​To reduce financial anxiety, Paul says a good starting point is to understand your income from all sources, and then where your money is going. “In other words, you need to develop a budget.” The Toronto-based Investment Advisor notes the “B word” can strike fear in people but “without a proper budget, it’s nearly impossible to move forward.”

Paul adds: “You don’t need to be a financial wizard but by increasing your financial literacy, you can gain confidence to make smart decisions.” This includes developing new habits that “improve your behavior and relationship with money.” For instance, use automatic deposits to set aside a small amount into savings before you pay all your bills.

He also encourages people to better leverage their employee benefits. Many companies offer plans that can help individuals save towards a down payment or paying down your mortgage or student loans.

How companies are prioritizing employee financial well-being

​​​​​​​Tim Mark agrees. RBC’s Senior Director, Pension & Financial Wellness, Human Resources says companies can play a pivotal role in the financial wellness of their employees. “What most employees want is to have the ability to live for today and save for tomorrow at the same time. That means managing their day-to-day expenses comfortably, while building for the future.”

RBC remains committed to helping build and grow sustainable, vibrant and inclusive communities. With this strategic view on the future – it makes sense for companies like RBC to find opportunities to support employees financial wellbeing. This approach helps reduce financial stress, and can also improve engagement and enhance productivity, and can act as a key differentiator to the employee value proposition.

“It’s all about offering our employees meaningful choice, simplicity and flexibility, and recognizing and responding to their diverse needs through their careers.”

Tim says employees should take full advantage of employer-paid matching contribution programs. For instance, RBC offers up to 100 percent matching contribution in the employee pension plan in Canada. “Every time you contribute, you double your money.”

The bank’s saving plan in Canada also allows for 50 percent matching contribution. “It’s like getting a 50 percent investment return before you even invest. That adds up in a big way.” Additionally, the bank can negotiate low management fees from the investment fund providers, given the bank’s size and scale. “That provides huge advantages to our employees, as those lower fees can add up over the course of time.”

Even as the aim of the pension’s matching contributions is to help incentivize employees to save for retirement, Tim points out that the bank helps all employees with this goal even if they don’t contribute to the bank’s program. “As a baseline, we want to make sure our employees have some form of savings following their career.”

RBC also matches contributions for shorter term goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house, paying off a student loan or the next big vacation. “It’s all about supporting our employees’ efforts in saving for the future or paying down their debts. That kind of behaviour deserves to be rewarded.”

More broadly, the bank makes educational tools and resources available to help its employees make informed decisions about money management and “step up their financial acumen.”

And throughout the year, RBC offers “wellness credits” to employees in Canada who participate in programs that support their financial, physical, and mental health. Employees can then redeem these credits for any item that can help support their well-being, such as gym memberships, health or finance -related apps, running shoes, etc.

Tim says the bank will continue to leverage its expertise, resources, size and scale to help employees live comfortably and support their financial aspirations. “When our employees feel financially secure, they can focus on what matters most to our clients. Their well-being is key to our success.”

A word from our lawyers

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject matter discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.