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Optimizing Your Retirement Plan

Robert DeVries is a WealthCoachTM and Retirement Plan Specialist at FirstWave Financial. He recently earned his CRPS© designation and is now a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist.
Robert DeVries is a WealthCoachTM and Retirement Plan Specialist at FirstWave Financial. He recently earned his CRPS© designation and is now a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist.

Do you know what factor has been shown to be key in growing profits up to three times faster than competitors? Engaged employees! So what exactly is employee engagement? Much is now being written about this topic. A useable definition of employee engagement could be as follows:

An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.

Study after study has shown organizations that consist of engaged employees are easier to run, make more money, suffer less waste and are happier places to work. When employees are engaged they are more aware, more active, and more focused on what they are doing. When they are not engaged, they go through the motions, and don’t give their job responsibilities their full and undivided attention.

According to CEB, organizations of engaged employees grow profits up to three times faster than their competitors and are able to significantly reduce staff turnover.


But here’s the bad news: 87 percent of workers around the world are NOT engaged with their jobs. How many of these disengaged employees work for you?

One measure of the level of employee engagement is how they see their financial future as a result of working with your company. Unfortunately, 8 out of every 10 Americans see themselves living worse in retirement than they live now.

This grim statistic is not a result of employers not trying to help their employees have a successful retirement. Despite nearly 80 percent of all full-time American workers having access to some form of employer-sponsored retirement plan, most of which are 401(k)s, 1 out of 3 workers opt out. Nationally, 31 percent of employees do not participate in their company-offered plans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For low-wage workers, that proportion jumps to 58 percent, according to Fidelity Investments. And, those that have saved don’t exactly have a bright future either, with the median account balance for households approaching retirement age clocking in at a disappointing $12,000, and working-age households reporting a dismal median savings of only $3,000!

One of the most impactful ways to increase your employees’ level of engagement with your company is to demonstrate a genuine concern for their well-being. One of the most powerful ways to demonstrate that concern is to help them see a brighter future as a result of working with your company, and one of the easiest ways to make that happen is having the tools and resources for them to take maximum advantage of the retirement plan you already have in place.


That’s why I wrote our recently published book “The Brighter Future 401(k).” In it I share some valuable tips and tools that you and your company can begin using today to build, repair, or completely remodel your 401(k) retirement plan. These strategies and tools include:

  • The Power of Auto
  • Creating Smart Savers
  • Measuring Employees’ Success

Watch for future articles where I will be presenting these powerful tools in some detail. If you want to read ahead, visit our website at There, you can download a free copy of our book.

Improving your company’s retirement plan could be the next important step you can take to create a more engaged workforce who see a brighter future by working with you, helping you to increase profits and customer satisfaction.

I think that is a win-win-win situation!

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About the author

SpaceCoast Business

SpaceCoast Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Brevard business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms, we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders, along with economic trends that are shaping our county.

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