In its quarterly research report on trends in employee financial issues, Financial Finesse has found that employees are increasing their focus on proactive retirement planning and overall financial well-being, but they’re still not adequately prepared for economic instability.

Financial Finesse has designated 74% of the questions it receives via its planning professionals as proactive in nature, up from 69% in the second quarter of 2011 and 59% at the same time in 2009.

 “The positive news is that employees are continuing to sustain resilience during uncertain times and recognize they need to keep their focus on improving their finances,” says Liz Davidson, CEO and founder of Financial Finesse.

More than 90% of the inquiries Financial Finesse gets from employers center on programs to improve financial wellness for employees. Retirement remains the top priority across most age and income groups, and a broad-view approach is growing more common.

“In the past we have seen a much greater percentage of crisis calls, with many employees waiting until they had a serious problem to begin seeking help,” Davidson says. The new paradigm for employees is to focus on becoming more financially stable in the event another recession happens.”

As things stand, though, workers are not yet firm on their feet. More than 40% are uncomfortable with their debt levels, more than half lack an emergency savings account and 84% are under financial stress.

Still, many are welcoming the new emphasis on proactive, overall savings and investment, including Trisha Brambley, founder of Retirement Playbook, which helps employers develop strategies for successful retirement programs.

“There’s been a complete shift among both employers and employees from topic‐focused financial education to holistic financial wellness,” Brambley says.

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