Financial wellness is a chief concern among truckers on the roads today. The health issues truckers experience by spending long, hard nights on the roads may lead to early retirement. Putting all that wear and tear on your body by living a heavy hauler lifestyle sets your eyes on the future more than it would with other careers. So, how can employers take better care of their talent? By investing in their financial wellness.
The Advent of the 401k
The 401k plan came about in 1978 when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) added a section for employers to make tax-free, deferred payments instead of paying workers with a traditional pension plan.
The 401k plan is an alternative that has had its share of critics. It does not guarantee income in the exact manner a pension might. Others believe it is just a way for Wall Street to take advantage of working-class Americans. For blue-collar workers, who may not spend as much time studying the markets, these may be the only investments they make in stocks, bonds, options, and other securities.
When we take account for factors of inflation and financial health of employer over employees, a 401k makes better sense. It protects employees from an ever-weakening U.S. Dollar and protects employers from having to cringe when employees are ready to retire.
The 401k plans represented a realization that small businesses were being put out of business by monopoly businesses. In order to maintain profitability and be innovative, deferring payments through a 401k plan meant the difference between paying towards retirement or leaving their employees with nothing at all.
Planning for an Early Retirement
Trucking is extremely stressful. There are a number of uncontrollable variables that an experienced trucker must become seasoned to handle in their daily grind. The weather, regulations, quality of highways, and clearance are just a few of the difficult variables. When you add in the insanity of rush-hour traffic, road rage, and the loneliness of the job, it can all take a toll.
When we consider the full range of statistics, most truckers will not make it to their retirement. According to a Global Insight study, the average life expectancy of a trucker is just 61 short years. Factors contributing to this include the stress of the job and poor health habits from relying on processed, packaged, and restaurant foods. Truckers also spend much of their time stationary and exposed to direct sunlight. Long-term exposure to vibrations, difficulty sleeping, and long hours on the road can be too much.
Improving Productivity by Teaching Truckers Financial Strategies
At the end of the day, employers are only as valuable as their employees. If employers are unable to motivate talent or retain it, their companies will never reach their potential. Part of selling the vision should be a guarantee that your employee will have money set aside for themself or their loved ones once his working years have passed.
While a 401k is a good start, another strategy for financial wellness would be to teach employees financial management and how to invest on their own. By allowing employees to attend seminars or classes where they shore up their financial health, they will feel indebted to the program.
Having to work paycheck-to-paycheck whilst carrying a load of debts can be extremely stressful. It is easy to fall into consumer traps that pile up and make it difficult for a trucker to enjoy his job. By applying technology, you can have your employees educate themselves by practicing day-trading on apps in their spare time or by circulating newsletters with financial tips into their email inbox.
Relocated Housing Strategy
Trucking incurs lots of day-to-day stress. Drivers should not be burdened with additional financial stress. As the linked chart above demonstrates, a significant portion of a truck driver’s salary is based upon where his home is located. If he lives in California, New York, or other expensive localities, he is going to lose a lot of money on mortgage loans that may be strangled by increasing taxes, year after year.
Teaching your employees to find housing in more affordable areas, away from the big cities, is a smart move. Many truck drivers have stops on their routes that are less expensive than their current home location. The work will be a lot more rewarding and their quality of work is bound to improve when they are not stressed about every dollar.
One key factor you will notice about less developed countries, where the cost of living is much cheaper, is that they do not have a lot to buy. The consumerism driving Americans quickly brings about debts. If you remove the temptation to buy excessive goods, the risk of incurring debt is greatly reduced.
Investing in the Future
There are many trading opportunities for truck drivers to play the market. Many of the world’s richest people have had success in the stock markets. Today, anyone can invest in financial instruments, such as cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is a form of currency that is wholly digital and retains its value only by the convenience of using it as an easy medium for storage and transactions. It has no inherent value of its own.
By investing in digital currency and other promising stocks in a bull market, truckers can be confident about every dollar they save. They may even look forward to saving more on their paychecks when they see the results with sound investments. Today, there are countless opportunities that can be invested in with very little startup capital. A few years ago, investments, including Tesla, were inexpensive. As a result, these investments are the root of their owners’ millionaire status.
When you embrace the perspective that a truck driver’s saved income is a valuable medium for capital and other investments, truck drivers may reduce their worries over retirement and money, resulting in a higher quality of work to bide their time.
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