Many Young Adults Are Making Smart Financial Moves

slavik_9-20-18 img 1Millennials are optimistic about retirement, according to a recent report from Charles Schwab. Specifically, 76 percent of surveyed young adults said that they believe they will have a better financial future than their parents, and the average Gen-Y respondent expects to retire at age 60. The latter is a somewhat ambitious goal considering that it would mean exiting the workforce five years earlier than the traditional age of retirement, even as many financial experts are now recommending waiting until age 70.

Delaying retirement, if possible, can be a smart decision since it will help ensure that you receive the maximum Social Security benefit and also provide a few more working years (income) to pad your nest egg. While postponing retirement could therefore put many Millennials on a firmer financial standing in old age, one reason why some of the respondents in the Schwab poll might still be able to achieve a comfortable retirement as early as age 60 is because these young adults are already making wise financial moves. For example, 64 percent of surveyed Millennials said that they will often hold off on a discretionary purchase and instead set the money aside for retirement.

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Nearly half of Gen-Y respondents also said that they do additional work to boost their savings, and around one in three reported that they limit their vacations and traveling in order to set more money aside. Similarly, a new Bankrate poll found that Millennials were a lot more likely than other generations to say that they are saving more for retirement today than they were a year ago, and a recent Principal Financial study even found that some young adults are regularly setting aside at least 90 percent of the maximum the IRS will allow to be placed in a 401(k), IRA, and other tax-advantaged savings vehicle each year.

Since only around 9 percent of 401(k) plan participants are estimated to have annual contributions that come within 10 percent of the deferral limit, these “super savers” are likely to be well ahead of the vast majority of Americans in terms of retirement readiness. Jerry Patterson, a senior vice president at Principal Financial, added that “There is no better advice I can give anyone than save more, earlier. These super savers are making sacrifices today that should help set them up to have the freedom to do the things they want in the future.”


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Copyright @ 2018 Slavic Investments ( with permission.

Don’t be distracted. Practice driving defensively.

Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from the road and can greatly increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. Employees should learn about the types of distracted driving and what they can do to be proactive while on the road.

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road.
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving.

By practicing safe driving techniques, you can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in an auto accident.

Don’t multitask at the wheel

While there is little you can do to control the actions of other drivers, there is plenty you can do to reduce your own distractions. Do not engage in any of the following while driving:

  • Talking with other passengers to the extent that you aren’t watching the road and spotting potential hazards
  • Adjusting the radio or other audio devices
  • Allowing your dog to sit on your lap
  • Eating
  • Touching up makeup or hair

Stay off the Phone

Cell phones are the most common driver distraction, and cell phone use results in many accidents every year. Driving while talking on the phone is dangerous because you cannot adequately divide your attention between the road and your conversation. If you must talk on your phone while driving, using a hands-free device will at least let you keep both hands on the wheel.

Even more dangerous than talking on the phone is texting. Texting while driving is comparable to drunk driving in terms of decreased reaction time and impairment. You should always refrain from texting, checking email, programming a mobile GPS device or using your phone in any way while driving. If necessary, silence or turn off your phone to avoid being distracted.

Get Plenty of Rest

Driving any distance requires you to be physically and mentally well-rested. Fatigue plays a large role in motor vehicle accidents and it can be a major element in driving distractions. If you become drowsy, pull off the road and take a short nap.

Know Where You Are Going

Before you set out for a new location, familiarize yourself with the route. If you need to check your map or call for directions along the way, pull over before doing so. If you are using a GPS device, put in directions before setting out and don’t try to do it while you are driving.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Alcohol is the single, greatest contributing factor to fatal motor vehicle accidents. Never drive while intoxicated and consider not drinking at all if you are driving yourself or are a designated driver for a group. If you are going to an event that serves alcohol, plan how you will get home beforehand and act accordingly. If necessary, program the number for a taxicab service into your phone or call for an on-demand, alternative transportation service such as Uber or Lyft. Be aware that some prescription medications may also have debilitating effects on your driving.

Practice Defensive Driving

In addition to avoiding distractions, you should give your full attention to driving defensively. This can help to minimize the risk of an auto accident. It’s important to be aware of other drivers around you and adjust your driving accordingly.

Do you have questions about safety on the job or safety related topics? Contact the experts at BCN Services for help with your workplace safety policies.


Patrick Boeheim, Safety & Risk Manager

Employee burnout can cause high turnover and increased business costs

A recent poll of more than 600 HR professionals from companies and industries of varying sizes found that employee burnout affects 95 percent of all organizations. This same study found that the three main factors affecting employee burnout are: unfair compensation, unreasonable workloads and too much required overtime or after-hours work.
Further analysis showed that poor management, employees not clearly seeing the connection between their role and the business’s strategy, as well as negative workforce culture, are key factors that continue to fuel this issue. These are also factors that HR can control.

Burnout is a situation in which an employee feels extreme exhaustion that can be physical, emotional or mental in nature. Some signs of burnout include: An inability to concentrate or remember important things resulting in mistakes, increased absenteeism and accidents, disengagement or lack of interest, lower productivity, irritability and lack of patience with coworkers and clients and excessive cynicism.

All of these symptoms can translate into a negative impact for your business. Additionally, businesses affected by employee burnout suffer a higher turnover rate, lower employee engagement and increased spending on healthcare costs to cover psychological and physical problems related to employee burnout.
Some strategies for combating employee burnout include:

  • Allow and encourage your employees to take their full lunch break as well as short breaks throughout the day.  Additionally, add activities during business hours that give employees a reason to leave their desks.
  • Encourage employees to use their allotted vacation time.
  • Give your team a treat when there has been a stressful week or a big goal has been met. This could be food, gift cards, a jeans or casual dress day, or allowing employees to leave early.
  • Define an employee’s role by ensuring that they have an up-to-date job description and understand the expectations of their performance in that role.
  • Keep work hours reasonable and be realistic when assigning tasks and deadlines.
  • Maintain an open door policy. Members of your team should feel comfortable sharing if they feel burned out or being offered the opportunity to share ideas that contribute to success of their role and the organization.

Contact the experts at BCN Services if you need help developing incentives, policies and ways to help keep your employees motivated and productive.


Alicia Freeman, Operations Manager

Take care when implementing workplace English-language policies

Use caution when adopting “English only” language policies in your workplace. Employers that want to implement a language policy should be prepared to provide evidence that its purpose is more than a personal preference on the part of the manager or business owner.

Although there are certainly situations in which employers may appropriately require that employees know and speak English, employers could run afoul of the law by applying a blanket policy.

Written and spoken business communications and giving or understanding instructions are certainly business reasons to require an employee to use English. However, requiring employees to only use English in the workplace could be deemed a discriminatory practice if employees are asked to refrain from speaking another language during breaks or when having a one-on-one conversation with an individual who speaks another language.

Below are a few examples where an English-only language policy could face a legal challenge:

  • Two employees pass each other in the hallway during the business day. They stop and share a brief exchange in a language other than English.
  • A small group of women eat lunch together in the breakroom and speak Farsi exclusively.
  • An English fluency test is given to all employees regardless of whether their position is in Accounting, Customer Service or Housekeeping.

Even if there is a need for an English-only rule, an employer may not discipline an employee for violating the rule unless the employer has notified workers about the rule, and explained it as well as the consequences for violating it.

This is true of almost all company policies, so employers should be sure that their workplace policies and rules are clearly communicated to employers through an Employee Handbook or other formal company communication.

Do you need to discuss a language policy or other HR matter for your business? Do you have questions about how to handle a particular situation? Contact the experts at BCN Services and we can help you through that process. Call 800-891-9911 or email


Sue Kester, Human Resources Manager