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Real People, Real Financial Problems, Real Financial Advice — As Easy As a Taxi Ride

The Principal Helps People Take Action on Their Financial Dreams

September 9, 2013 (Des Moines, Iowa) — College grad with mounting debt? Buying a first dream home? Or worried about the seemingly daunting retirement years? Regardless of the financial need, the Principal Financial Group® is helping people take action to make their financial dreams come to life. Today The Principal® launched a new easy-to-use online resource for consumers, business owners and financial advisors. The Planning Center at principal.com features several engaging, real-life stories (via video clips) of everyday Americans grappling with financial dilemmas and looking for help to reach their financial goals.

"The Principal is helping people take action on their financial dreams by giving them a financial lift - literally," said Larry D. Zimpleman, chairman, president and CEO. "What makes this effort resonate are the powerful stories and solutions to real-life financial concerns with expert, fast, simple help from financial professionals during a short cab ride. The financial 'ah-ha' moments that come to life in the back of a cab are eye-opening."

According to Mary O'Keefe, chief marketing officer at The Principal and key architect of the campaign, the key to making financial headway is helping people take action — save, grow and protect their financial nest-egg. "Our research and experience shows human nature can be a common roadblock to financial success. Consequently, The Principal is changing the conversation. Education and awareness are important. But at the end of the day, not effective without action. The key is helping business owners and consumers get a financial advisor. Then take deliberate, simple, concrete steps toward financial goals, whatever they are."

Action speaks louder than words

A recent study from The Principal[1] indicates that 74 percent of Americans who use a financial professional believe they are making good progress towards their long term financial goals, and 73 percent said they are more financially confident since working with a financial professional. In fact, the study shows American workers who use a financial professional (54 percent) are more likely to say they are extremely happy with their current financial well-being than those who do not use a financial professional (29 percent).

Click, click, click!

The Principal's Planning Center is at the center of the effort — an easy-to-use online center for people, business owners and financial advisors. Several videos feature New Yorkers getting a free financial lift and financial guidance from professional advisors and money maven Jean Chatzky. The site also features calculators, worksheets, financial tips and other tools to help guide people on the path to financial action. The Dreamcatcher, an online social app, also is featured on the site. It helps people visualize, organize and prioritize their financial dreams.

"Whether someone is just starting out in a new job or getting close to retirement years, these financial roadmaps can help guide people to their financial dreams," O'Keefe said. "The Planning Center makes it easy to find a financial professional. People can start putting their financial plans into action and get needed guidance on complex financial issues, regardless of what life has in store. At The Principal, we fervently believe the future people want, is the someday they deserve."

In order to have enough income to support a financially secure retirement, financial professionals believe, on average, clients need to save 17 percent of their annual pay to have enough income during retirement. However, this is subject to clients saving early on in their career. Fifty-five percent of professionals indicate that no more than one-in-four of their clients actually begin saving early enough in their career to achieve the recommended level of retirement savings.

To help clients reach their retirement dreams early, more than half of financial professionals surveyed (56 percent) have begun offering financial education to their clients in the past year. American workers who work with a financial professional are significantly more prepared for a comfortable retirement (61 percent) than workers who do not use a financial professional (29 percent), The Principal Well-Being Index showed.[2]

"By providing more financial education to clients, financial advisors are really helping Americans better understand the importance of saving early, saving enough, and allowing them to think of a comfortable retirement as a realistic dream, " O'Keefe said.

For more news and insights from The Principal, connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ThePrincipal.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®)[3] is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $450.6 billion in assets under management[4] and serves some 19.8 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

[1]
Principal Financial Well Being IndexSM: American Workers 2nd Quarter 2013
[2]
Principal Financial Well Being IndexSM: American Workers 2nd Quarter 2013
[3]
"The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
[4]
As of June 30, 2013.

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