Is financial coaching right for you?

Written by  Brooke Carbo

whats your dream 492Learn more about financial wellness resources for UAB employees at personal financial issues can affect employee job performance, UAB has partnered with SmartPath to offer one-on-one financial coaching to its employees through its Financial Wellness Program. During June, UAB employees can schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a SmartPath coach to help determine if financial coaching will benefit them. To schedule a free consultation, visit

SmartPath’s financial coaches help participants get a handle on their finances and provide personalized accountability, a privilege often reserved for those who can afford a financial advisor. Yet, accountability is an important tool on the road to financial health, says SmartPath founder and president Alok Deshpande.

“Oftentimes, we know what to do, but then three weeks go by and we didn’t do it. Part of that is because we weren’t held accountable,” Deshpande said. “That’s the No. 1 thing that SmartPath coaches do. They keep you on track to meet your goals, one step at a time.”

The program helps participants navigate 401(k) programs, retirement, student loans, budgeting and more. Coaches start by targeting specific pain points such as student loan collection calls or buying a home — “times when money is a priority,” Deshpande said. “That’s when employees want to engage and talk with somebody, and it communicates to them how we can offer support on financial headaches.”

SmartPath services are a voluntary benefit for benefits-eligible full-time and part-time employees. The $35 monthly fee includes unlimited phone calls with your financial coach, reports with recommended options and next steps — plus anytime access to SmartPath’s financial education portal.

4 Ps to financial health

SmartPath founder and president Alok Deshpande says the key to improving and/or staying financially healthy are tools that SmartPath calls the 4 Ps:

1. Have a PLAN with structure, which can be broad but actionable and in order.

2. Find the right PARTNER to talk with about your financial goals and better educate yourself about money.

3. Select the best PLATFORM, which includes products and calculators to help execute the plan such as a budgeting app.

4. Define your PURPOSE by asking the following questions: Why are you actually doing this? What or who am I doing this for? Financial health is a lifelong journey. You want to be sure you’re clear on your goals.