Retirement Is Changing, and Financial Services Groups Need to Keep Up

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Feb 19, 2020 @ 10:40 AM

Financial wellness is a luxury that younger demographics seem to have a harder time achieving. Stevie-winner John Hancock is an insurance company refining its approach to develop financial solutions for the modern generation of consumers.

With the ongoing economic impacts of the Great Recession, astronomical student debt, rising housing costs, and myriad other financial factors, retirement looks a lot different today than it used to. Gone are the days of getting into a job, working for 40 years, and retiring with a handshake and a gold watch. Pensions and 401(k)s are increasingly hard to come by. Plus, with often insurmountably expensive real estate costs, fewer people are entering the realty market. As a result, many people don’t have valuable homes to supplement their retirement nest eggs.


Given these kinds of factors, it’s little surprise that the concept of “retirement” has shifted. In this landscape, one thing is clear: If financial services groups want to continue to stay relevant, they will need to change their approaches, advice, and outlook to match what financial wellness means to millennials and members of Generation Z.

Rethinking Retirement Age

In a 2018 study by, millennials responded that they think 61 is the ideal age to retire. Despite this aspiration of early retirement, however, approximately two-thirds of millennials have nothing saved for retirement.

Because of increased debt and decreased financial opportunities, more people than ever are being forced to reevaluate what’s realistic when it comes to retirement. For many, this means bumping out that expected age of retirement. Some don’t even expect to retire at all, instead considering part-time jobs, second careers, or other money-making opportunities as they get into the later years of their lives.

Increased longevity further complicates the issue. Across the globe, people are living longer than ever, which seriously skews issues related to realistic retirement age, health insurance, and life insurance.

Rethinking Financial Wellness

Companies that provide financial planning and other money-management services are often viewed as symbolic of a bygone era. After all, someone who has nothing saved for retirement, doesn’t own a home, and is working on paying down $50,000 in student debt can feel as if these companies aren’t relevant to their financial realities.

That doesn’t need to be the case, though. These companies can still help younger clientele reach their financial goals; they just have to shift how they think about accomplishing this endeavor. Stevie-winner John Hancock, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, is one such company successfully refining its approach. 

John_Hancock_logo-1The people at John Hancock understand it’s time to look beyond outdated concepts like ‘net assets’ and to build financial solutions that fit into customers’ whole lives—with easily accessible products that reflect their values, their approach to wellness, and their holistic well-being. That’s why they’re redefining retirement, insurance, and investing for the modern generation of consumers to address both their health and wealth.

To connect with this modern generation of consumers, one key is reframing the idea of financial wellness as the most important kind of wellness. Financial service providers are finding that the younger generation prizes a more holistic approach to well-being, and providing advice that resonates means tailoring to that mind-set.

John Hancock believes good health and financial wellness are essential ingredients to overall well-being, and they want to help motivate people to make healthier choices—for themselves and their future.

With this goal in mind, the organization has had success especially with one initiative: a partnership with the Vitality Group, which can serve as a template for similar companies looking to connect with younger investors.

In 2015, John Hancock started a new chapter in their 155-year history when they partnered with the Vitality Group to help clients live longer, healthier lives. As the first life insurance company in the United States to offer a wellness-based rewards program, John Hancock life insurance with Vitality gives customers the financial protection they need while also helping them earn savings on their premiums, shopping gift cards, and travel discounts for their everyday healthy habits, such as going for a walk, eating well, and getting a regular health check.

John Hancock was honored with seven Stevie® Awards at The 2019 American Business Awards®, earning the company a Grand Stevie® Award. This designation is reserved for the top 10 most-recognized organizations at the event. The company’s honors included four Gold awards (in the categories of Mobile Site and App, Innovation of the Year, and two in Achievement in Management), two Silver awards (in the categories of Woman of the Year and Financial Services), and two Bronze awards (in the categories of Information Technology Team of the Year and Customer Service Team of the Year).

Interested in entering the next American Business Awards?

Request the entry kit here.

Topics: The American Business Awards, American business awards, Innovation, management awards

Call for Entries Issued for the 7th Annual Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Oct 22, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

The Stevie Awards has issued a call for entries for the 2020 (7th annual) Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the only business awards program to recognize innovation in business throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region. 


The early-bird entry deadline is November 27. The final entry deadline is February 6, 2020, but late entries will be accepted through March 4 with the payment of a late fee. Complete entry details are available at

The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards are open to all organizations in 29 nations of the Asia-Pacific region: Large and small, for-profit and non-profit, public and private.

The awards focus on recognizing innovation in all its forms, wherever it is achieved in the workplace. Entries will be accepted in eight languages – Chinese, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese - in the following awards category groups:

  • Web Site, App, Annual Report & Other Publications, & Live Event Awards Categories
  • Management Awards Categories
  • Company / Organization Awards Categories
  • Corporate Communications & Public Relations Awards Categories
  • Customer Service Awards Categories
  • Human Resources Awards Categories
  • Marketing Awards Categories
  • New Product & Product Management Awards Categories
  • Technology Awards Categories

New awards categories introduced for 2020 include Video Awards Categories such as Award for Innovation in Branded Entertainment Videos, Award for Innovation in Cause-related Videos, Award for Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Videos, Award for Innovation in Lifestyle Videos and more.

Asia-Pacific Stevie Award winners will be announced on April 8. Winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during a gala banquet on May 29 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Scores of professionals from throughout the region will participate in the judging process to determine the Stevie winners.

Some of the Asia-Pacific region’s most innovative organizations have won Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards in the past five years including ABS-CBN Corporation, Cisco Systems, Delta Air Lines, Dentsu, DHL Express International (Thailand) Ltd.,, Globe Telecom, Hong Kong Tourism Board, KEB HANA Bank, KEPCO, KT, Maras Group, MSLGROUP China, Ooredoo, PT Petrokimia Gresik, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Singapore Power, Sony, Strategic Public Relations Group Limited, Telkom Indonesia, VNPT Vinaphone Corporation, Viettel, Xiaomi, and more.

The Stevie Award trophies, made by the company that makes the Emmy and other major international awards, are among the world's most coveted prizes. The name Stevie is taken from the name Stephen, which is derived from the Greek for "crowned."

Interested in receiving a 2020 Asia-Pacific Stevie Award?

Request the entry kit

Topics: Innovation, Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards

A HINT for Success: How a Mother's Innovation Turned Into a Multi-million Dollar Company

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 @ 11:50 AM

Kara Goldin, CEO of HINT Inc., in San Francisco, California, USA, was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year for Business Products in the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier business awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. (Entries are now being accepted for the 2020 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. If you haven't yet done so, you can request an entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at how a successful businesswoman—and, more important, a mother of four--became a business award- winning pioneer in the beverage industry.

Kara Goldin, CEO, HINT Inc.Kara Goldin is an innovator who is changing the habits of the beverage-drinking consumer. Kara started HINT because her family, like so many others across America, needed a healthy, yet flavorful, alternative to sugary sodas and juices.

On receiving her Stevie Award in November 2012, Kara commented: “Winning the award for Best Female Entrepreneur is AWESOME!  All the hard work is finally starting to pay off. The Stevie Awards are a great recognition and I am really honored and grateful!”

Calorie Counting
In 2004, Kara was determined that her family should switch to a healthier lifestyle when she realized how many calories they was consuming from juice, soda, and other beverages. 

Kara laid down the law and banned everything except plain water and milk in her house. That worked for her (at least for a little while), but the other members of her family were not happy.  She realized that she had to find something more interesting than plain water, so she studied the labels of every beverage she could find, but each drink she picked up contained either loads of calories or questionable diet sweeteners.

The Aha! Moment
Finally, out of desperation, Kara started slicing fruit into water to provide a little bit of flavor without adding a lot of calories. Surprisingly, this simple solution was a hit with her family. One day, she received a call from a friend whose child had been over at her house several times: “You have to tell me where you got the raspberry water my daughter keeps talking about.”

Kara laughed and explained that it wasn’t actually a product you buy. That 2004 conversation was Kara’s Aha! moment: she realized then that someone should make a simple, unsweetened, fruit-flavored water as a substitute for all the calorie-laden or artificially sweetened beverages on the market.

A Woman’s Intuition
Despite her inexperience in the beverage industry, the tough economic climate, and having to compete with the likes of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, Kara followed her intuition that this was a product that would sell, and created HINT Water.

In just six years, her perseverance, determination, and innovation brought HINT Water to the shelves of nationwide retailers like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Stop&Shop, The Fresh Market, and many other stores nationwide.

Adding Sparkle
With the success of HINT secured, Kara was ready to take on the soda category.  In January 2012, Kara launched HINT Fizz, a sparkling version of HINT that is available in four flavors. Staying true to Kara’s vision, HINT Fizz offered a refreshing alternative to consumers trying to break the soda habit.

Consumers loved it. HINT Fizz won Better Homes and Gardens Best New Beverage of 2012.

A Simple Mission
With one simple mission of providing a delicious and healthy beverage, Kara has been able to turn HINT into a multi-million dollar company offering a product that consumers trust and enjoy. The biggest lesson she has learned to date is if you make a product that you believe in and stay true to your message, your loyal consumers will become your best advocates and help spread the word.

HINT is a brand that’s been built around an important message: Drink Water, Not Sugar®, and Kara firmly believes in her message.

About Kara Goldin:
Since 2005, Kara Goldin has served as the Founder and CEO of HINT, Inc., maker of the HINT all-natural, no-calorie essence waters. Kara has built HINT's reputation as one of the leading health-driven beverages through its message: “Drink Water, Not Sugar”. This has resonated with the increasingly health-conscious consumer, and has attracted the endorsement of celebrity investor and 9-time Grammy winner John Legend.

Prior to conceptualizing HINT, Goldin built her career as Vice President of Electronic Commerce and Shopping at AOL, helping to turn its online shopping business into a billion-dollar entity in the 1990s.In 2011 Goldin was selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. Goldin continues to expand HINT, most recently by introducing HINT Fizz, a carbonated version, in 2012.

About Hint, Inc.:
HINT Inc. is the maker of the no-calorie, unsweetened essence waters HINT and HINT Fizz. Founded in 2005 by mother-of-four Kara Goldin, HINT and HINT Fizz have doubled revenues year over year and become the preferred alternative to sugary beverages. For more information, go to or

Topics: business awards, stevie awards for women in business, Innovation, Kara Goldin, HINT, Female Entrepreneur of the Year