The Roman poet, Virgil, knew 2,000 years ago that human prosperity and happiness are inextricably linked to health. This is not a new concept, but it is worth the reminder as we experience many distractions that compete for attention in our busy lives.
Today, health is defined in a number of ways – including physical, mental, and spiritual health. If one facet of your overall well-being is lacking, you will struggle to some extent with your daily responsibilities. Studies have shown that financial stress and insecurity are contributing factors to poor mental health. Financial stress can impact your mental clarity and productivity, and can even lead to more serious physical repercussions.
Financial stress can be work-related – including job insecurity, feeling overwhelmed, and underpaid. It can also include debt-related stress or anxiety about saving, investing, and retirement. If you take steps to ensure your financial fitness, you will experience less stress and feel more content.
The following are a few ideas to help improve your financial wellness:
- Engage a professional financial advisor for help. We all need help to some extent. Sometimes financial concepts and planning are best left to professionals. Many people balk at the idea of paying someone to manage their finances, but the peace-of-mind you experience as a result will far outweigh the cost.
- Educate yourself. Read, watch, and listen to the news. Stay abreast of financial news and tax law changes and how they impact your personal situation. There may be opportunities you are missing with regard to investment vehicles or tax savings if you aren’t “in the know.”
- Review your account statements regularly. Work with your advisor to make sure that your accounts are up-to-date and still reflect your goals. It’s easy to forget about retirement accounts when your retirement seems years away, but it’s important to monitor your accounts at least annually.
- Take advantage of Financial Wellness Programs. Many employers have realized the benefit of providing financial education to their employees to improve confidence, and thus, happiness and productivity. If your employer provides programs for financial education – make sure to attend the seminars on various topics and see if you have the option for one-on-one counseling with a financial planner.
- Review your budget, savings plan, and debts. Making a plan to pay off debts, set a realistic budget for managing household expenses, and savings can put things in perspective and help you live within your means. Planning and preparedness can go a long way when it comes to financial security and mental health.
Instead of fixating on the things that are lacking in your financial situation, sit down to take stock of the improvements you can make to your financial plan now. Planning is always a productive way to improve your financial health and state of mind. Contact your advisor today to learn about ways to organize your finances and explore new opportunities for growth.