June Theme: Financial Wellness
Reducing Stress Through Financial Wellness
by Ken Roberts, Financial Advisor
Wellness. When many people hear this word they think about their physical or emotional wellbeing, but what about our financial wellbeing? Money can be one of the biggest stressors in our lives, so why don't we focus on financial wellness as much as we should?
What is financial wellness and how do we obtain it? Financial wellness has been defined as a state of well-being where an individual has achieved minimal financial stress, established a strong financial foundation, and created an on-going plan to help reach future financial goals. (1)
Here are a few simple steps we can take to begin a path to financial wellness.
Identify resources. If you are employed, compensation is the first resource we have to use on our path to financial wellness, but what else is out there. Many employers offer benefits such as life insurance, health insurance, and 401(k). Identifying all the various tools and resources available to you that you can take advantage of is the key first step.
Set short and long-term goals. When we diet, we set weight loss goals and have a scale to track our progress—the same should be done with our financial goals. Setting specific goals and tracking them is one of the most important steps and it is crucial to track your progress. When trying to hit a financial goal, accountability is more than accounting ability. Also, set lofty goals! Push yourself.
Understand wellness is unique. For a co-worker, financial wellness may mean having credit cards paid off and 6 months savings in the bank, for another co-worker financial wellness may mean having a million dollar nest egg in their 401(k). Financial wellness shouldn't be compared to others. Every person and every family has a different financial picture, so don't try and paint yours to look like someone else's.
Don't be afraid to seek professional help. It is common for people to come to us overwhelmed, only to find out that with a proper plan their goals are within reach. Just as we have athletic trainers to help us on our path to physical fitness, or we have therapists to help us with our mental wellness, CPA’s and financial advisors are here to help you with your fiscal fitness. If you do seek out a CPA or financial advisor, ask lots of questions up front, trust is key in a professional relationship. The path to financial wellness won't be without its challenges and having a trusted financial professional is paramount in navigating those times.
Incorporating financial wellness concepts into small businesses are a great way to boost employee morale. If you would like help in developing a financial wellness plan as an employer for your office or as an employee looking to get started on a path to wellness, we are here to help.
Ken Roberts is a Financial Advisor with the Wealth Management Division of
Morgan Stanley in Springfield, Mo. Ken works with Missouri Dental Insurance
Services to facilitate their Multiple Employer Plan (MEP). The information contained
in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information
presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored
investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable
for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will
depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves
risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. Morgan
Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Individuals should seek
advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax or legal advisor. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer.
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