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Upping your wellness game by including financial well-being

Financial planner Marc C. Shaffer stays in shape hiking while on vacation.
Financial planner Marc C. Shaffer stays in shape hiking while on vacation. Courtesy photo

Americans take wellness pretty seriously.

We’re tracking our steps, sleep and health patterns on wearable devices to make sure we stay on track daily.

We’re getting our social fix in healthy ways such as group fitness classes, fun runs and endurance obstacle course events.

We’re getting organic ingredients delivered to our homes to make meals as a family and taking customized mixes of health supplements.

We’re even planning our vacations around a mix of relaxation and athletic opportunities.

According to a 2018 MyProtein study, we’re spending more on fitness over a lifetime than we pay for college tuition.

I’m all about wellness. I do almost every one of those things I listed above and so do my friends. But, I’ve noticed a glaring absence of a wellness practice that could make a huge impact on our lives: a focus on financial wellness.

We know that financial issues can cause stress. How about practicing yoga and reducing debt to take the stress off?

We know that financial issues can cause tension in relationships. How about seeking help from couple’s therapy and developing a monthly budget to get your finances on track?

Do you need help with your financial wellness? We look to coaches, trainers, gurus and chefs to get our wellness fix because we understand that their expertise can help guide us to the life or results we want. But many Americans may not realize they can afford access to someone to help coach them on the financial side.

According to the same study mentioned above, American adults spend an average of $155 per month on health and fitness, which comes to an average of $112,000 over a lifetime. These numbers make it clear that there are funds available to spend on financial wellness, so why aren’t we incorporating financial wellness into our overall routine?

Are you looking for an easier way? Did you know some companies even offer a subscription service for financial planning that costs less than the monthly average people are already spending on wellness?

Physical and financial care together play to each other’s strengths and can work together to increase your overall wellness.

When the weight of financial stress is lifted, you may find yourself with more energy and strength to take of your physical needs. When you’re able to take care of your body, you have the potential for reducing health care costs, which 17 percent of Americans say is the top financial problem facing their family, according to the “Cost of Healthcare Is Americans’ Top Financial Concerns” report from Gallup.

The 2017 Survey Results Report “Workplace Wellness Trends” found that more than three in five organizations have budgets devoted to wellness. Talk with your employers about available benefits focused on the area of wellness.

If their benefits don’t include financial wellness, talk with your human resource department to make sure you’re taking advantage of all financial benefits, like an employer-sponsored retirement fund or even reduced financial or legal fees.

Remember that wellness might mean taking care of areas of your life that aren’t always front of mind. Start incorporating financial wellness today for a holistic approach to your overall wellness plan and know you’re working to make each area of your life better.

Marc C. Shaffer — CFP, AIF, EA — is a Certified Financial Planning professional and a member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City. He’s a principal of Searcy Financial Services, Inc., a fee-only registered investment advisory and financial planning firm located in Overland Park.

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