By: Onari S. Tariah
Money may not buy happiness, but researchers have uncovered strong ties between your physical/mental well-being and your fiscal health.
Medical science has established that a proper diet and physical exercise correlate with health and longevity. Slogans such as “you are what you eat,” and “exercise is medicine” have lots of laboratory proof to back them up.
But what impact does your money have on your health?
Solid Finances Benefit the Mind, Body…
A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 72% of Americans felt financial stress in the past month, with 22% reporting extreme stress. Women, young adults, and low-income respondents reported the most significant financial angst.
These money worries produced health effects; survey results showed. Nearly 1 in 5 respondents said they either considered skipping (9%) or skipped (12%) going to the doctor because of financial concerns. APA concluded that “stress related to financial issues could have a significant impact on Americans’ health and well-being.”
…And Especially Heart
Dr. Denishan Govender of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, correlated psychosocial factors—including financial stress—with heart disease. Dr. Govender compared 106 heart attack patients with an equal number of healthy controls. Questionnaires answered by study subjects revealed that:
- 96% of those who suffered a heart attack reported experiencing some level of financial stress.
- 40% of heart attack patients reported severe levels of financial stress.
- People who reported significant financial stress were 13 times more likely to have a heart attack than those who reported minimal or no stress.
Research has also shown a correlation between stock market drops and heart attacks. Financial stress has been linked to health-threatening behavior such as overconsumption of alcohol, caffeine, and food; poor nutrition; and compulsive spending. The stress/behavior spiral is linked to health effects such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression.
Have a Coach in Your Corner
No matter our level of physical health and financial security, we can all benefit from a professional to hold our hand along the way. When I played soccer, tips from the coaching staff enhanced my overall game and helped me gain an extra performance edge, I would not have had without their advice. A financial professional can play a similar role by recommending stress reduction techniques to benefit both your physical and fiscal health, such as:
- Prepare for health-related costs not covered by insurance.
- Reduce health costs by lowering financial stress levels.
- Understand what goals are important to you so you can bolster your discipline when following a budget or financial plan.
- Put your mind at ease and benefit your loved ones by addressing the often-stressful subject of estate planning.
In the same way that a fitness trainer keeps you honest about showing up for your workout routines, a financial advisor can help you meet your money goals. One of my favorite phrases is, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” Fiscal fitness is an important factor in heart health and general well-being, right along with diet and exercise.
When you get a handle on your finances with a customized, holistic plan, it improves your quality of life. When you lower your financial stress, you improve your chances of good health. Reach out to FJY financial advisors when you are ready to plan to master your money.