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We often focus on the money-related benefits of financial planning. Putting together a road map for your finances can improve your money management skills and help you reach goals like paying off debt or saving for retirement. It makes sense to think in terms of these financial benefits given that a large part of financial planning is about helping you to create the future that you want for yourself.
But did you know that having a financial plan could also be beneficial to your health? When you’re in control of your finances, you tend to experience less stress, feel more confident and sleep better. Let’s take a closer look at some of these potential benefits.
If you’ve ever felt anxious about money, you’re not alone: 60% of those surveyed by the American Psychological Association said that money is a significant source of personal stress.
Research has found that money-related worries can negatively affect your health both physically and psychologically. Financial challenges – be it a job loss, cash flow problems or retirement insecurity – could often cause a great deal of stress and anxiety, which has been linked to a number of health issues, including migraines, backaches, high blood pressure, and depression. Over time, these health problems could create more money troubles and may hurt your ability to make good financial decisions.
Now, when we think about ways to manage stress and lower anxiety in general, we tend to think about exercising, eating healthy, meditating or checking in with a doctor – the physical things we could do to help ourselves. Financial planning is probably not something that comes to mind as readily, but good money management could help squash financial worries and yield other health benefits, too.
Almost everyone has felt stressed and anxious about their finances at some point. Before you could start addressing your fears and worries, however, you need to pinpoint the sources of your financial stress. (And this is where a financial advisor could provide some clarity and insights.) Once you’re able to identify the causes of your money stress, a personalized financial plan could help you tackle those issues one by one.
Now, whether you want to create a plan on your own or with the help of a professional is really up to you. The important thing is to have a plan!
Taking small, manageable steps to get your finances in order through proper planning could help calm your money-related worries and fears, helping to lower some of the anxiety you may be experiencing.
For instance, if you’re struggling with debt (which is a major stressor for many people), you could work with an advisor to come up with a debt management plan. Your advisor can also help you understand what aspects of your finances you can control to help tackle your debt, such as your spending and saving. There are many benefits to debt-free living – not only can it reduce stress, but it can also bring you the freedom to focus on other financial goals, like saving for retirement.
Or perhaps, you often find yourself wishing you could put more money into your retirement account or your kids’ 529 plans. In this case, your advisor can work with you to analyze your monthly budget and look for ways to shift more money towards your retirement and savings goals.
In short, having a financial plan that addresses your specific money concerns could help you regain a sense of control over your financial future. This sense of control could, in turn, help lower some of the anxiety you have about your financial situation.
Not only could a well-thought-out financial plan provide you with a road map towards achieving your goals, but it could also give you the confidence you need to make those important, sometimes difficult, money decisions so that you have a better chance of reaching your goals.
And when you’re confident in your ability to manage your money, you’re also in a better position to respond to any financial setbacks head-on. Talk about feeling empowered!
That sense of confidence could also help boost your self-esteem. Feeling good about yourself and the general direction of your life could positively impact your mood, resiliency and relationships with others – in other words, your overall quality of life!
This might sound obvious, but when you’re worried about money, you may find yourself struggling to sleep at night. It can be hard to turn off your thoughts if worries about market volatility or paying down debt are constantly on your mind. According to The Better Sleep Council, personal finance is one of the top factors that can hurt your quality of sleep.
So how could financial planning help you get some shut-eye?
If you create your own financial plan or work with a professional financial planner, it can help you identify and understand the fears and insecurities that are keeping you up at night. When you’re able to get those money worries out of your head and down on paper, you can begin to put together a personalized plan to tackle them. Knowing that you’re taking proactive steps to address your concerns could give you the peace of mind you need to get some restorative sleep.
Money is a significant source of stress for some couples, and when financial problems are left to fester, they could seriously strain your relationship with your partner. In fact, fights over money are a leading cause of divorce. But just as with other types of relationship problems, this is something you and your partner can work together to address.
When it comes to love and money, communication is key. It’s important to have honest conversations about your finances and how you’re going to manage your money together.
To be sure, conversations about money can be difficult for some people, so it might be worthwhile to bring in a financial planner, who could mediate potentially difficult discussions. For instance, if money matters are a constant source of conflict, what are the causes? What are the areas of agreements and disagreements?
The point of having these conversations with a professional advisor is to help get both you and your partner on the same page financially, which could reduce the tension in your relationship and foster a mutual sense of financial security and stability.
Strong financial planning can help you take control of your life through better money management and put you on a path towards creating the future you want for yourself. Don’t have a plan? Don’t worry – it’s never too late to start the conversation with a professional financial advisor.
Remember: In addition to helping you get a handle on your money, a financial plan could also bring certain physical and mental health benefits, including lower anxiety, better self-esteem, improved sleep and stronger relationships. All of which could help you develop a more optimistic outlook on life and feel good about the direction you’re headed in.
Hey, we can all certainly use more positivity in our lives these days! It could give you just the motivation you need to make positive changes in other aspects of your life.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.