The Relationship Between Health and Wealth

"A man who has his health has a thousand dreams. The man who doesn't have his health has but one"

As many of us know, financial stress can impact many areas of our lives. A study conducted by Fidelity in collaboration with Stanford University found that the worse financial shape we are in the more likely we are to have severe stress-related issues in our lives. The study found that taking on more debt caused higher stress levels, worsened sleeping patterns, weight gain, and a general decrease in physical activity which in turn can lead to greater health problems.  With that information, minimizing money woes should be on everyone’s minds.

The Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) found that 42 percent of Canadians rank money as their greatest stressor and that number certainly doesn’t seem to be going down.

What You Need to Know

When you are in significant debt or behind on your bills it can feel like a never-ending nightmare.  Living your life with these stressors can have severe affects on both your physical and mental health, and therefore should be a top priority. Tackling your financial issues head on can sound daunting, but it is the only way to start making meaningful change. Making a plan, cutting back spending, and taking down your debt will not only put you in a better place financially, but physically as well.

Make a plan and stick to it. You might be surprised how having some control over your finances can put you at ease.

Sometimes, however, life happens. Situations present themselves that are beyond our control. Unfortunately, our finances are usually the first to take a hit when this happens. We may not be able to predict when an illness, death, job loss, or another unforeseen expense, but we can start planning for when it happens. Working towards an emergency fund is a great place to start. It is generally recommended that a family have 6 months of salary saved up in case of an emergency.  While this may not be a realistic goal for everyone, any amount is better than nothing.

Another safe guard to put in place is a good insurance plan.  Critical Illness, Disability, Life, and Long-Term Care insurance are all designed to eliminate the financial stress that comes with a family health emergency.  All these strategies can allow you to focus on what matters most to you, while still allowing you to remain financially stable.

The Bottom Line

There is no denying that financial stress can make a serious impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. If you are setting goals to improve your health, it might make sense to start with your finances.  While we can always control what our body will do, we can gain control of our money and make the best choices possible.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Financial Planning Standards council found that Canadians with a comprehensive financial plan in place reported greater levels of financial and emotional well being. Meeting with a financial planner helped people overcome financial stress and regain control over their future finances.