A comprehensive financial plan that is effectively executed delivers dollar savings in improved investment returns, lower taxes, lower fees, more efficient wealth and more stable income. However, an important outcome of this process addresses what may be on your worry list: running out of money, family strife, unexpected losses and making financial mistakes.
The Key Takeaways
- Financial stress can negatively affect the health and emotional well-being of you and other family members.
- Working with a financial planning professional can help you handle your financial situation, alleviate worry and, in general, help you feel more in control of your life.
Financial Worry is Common
If money worries keep you awake at night, you’re not alone. People are living longer and health care costs, especially for long-term care, continue to rise. As a result, retirement savings must last longer and stretch farther than most anticipated. Even those who thought they were prepared for retirement may now be afraid of running out of money, especially for the surviving spouse. Many families are still recovering from losses in the stock market and job market. Credit card debt is at an all-time high, as is the cost of a college education. Many families find themselves in the middle of the sandwich: taking care of elderly parents and raising their own children.
What You Need to Know
Worry about financial matters can negatively affect your health. It can lead to unhealthy coping behaviors like drinking, smoking and overeating. Cutting back on health care in an effort to save money allows small health problems to escalate into larger ones. If you have trouble sleeping, your mood, immune system and cognitive functions can be affected. All of these inevitably lead to more stress and can cause friction within the family.
Actions to Consider
- Planning is an essential activity. A comprehensive plan incorporates budgeting, income planning, tax planning, retirement analysis, insurance and trusts.
- A plan that isn’t executed lacks value. Expect to work with specialists to bring your plan to fruition: an advisor for planning and investments; a trust and estate attorney to draft the trust and estate documents; a CPA to implement tax strategies; an insurance agent to institute insurance products. If your resources are insufficient or uncertain, be open to changes that will alleviate financial stress and help you meet your financial priorities. For example, you may need to move to a less expensive neighborhood (or state). Your children may need to go to community college or state school instead of a four-year private university. A parent may need to live with you.
- The sooner you take action, the sooner you can stop worrying.