What is financial wellness, and how do I achieve it?
You likely have heard people talk about financial wellness, but you don’t really know what it is or have any idea of how to achieve it. In short, financial wellness is a relative measure of how well a person manages their financial life. Practicing better money habits, setting goals, and taking steps to achieve them help to improve your financial wellness and your overall quality of life.
There are plenty of different ways to think about financial wellness, but let’s focus on four categories: short-term finances, long-term finances, present financial freedom, and future financial freedom.
Managing short-term finances
This involves making a budget, sticking to it, and working to gradually increase your income. Speaking with a financial professional is a great way to get your short-term finances on the right track.
Managing long-term finances
Part of managing your short-term finances is ensuring that you make room to save and invest for long-term goals. Improving your financial wellness today helps get you on track for goals like buying a home and building a nest egg for retirement. Meet with someone you trust – a financial advisor, a spouse, or a child – and honestly review your assets and liabilities as part of the process of managing your long-term finances.
Improving present financial freedom
The goal of gaining control over short-term finances is to give yourself present financial freedom. Again, this can be accomplished with financial literacy, but the wellness aspect means you need to feel like your finances are under your control as well.
Achieving future financial freedom
This means you are following through on plans to accomplish your long-term financial goals. Retirement planning is a key part of achieving future financial freedom.
There are many paths for achieving financial wellness. You might choose to speak with a financial advisor, find answers in books and articles, or seek additional outside help. Regardless of how it is achieved, financial wellness almost inevitably requires looking at the present with a view toward the future.
Meghan Heebner is a Retail Services Market Manager for F&M Trust.
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