No Pain – No Gain: Financial Fitness and Physical Fitness Both Require Commitment

April 25th, 2019 by Jim Allen

No Pain – No Gain; we have all heard that saying as it relates to getting and staying in shape right? Getting in shape and staying in shape not only requires some sacrifice, but it also requires commitment. Going to the gym or starting the diet on January 1 as part of your New Year’s resolution usually doesn’t last long without a little willpower and commitment or possibly the help of a coach or trainer to help keep you accountable. Without these, the trips to the gym start to decline and the trips through the fast food drive through start to pile up.

The same can be said about your financial life. Financial Fitness (or Financial Wellness) is a concept where your financial life is organized and in order, which can help reduce stress, provide peace of mind and help you better achieve your financial goals. However, like physical fitness, just becoming financially fit isn’t an end to itself. You have to constantly maintain financial fitness, which is where discipline, commitment and accountability come in. It isn’t that uncommon for someone to get their debt paid off and a budget in place, only to have them start racking up credit card debt not soon after. It is the financial equivalent of going back to eating fast food.

Financial fitness will mean different things depending on your stage in life. For younger adults, it typically means managing your cash flow, paying off debt and starting to build that emergency savings. Once marriage or children come along, it might mean being properly insured, saving for a home, saving for college and having your estate plan in place. For people nearing retirement, it is protecting the nest egg, making decisions about health care, about where to live and making your money last. So financial fitness is constantly changing and evolving as those life transitions (both expected and unexpected) come along.

One of the benefits of working with a financial advisor (regardless of your stage in life) is that we not only help you get financially fit, but help keep you there. Think of us as your financial “coach.” Having regular, ongoing meetings with your advisor can make you accountable for staying on course and also to help identify when changes of course are needed as your circumstances change. When working with a financial advisor on financial wellness, make sure you are working with someone who is a fiduciary financial planner and who can provide fee only advice that is in your best interest regardless of your wealth. At Anchor Bay Capital, our team of financial planning and investment professionals are here to help whip you (and to keep you) in the best financial shape of your life.