posted by: Radnor Financial Advisors
Can wealth affect your health? The short answer is yes.
It’s no secret that we’re living in unprecedented times, and there are plenty of worries to keep people up at night. Money is a major source of stress for nearly 2 out of 3 adults (64%), with over half of adults (52%) reporting negative financial impacts as a result of the pandemic, according to the Stress in America 2020 Survey conducted by the American Psychological Association.
In a fight or flight situation, acute stress can be beneficial, improving alertness and performance in the short term so that we can face challenges or avoid danger. However, chronic stress—the kind often associated with financial matters—can be detrimental to our health. The physical effects of chronic stress can lead to greater risk of chronic obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. Sustained stress also suppresses the immune system, making one more susceptible to viral illnesses. When stress is unrelenting, we also can see rising mental health concerns, such as increased risk of depression and anxiety, as well as negative impacts on relationships.
Accumulating stress and financial challenges without a proper plan in place can therefore lead to a variety of serious health issues over time, resulting in longer-term problems that could compromise your ability to make good financial decisions. However, you can achieve a sense of security by establishing a savings plan in order to build adequate wealth.
Financial planning helps put a plan in place to reduce financial stress and anxiety, thereby helping you sleep better at night and minimizing strain on your relationships. Your individualized plan helps you take small steps to help calm worries such as debt management, saving for retirement, and education planning. In addition, having an emergency fund with cash reserves in place is key to managing unforeseen circumstances such as losing a job or facing large medical expenses. By engaging with a financial planner to better prepare for life’s hurdles, you’ll not only work to grow your wealth, but you’ll also gain confidence and self-esteem to navigate difficult decisions as you manage your unique financial situation.
Regardless of how much money you make, your income affects your health. Utilizing a financial planner to establish a well-structured and thoughtful plan can both strengthen monetary skills and afford health benefits. Typically, people with higher incomes tend to live in areas with greater availability of healthier resources, such as safe housing, clean air, quality grocery stores, and good schools. Higher earners also have a greater means of taking care of themselves with access to exercise, transportation, healthy food, and ability to pay for healthcare through health insurance or private pay. Working with a professional advisor to strategically handle the financial aspects of your life helps keep you on track toward your financial goals, which leaves you better positioned to cope with stress and reap the benefits of these health resources in the long run.
In recognition of the association between stress, health, and wealth, Radnor Financial Advisors is hosting a virtual webinar on June 17th regarding “The Impact of COVID on Mental Health and Effective Tools for Self-Care.” Many people have been paying a price with their mental health since the pandemic began, whether due to loneliness, stress and anxiety, decreased work productivity, and/or increased financial strain. For further information on stress management during these trying times, we encourage you to register for this upcoming Speaker Series event in promotion of overall wellness.
 Urban Institute.