Often when we think of being fit we only consider our physical self, our strength or agility, our stamina and endurance and how long or far we can walk, run, or swim. This month I will examine another very important aspect of vitality and discuss the need to stay financially fit.
Let’s start with one possible definition of fitness: (The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness) and work out from there; no pun intended! Whether we look at suitability or appropriateness in the realm of financial fitness we need to have a long term vision for our lives, a lifestyle that fulfills our needs and a plan that will allow our health and money to last as long as we do.
When I discuss health matters with my practice members I often get a sense that most people, myself included not many years ago, tend to ignore their physical health until they are at or approaching a crisis that requires intervention. Sometimes that crisis point requires limited intervention that can repair subtle damage and return the person to wholeness and health, and other times the intervention is necessarily critical and ongoing for life and can only achieve a lesser degree of perpetual state of sickness for life.
What I wish for all the people that I know, take care of, and meet in my community is simple; don’t find yourself with a broken body, unfulfilled dreams, unmet needs and an empty bank account. Many of today’s seniors and even some middle ager’s find themselves outliving their health and/or their means
financially. I often use the quote (author unknown): ‘Most people spend the first half of their lives building wealth while their health crumbles and the second half of their lives trying to regain their health while their wealth crumbles and when the dust settles, they are left with little of either’.
The key to financial fitness is focus and unrelenting consistent action in two planes of life.
Earn more than you spend and save at least 10-15% of your income in a place where you do not have easy access to it. This can seem difficult or impossible at first, just start slow and take a piece of your income every week and put it away and at the same time get a crystal clear picture of how and on what you spend your money. If you need to, talk to a financial advisor and maximize any benefits you may have through your employer.
Get and stay physically healthy, and start today. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. is illness and disease. The most important tool you have to generate wealth is YOU. Don‘t live like there is no tomorrow and don’t think those aches, pains, and low energy are normal; IT’S NOT!
You can be as healthy and vitally fit physically and financially as anyone else, you may just need people that will support and nurture new attitudes and actions that will get you there!