If we’ve learned any lesson over the past year, it’s that no matter how carefully we plan and prepare, we’ll likely encounter unexpected hurdles. While a global pandemic has certainly underscored the need to pay close attention to our physical wellness, it has also revealed the need to shore up our financial wellness.
What Is Financial Wellness?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) defines financial well-being as:
- Having control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances. In order to achieve this, your expenses need to be lower than your income.
- Maintaining the capacity to absorb a financial shock. This typically refers to having adequate emergency savings and insurance.
- Being on track to meet financial goals, meaning you have either a formal or informal plan to meet your goals and you are actively pursuing them.
- Having the financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life, such as a splurge vacation.
The CFPB has identified several key factors that contribute to an individual’s ability to achieve financial well-being. Among them are: (1) having the skills needed to find, process, and use relevant financial information when it’s needed; and (2) exhibiting day-to-day financial behaviors and saving habits.
Many employers have begun offering financial wellness benefits over the past decade. These programs have evolved from a focus on basic retirement readiness to those addressing broader financial challenges as health-care costs, general finance and budgeting, and credit/debt management.
If you have access to work-based financial wellness benefits, be sure to take time and explore all that is offered. The education and services can provide valuable information and help you build the skills to make sound decisions in challenging circumstances.
In addition, a financial professional can become a trusted coach throughout your life. A qualified financial professional can provide an objective third-party view during tough times, while helping you anticipate and manage challenges and risks and, most important, stay on course toward a comfortable retirement.
Robert Martin is a registered representative of Infinex Investments Inc. and Investment Executives with Cape Cod Financial Services located at The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Cape Cod Financial Services is a trade name of the bank. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.