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New Year’s Resolutions: Getting Financially Fit

New Year’s Resolutions: Getting Financially Fit

January 11, 2021

New Year’s Resolutions: Getting Financially Fit

It’s that time of year again – New Year’s Resolution time. How did last year’s resolution go? If the answer is not good, you are not alone. In fact, New Year’s resolutions seem to fail at an alarming rate, most of which are cast aside before the end of January.

Whatever the reason, whether it's too expensive, unrealistic targets, lack of commitment, a failure to plan, the reality is most people do not achieve their new year’s resolutions.

Two of the most common goals include getting physically fit and getting financially fit. I am here to tell you, they are not mutually exclusive. This year, let’s kill both birds with one stone.

Improvement in your physical health goes a long way, extending well beyond the mirror. A healthier body means more energy, more confidence, a healthier mind, and a more productive worker. Healthy workers spend more time at work with fewer sick days and are more productive while at work.

Will you get a raise or promotion just for being healthy? Not likely. However, could you get a raise or promotion by being a happier, more energetic, more productive and more attentive employee? Sounds reasonable.

A healthier body also results in fewer health problems, many of which are directly correlated to poor diet and lack of exercise. Going to the doctor isn’t cheap (or fun).

While an apple a day may not be sufficient to keep the doctor away, a healthy diet and steady exercise routine is 10,000 daily steps in the right direction. Trips to the doctor are expensive, and in today’s high-deductible health plan environment, you bear the majority of that cost up front.

Finally, a healthier body can result in cheaper insurance premiums, both life and health. Many life and health insurance policies are underwritten based on an in depth analysis of your health information, amongst other things.

If you are an obese, cigarette smoking, adult with high blood pressure and other health related complications, your life insurance can be markedly higher than a similarly aged healthy individual. The reason is simple - healthy people, on average, live longer lives and are less of an immediate risk for the insurance company.

Don’t let this one fail. It’s too important. But, like financial planning, it needs to be realistic. If you don’t exercise at all, start with walking, which doesn’t cost you a dime. For most, six pack abs are no more a realistic goal than becoming a millionaire overnight, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. And, what’s the point in having a million dollars if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it?

Put it all together and an investment, monetary or otherwise, in your health can lead to better job performance, which can lead to raises/promotions, while simultaneously decreasing some of your largest expenses. Make an investment in your physical fitness in 2021 and get improved financial fitness for free.  Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

This article is meant to be general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed as personal advice of any kind.  Gary Parsons is a Financial Advisor offering securities and investment advisory services through Waddell & Reed, Inc. and can be reached at 850.894.9950. Waddell & Reed, Inc., Member SIPC (12/20)