How emotions can create barriers to financial wellness.
IT MAY NOT SEEM IMMEDIATELY OBVIOUS, but financial wellness is a key element of our overall physical and mental health. When people feel financially well, they exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables, and get health checkups more regularly. They tend to worry less about money. However, according to a recent study, 40 per cent of Canadians feel financially unwell. They are less knowledgeable about investments than their financially well peers, are less likely to feel prepared to deal with a financial emergency, and are highly unlikely to be on track to reaching their retirement goals.1 A follow-up study reveals that over half of individuals who seek professional help to deal with life issues also have financial challenges. However, only one-third of counsellors surveyed found that their clients saw a connection between their finances and other problems.2 It’s difficult to talk about money issues. People who are financially unwell may have emotional barriers preventing them from gaining control over their finances. Those barriers – or feelings – include embarrassment, shame, fear and guilt. They may worry about being judged or stigmatized for their money problems.3 And these emotions can keep them from dealing with their financial issues or seeking help.
Clearing the path to financial wellness
Money issues are not uncommon, nor are they an indication of failure. The same way individuals take steps to improve their physical health, they can take steps to improve their financial wellness. With the right support, Canadians can make progress towards better managing their money. An advisor can provide guidance around budgeting, managing debt and investing. He or she can help with planning for retirement and preparing for financial emergencies. What’s more, an advisor can help an individual stay on track and avoid the emotional roadblocks that can hinder success. Each step can bring a person closer to reaching financial health. To create a plan specific to your goals, or if you have concerns about your financial situation, speak to your advisor.
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