Ah, stress. If you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, you’re not alone. According to The American Institute of Stress, 55% of Americans feel stressed out during the day. Since it can have negative impacts on your mental and physical health, working to reduce your stress levels is wise. In order to do that, you have to ask the question, “what’s causing it?”
Stress can come from a variety of sources. You might be under pressure to meet deadlines at work or worried about various social obligations. For most people, though, stress is closely tied to finances. Even those who are financially well-off often report money and finances as a source of their stress! Thankfully, there is a solution: working with a Financial Advisor.
Especially if you are someone who gets stressed out thinking about money, meeting with an advisor to talk about finances might feel a bit intimidating. But if you can get over this initial hurdle and find an advisor you’re comfortable with, ongoing financial planning can help you reduce your stress and reach your goals. Here’s how:
Setting Realistic Goals
Many people wish they were in a better place financially. Or, they may know they should be paying more attention to their finances, but they’re not sure how to start. These thoughts can be a source of stress when you don’t have any defined financial goals you’re working towards. Goals like “save more” and “retire when I’m older” are rather vague. Because they are so vague, you’re never sure whether you’re truly making any progress towards them. This is enough to leave anyone distressed!
When you work with a Financial Advisor, they will help you clarify your goals and set goals that are measurable, realistic, and achievable. Instead of setting goals like “save more,” you’ll have goals like “save $500 a month towards retirement.”
Setting goals in this way can bring you a lot of comfort. You know what you’re working towards. Plus, you can easily check, on a daily or monthly basis, whether you’re making progress towards your goals as planned. Ambiguity breeds stress, and by helping you set better goals, a Financial Planner can help relieve that stress.
It is important to meet with a Wealth Manager on an ongoing basis so that you can continually hone and redefine your goals. Life changes; you may change jobs, have a baby, get married, or experience other life alterations that necessitate adjustments to your goals. When you work with a Financial Advisor, you never have to wonder – or stress – over whether your goals are still a good fit or not.
Receiving Knowledgeable Advice
The Internet is a complicated place, at times. On one hand, it’s nice to be able to Google any question you have and find answers. On the other hand, it can be really hard to tell which answers are good answers, and which advice is good advice for your specific situation.
If you Google your financial questions, you may continually find conflicting answers and opinions. This can leave you feeling confused and even more distressed.
When you work with a Financial Planner, knowledgeable financial advice is readily available to you for any of your money questions. You don’t have to wonder whether the advice you’re being given is coming from a trained professional or a troll masquerading as a financial guru. Professional Wealth Managers have spent years receiving formal training and working with clients to hone their expertise and techniques. The advice you receive from them is solid, factual, and evidence-based. Simply knowing you have someone you can count on for real answers can alleviate a lot of your stress.
Creating An Overarching Plan
One reason why finances can be so stressful is that they impact every aspect of your life. Your finances impact where you live, what jobs you apply for, your family planning, your vacations, your life insurance plan – the list goes on and on. Once you start stressing about one of these matters, it’s easy for that stress to bleed over into other aspects of your life.
When you work with a financial planning professional on a regular basis, they get to know you as a person. They become acquainted with your life, your family, your preferences, and your priorities. This allows them to create an overarching financial plan for your life. It’s not just a simple budget and a retirement goal.
You can work with your Financial Advisor to determine how much life insurance you should purchase, whether you should invest in an HSA for healthcare costs, whether it makes sense to downsize your home, where you should retire, and so forth. Finances are integrated into your life, and to truly alleviate your stress, your financial planning needs to address all aspects of your life, too.
Sometimes, your brain can play tricks on you. You might be sitting there feeling like you haven’t achieved much or like your life has not progressed as you would have liked. You might look at financial goals that are 10, 20, or 30 years down the road and think you’ll never get there. These spiraling thoughts can quickly stress you out and make you feel hopeless. But in reality, you’ve often made more progress than you think.
Financial planning is an opportunity to track your progress and receive frequent reminders that you really are moving forward. When you meet with your advisor, together you can examine just how far you really have come to reaching your financial goals. You can review how much you’ve saved, talk about other small goals you’ve achieved along the way, and regain the confidence you need to keep pushing towards your larger goals.
We all need a little reassurance sometimes; it’s a part of being human. Receiving that reassurance from a financial planning professional can go a long way toward keeping your stress under control.
Stress is unfortunately a part of life. A little bit of stress can sometimes push you forward and help you strive for the best, but too much stress is never a good thing. If you’ve been under a lot of financial distress lately, we highly recommend meeting with a Wealth Manager. Contact RLJ Wealth to schedule an appointment. With our client-focused approach, we can help you set goals, track your progress, and enjoy greater financial stability.