How Americans Rate Their Fiscal and Physical Fitness

A survey turns up evidence that they are probably overly optimistic.

In the summer heat, our physical fitness – or lack thereof – is on full display as we try to beat the heat at the beach or the swimming pool. If only it was that easy to assess one’s financial health.

How would you gauge your physical and financial well-being? If you’re like the majority of American workers, you’re feeling pretty optimistic about your financial and physical health, and more than likely, you see a connection between the two. That’s according to Principal Financial Group’s recent Financial Well-Being Index.

Just 4 percent of American workers see themselves as physically unhealthy. Over half (52 percent) believe they’re on their way to meeting long-term financial goals.

Principal also found that a whopping 87 percent of workers believe maintaining their physical health is an investment in their financial future. After all, medical bills aren’t cheap. (Check out “10 U.S. Hospitals With a Price Markup of 1,000 Percent“).

More than 3 in 4 American workers said they believe spending time and money on improving their physical health now will help them avoid major health costs down the road. Jerry Ripperger, Principal’s vice president of consulting, said:

It’s one thing to recognize the critical role of health and financial stability in determining our future well-being, but it is another thing entirely to take the necessary actions to achieve those goals. As the future becomes more uncertain than ever before, it’s crucial that younger generations take control of their finances and health as early as possible.

Ripperger offers these tips to help Americans keep check of their financial health:

  • Assess: You probably see your doctor once a year for a physical checkup. You should deal with your finances in the same way, Ripperger said. American workers who meet with a financial adviser are more likely to report being pleased with their financial situation (52 percent) than employees who don’t (31 percent).
  • Plan: It’s important to set achievable goals when you’re starting a diet or exercise plan. The same goes for a financial plan. “While about half of employees say they have monitored their spending levels in the past years as a way to give themselves a financial checkup, only 3 in 10 have created an actual budget,” Principal said.
  • Track: Ripperger recommends keeping track of your finances and financial well-being by meeting with a financial professional. He said it helps people feel more in control of their finances.
  • Celebrate: After you meet a financial milestone, celebrate it, Ripperger said. Rewarding yourself will help keep you on track.

Find out how financial stress could be costing you your health by clicking here.

Do you see a connection between your physical and financial health? Share your thoughts below.

Stacy Johnson

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