The Importance of Managing Health and Wealth
by Derek Eckert
At present, there is an increased awareness of the need to restore our planet. An overheating planet is akin to a blistering fever that could cause permanent and irreversible damage. The realization that emitting toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases has put the future of Earth in great peril has spurred the creation of new companies, products and investments that can help restore our planet’s health. Similarly, financial planning needs to evolve to understand that discussing an individual’s health is key to planning their financial future.
Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of chronic disease is stress. In turn, one of the greatest causes of stress is money. Some advisors say they will analyze a client’s “financial health” but look at little more than their personal net worth statement. In fact, our health is very much a part of our financial picture. Making health decisions today generally pays dividends immediately (i.e. lower insurance premiums, food bills, doctor visits), and certainly down the road (minimizing the chance of costly trips to the hospital, lifelong prescriptions or ongoing medical care).
As fine as some individuals look on paper, they may be one emergency room trip away from bankruptcy. A good financial advisor will discuss lifestyle and eating habits, family health history, current health issues and mental and physical exercise nearly as much as they’ll converse about a 401k. The discussion will continue into understanding financial products that can help reduce the risks associated with serious illness.
A great financial advisor is a true wealth manager; a trusted partner who can help navigate not only the complex world of retirement, investments, insurance and taxes but that of long-term care insurance, retiree health care options, longevity annuities as well as understand sophisticated estate planning to ensure protection from unforeseen events and/or medical catastrophes.
Just as conscientious citizens see the importance of investing in environmentally responsible companies, thoughtful financial advisors see the value in addressing clients’ health as much as their wealth.
Derek Eckert is the managing director of Syntropy Wealth Management, an Austin-based financial management company. For more information, visit SyntropyWealth.com.