Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Among the different pillars of wellness, financial wellness can be a taboo or awkward topic for many people to openly discuss. But just like physical or mental wellness, your financial health should be examined and considered when taking a holistic approach to your overall well-being.
Working primarily with professional women, this is an area that comes up time and time again in my coaching sessions. In fact research shows, that 96% of women have a primary or shared responsibility for family financial decisions. And according to Financial Advisor Magazine, as of 2020, women control 51% of the personal wealth in the United States, an estimated $22 trillion worth. And that number is expected to jump by 30% over the 40 years.
But what does "financial wellness" mean? Simply put, it means being able to effectively manage your economic future, and feeling good about your financial health now and in the years ahead. When your financial situation is causing stress in your life, it can put strain on the other relationships that are important to you, and can lead to irritability, damaged relationships, and over the long term even health issues. Thinking about and planning for your financial future is an important step to feeling financially independent.
I recently spoke with rebel Financial, a small financial services company based outside of Columbus, Ohio to chat with them about the importance of planning for your financial future, why women have a tendency to push themselves so hard in their careers to the burnout point, and how this fits into the overall health and wellness picture. Rebel differentiates themselves with their customer service and can provide investment management, college/estate/retirement planning, and tax services. See my interview with them linked here.
A few questions to ask yourself when considering your overall financial wellness:
Have you created a budget and generally live within it?
What are your top 3 financial worries?
What are your career goals and how does this tie into your purpose in life?
Do you have a plan in place to pay off your student debt?
Do you have ample savings in case of an emergency?
Do you participate in your company's 401k plan or contribute to an IRA if you are self employed? And are you remembering to increase your contributions each year?
I'm also a big fan of Ellevest financial services and have been following them since they launched in 2016. Founded by Sallie Krawcheck, their tag line states, "built by women for women," and aims to help that 96% I mention above with their personal investment strategies. Working in the male dominated financial services industry myself for over 20 years, I really admire any woman that can successfully navigate Wall Street and rise to the top while raising a family not to mention launch her own successful business.
For as a little as $1 a month you can join and get access to certified financial planners, money coaches, and even executive coaches. They recently hit a huge milestone, reaching $1billion in AUM in just 5 years, and this Forbes article quotes Sallie as aiming for more. They also have many programs that support women like their Ellevate Network, a global professional women's networking group which I am a member of, and they are in general a huge advocate for diversity across the financial services industry. Congrats Sallie and to the whole Ellevest team, well done!