Savings and Your Mental Health

Savings. Believe it or not, there are certainly many tangible benefits to saving money. In fact, being able to purchase the things that you want or need (now or in the future) is probably the number one reason that we save. But what if the intangible benefits of saving money may actually be more important than the simple act of adding extra zeroes to your bank account? For many, the act of saving itself can have a profound positive impact on their mental health.

1) Forming good habits – In a world filled with endless potential for distraction and instant gratification, regularly denying yourself a portion of your income is a hard habit to form. Starting to save can be a daunting prospect, and continuing to save can be even harder. However, if you “flex” this savings muscle it is an excellent way to develop self-discipline. This discipline can easily spill over and help you develop form good habits in all areas of your life.

2) Security – Running out of money is stressful. Whether you fear living month to month, a big unexpected medical expense, or the possibility of having another set of twins (or triplets!), having a savings cushion does wonders for your sense of security and peace of mind. Everyone might have a different number that makes them comfortable, but simply saving towards an emergency fund or nest-egg gets you a little bit closer to that sense of full fiscal security; reducing stress and allowing you to sleep a little better each night.

3) Generosity – While you certainly don’t need a big savings account to be charitable, having enough money for yourself and your family affords you a greater opportunity to see the needs of your friends and community and lend a helping hand. According to the Cleveland Clinic, not only do you help others when you give, but you experience physical and mental health benefits as well:

  • Lower blood-pressure
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Lower levels of depression
  • Longer life

4) Freedom – An unfortunate reality of modern life is that we sometimes compromise our physical or mental health if we don’t think that we have enough money to make another choice. Saving can allow you the freedom to make important choices unencumbered by financial factors. This financial freedom can extend to choices in your career, where you live, and even your relationships. Feeling trapped in a situation is never good for your mental health, by having the freedom to make your own choices, you can be confident that you are making the best choices for you, whatever they may be.

Now, money can’t solve all of your problems, but it is clear that a diligent savings routine has clear benefits beyond your balance sheet. So while you should certainly do your best to be content wherever you are, spending less and saving more can help more than you know.

What Makes for Successful Retirement?

handweightsRetirement can be a challenging and stressful time. But it doesn’t have to be! With a good plan fiscally and physically…and some good coaches to help, you can be very successful. The 21st Show guests Sharon C. Allen, president and
co-Founder of Sterling Wealth Management in Champaign, and Elizabeth Stine-Morrow, professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois provide advice for financial planning, staying healthy, and thriving throughout your retirement years.

http://swmi.co/the21st-retirement

Market High…Market Top?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the S&P 500 index has reached record territory, and the Nasdaq has crossed over the 5,000 level.  At 2,166.89, the S&P 500 finished above the previous high of 2,130.82, set on May 21, 2015.

We’ve waited more than a year for the market to get back to where they were before the downturn this January, before Brexit, before a lot of uncertainties in the last 12 months.  The market top itself is an uncertainty; after all, many investors regard market tops warily. green stock chart guy holding up

When stocks are more expensive than they have ever been, the talking heads begin to have heated discussions around whether or not it may be time to sell and take your profits.  However, if you followed this logic and sold every time the market hit a new high, you’d probably have been sitting on the sidelines during most of the long ride from the S&P at 13.55 in June 1949, which was the bull market high after the index started at 10.  New highs are a normal part of the market, and it is just as likely that tomorrow will set a new one as not.  In fact, overall, the market spends roughly 12% of its life at all-time highs.

We all know that the next bear market will start with an all-time high, but we can never know which one in advance.  Market highs do not necessarily become market tops.  Let’s see if we can all celebrate this milestone without the usual dose of fear that often comes with new records.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/shreyaagarwal/2016/07/11/sp-500-closes-at-record-high/?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix#7f74bf29721d

Sharon Allen’s article published by Financial Advisor Magazine

Financial Advisor Magazine, a national publication serving the advisory community, published an article written by Sharon Allen on understanding the squeeze a sandwich generation woman experiences and how advisors can help. Check out the full article here http://swmi.co/fa-sangen. To read her full white paper “Caught in the Middle: How Does the Sandwich Generation Woman Not Get Squeezed?”, see the Resources section of our website here.

Sandwich Generation Woman

Sandwich Generation Woman