August 22, 2022

U.S. study links health, happiness to sound financial planning

We’ve often heard how things like rising interest rates and market volatility “keep us up at night.”

But, reports Gabrielle Olya, writing for GoBankingRates via Yahoo!, a new study out of the U.S. suggests that there’s actually a link between having a good financial plan and happiness – as well as being able to sleep at night.

The Northwestern Mutual 2022 Planning & Progress Study found that “people with financial plans and those who work with financial advisors are happier and sleep better than those who don’t plan or work with advisors,” she writes.

The numbers she reports on from the study are indeed eye-openers.

“Eighty-seven per cent of Americans surveyed who work with financial advisors reported that they are very or somewhat happy, as did 84 per cent of those who considered themselves disciplined planners,” the article notes. Those numbers drop to 72 per cent for those without financial planners and to 68 per for those who aren’t following a plan.

And then there’s the whole sleep thing.

“Eighty-one per cent of Americans who work with financial advisors said they sleep well or very well, and 76 per cent of disciplined planners said the same. Among people who don’t work with financial advisors, 65 per cent said they sleep well or very well, and that percentage dropped to 62 per cent for informal planners and non-planners,” Olya writes.

“As we dug into the results, we saw that people who have an advisor or identify as a disciplined planner reported being happier and sleeping better. This signalled to us that there is a clear link between financial wellness and overall wellness,” states Northwestern’s Christian Mitchell in the article.

He further states that having a plan and/or working with an advisor “eliminates a lot of the uncertainty surrounding your finances and allows you to feel more confident about your complete financial picture. This clarity can help create peace of mind and even lead to increased happiness and better sleep.”

The article concludes by outlining some steps those of us who aren’t using an advisor, or following a plan, can take – “setting a budget, reducing spending or paying down debt.” As well, focusing on long-term goals – “such as buying a house or saving for retirement” can be a positive step.

Perhaps we can take away from this article – thinking chiefly of retirement savings – that those of us who have either a plan or a strategy for handling this long-term goal may feel happier/healthier than those who don’t have a plan.

As we’ve seen, the majority of Canadians don’t have any sort of workplace pension or retirement arrangement. That means the responsibility for retirement savings falls squarely on their own shoulders. If you want someone to help carry the ball for you, consider the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. Through SPP’s open, voluntary defined contribution model, you contribute the savings, and SPP takes on the tricky part – investing your money, growing it, and getting ready to turn it into future retirement income. Leave the heavy lifting and stress to SPP; get them working on your retirement strategy!

Join the Wealthcare Revolution – follow SPP on Facebook!

Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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