What if you could choose between unlimited wealth or perfect health? Which one would you pick? I asked my connections on LinkedIn the same question recently, and here’s what they said:
Health VS Wealth
Over 75% of respondents chose perfect health. Are you surprised? I’m not.
What does make me scratch my head is that the majority of my LinkedIn connections are financial advisors. These are the people who’ve dedicated their lives to helping others accumulate and manage their wealth.
What’s even more intriguing is that these are the very people whose careers take a toll on their own personal health. I’ve been an exercise physiologist for a long time, and one thing I’m sure of is that the combination of a sedentary job with high stress mixed in is a toxic cocktail for your wellbeing. It’s tough to preserve your health when you’re in the financial services industry.
One advisor put it this way. “My bank account has grown fat, but so has my body. I feel like I’ve traded my health for my wealth.”
Advisors are great at planning for retirement from a monetary perspective, but at what cost? I doubt that anyone really wants to accumulate money for the sake of having money. It’s important to remember that money buys a lifestyle. So, what good is that money if the health needed to live that lifestyle is bankrupt?
What if we ask retirees themselves? These are the people who’ve traded in their suit and tie for a golf club. If they played their cards right, they should have plenty of money to live life on their terms. However, a recent study found that money is not the most important thing in retirement. According to 81% of retirees, the most important ingredient to a happy retirement is good HEALTH. It sounds like they agree with the poll I mentioned earlier.
Health AND Wealth
So, here’s the conundrum. Financial advisors spend the majority of their time helping people secure financial stability but rarely factor their health into the equation, even though like retirees they see health as a vital part of retirement. It seems to me that health is a form of wealth and should absolutely be part of financial planning conversations.
BOTH health and wealth are important for retirement planning. One without the other will leave advisors and clients stranded on the side of the road. I wrote about this in a recent article. The road to retirement requires plenty of gas (wealth) to power you forward AND a well-maintained car (health) as a vehicle to get you there.
Health IS Wealth
So, what does this all mean for your practice? I talk to financial advisors every day who are looking for ways to build a better business in a stressful industry full of competition. They’re always surprised when I bring up health as part of the solution.
Puzzled, they wonder what the connection is between their own health and the health of their business. Let me explain.
In the current climate of the industry, many advisors are upping their virtual game. This has provided some positive things like more time from not having to commute to an office. But, it’s also created a feeling of disconnection from their clients.
Imagine what it would be like to use the extra time to get your health back on track. This would not only improve your personal future, but it would give you the authority and authenticity to talk to your clients about their health.
Why? Opening the conversation about health with your clients will give them a new insight they won’t receive from other advisors. Asking them what they want for their future and how they see themselves spending their time is a pathway for finding out if they have the right financial portfolio to match their needs and expectations.
I’m talking about going beyond lifespan stats. Have you ever had a conversation with your clients about “healthspan?” If you don’t know what it is, it’s a game-changer. It will open the door to helping clients feel heard and cared for. Here’s the article I wrote on the topic. You’ll likely find gaps in their portfolio that you can assist them with and the result is better client relationships, more sales, and more referrals.
To help you with this, I created a Health & Wealth Conversation Guide for Financial Advisors. You can swipe it and use it with your clients. It has 4 tools and a couple of resources that will shine a light on an area of life that sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to financial planning – health. You can request your free pdf copy HERE.
(Thumbnails of the Health & Wealth Conversation Guide for Financial Advisors)
About the author
Stevyn Guinnip, MS, CWC is the wellness coach for financial folks. She’s a financial advisor’s daughter with 20 years as an exercise physiologist. Stevyn is the CEO & Wellth Advisor at Grow Wellthy™ and the creator of a proprietary 12-week wellness coaching program called the Wellth Academy™. You can reach Stevyn to apply to the academy, podcast interviews, or speaking inquiries at [email protected] Other ways to engage with Stevyn are through LinkedIn or her free Facebook group called The Wellth Planners.