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Majority of Americans agree monetary stress can negatively affect health

February 05, 2016

Save Automatically: Set up direct deposit into a savings account with your bank. This will force you to save money each month and is a good way to become disciplined. Be a Wallet Watcher: Challenge yourself to spend only on necessities, such as rent or mortgage, transportation and groceries and trim spending on ???wants.??? It can help jump start a long-term savings plan. Track Spending: Keep track of your consumption habits with a disciplined record of where your income is allocated. Ultimately, striking a balance between instant and delayed gratification will facilitate future financial success. Write it Down: Use a written plan as a visual tool to help you reach your fiscal goals. Research by the Consumer Federation of America has shown that adults who commit their plan to paper have twice as much savings and investments than those without written goals. According to the American Heart Association, this also holds true with physical health ?? those who track their fitness routines and meals tend to lead generally healthier lives. Involve the Family: Demystify the savings process by talking to your kids and teens about the benefits of saving for the future. Introduce them to the family budget and help them develop their own week-specific savings goals so that they feel involved in their success. You can assist younger consumers with gathering information about market concepts that affect their work. With multitudes of informational Web sites, such as www.AmericaSaves there??s no shortage of user-friendly education resources. Know Your Net Worth: In an ongoing commitment to staying informed about your personal finances, knowing your net worth is an essential piece of the puzzle. Using this number as a guideline, you can develop a plan to increase your net worth this year. Review Your Portfolio: A comprehensive review of your investments is key to understanding all the angles of your financial picture. Make sure your portfolio is balanced and diversified. Estimate Retirement Needs: Establish a long term budget and don??t underestimate how much incidentals like retirement hobbies and travel may require in your plan. Meet with a Professional: Develop a relationship with a financial advisor to help guide and track your progress. Just as fitness trainers or your physician may help support your health goals, a financial planner can help ???train??? you to save consistently.

Staying Healthy in a Down Economy

The study also shows that U.S. adults who routinely participate in activities to stay physically fit may be in better financial shape than those who don??t as they are:

More likely to believe they have enough money saved in the right kind of savings account to get through the next year if they needed access to their money; Better prepared to weather a financial storm; More likely to have extra money left at the end of the month to save; More likely to take several actions to secure sound financial health including: putting more money away in existing accounts; opening new accounts to contribute to regularly; and meeting with a financial advisor.

The American Heart Association champions walking because it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity, and it can be done anywhere at any time. Studies have shown walking can help reduce stress, provide more energy and enhance mental well-being. Research also shows that 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day can reduce your risk of coronary disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, help maintain body weight, lower your risk of obesity and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer and type 2 diabetes.

???We know that regular exercise lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, lowers high blood pressure, and extends longevity and improves quality of life,??? says Dr. John Harold, president of the Los Angeles division of the American Heart Association. ???And walking is one of the best exercises because it is free, people tend to stick with it, and it is accessible.???

The American Heart Association has chosen to emphasize walking as the cornerstone of its Start! Program, which Union Bank supports. The Start! program aims to get Americans walking by targeting the place where the majority of waking hours are spent: the workplace. ???People need to understand that if they want to live a long, healthy life, they have to move,??? Dr. Harold said.

???Sound financial planning and good physical fitness can make a huge impact on your overall health, so make sure to include both on your list of resolutions,??? says Habis. ???Develop detailed questions to share with your financial planner and physician and schedule an appointment with both.???

Source: UnionBanCal Corporation