Aggressive Balance Newsletter with Dennis Morton

Is it time for a check up?

This is about wellness, health, and yes, money.

Have you ever gone a long time without looking at your account balances? Ever held off on checking in with your advisor because you were afraid your financial plan was off-track? Does anxiety about financial headlines keep you from learning more about money and investing?

I have heard clients say all of these things and I can relate…but not to the financial part. I can get that way about my health. While I run often and eat my wife’s healthy cooking, I have some of the same anxieties about visits to the doctor. I will go too long without getting check-ups and will even avoid reading about medical topics because I don’t like to think about being sick.

In 2022, I decided that needed to change.

I wanted to overcome some of those irrational fears and follow the same advice I give to people about their money and engage proactively with my health. I decided to schedule a one-day Executive Health Session at Lehigh Valley Health Network. The simplicity of going to one place and having all of the testing done felt easy and calming.

That experience helped me to reset the way I check in on my health.

lessons for those with anxiety about financial planning

  • Communicate your fears: I was upfront with the doctor about my anxiety as soon as I arrived for my exam. I shared my health history and some experiences that may have sparked my fears around health. I always appreciate it when someone tells me why money is stressful for them because it helps me craft a financial planning experience that is both comfortable and effective.
  • Ask questions: I would leave the room when my college roommates studied biology because I didn’t want to hear it. So I know very little about medicine. In my Executive Health exam, I probably asked dozens of simple questions and each answer made me a little more comfortable.
  • Take control: Control of my health means turning off fears about what could go wrong and focusing on the positive actions that I can influence. If I am to be in control, I also need guidance from a professional who knows me. In finance, control might be a routine of checking balances once a month and limiting the intake of financial media. A good advisory relationship can also help to discern what is in your control (actions) and what is not (markets).

In our health as well as in money, we can fall into the trap of anxiety and that can lead to avoiding the professionals who can help guide us. We avoid those who can help diagnose, communicate, and put us back on the right path. There are steps we can take to overcome that anxiety. I know because I am healthier for it.

I’d be interested in continuing the conversation on prioritizing our health and finances and hearing your take on the matter.