Coordinate Health and Wealth Efforts
February 2, 2012
There is strong logic suggesting your financial information should be used by your doctor to improve your health.
Stress is harmful to your health and a major cause can be financial worries. If financial stress is leading to a decline in your health then your doctor should have that information.
Our experience tells us the two most important aspects of a client’s life are health and wealth. Clients view wealth as the enabler for providing a good lifestyle.
Clients do not want the money just because it makes them feel wealthy. They want money so they can maintain their desired standard of living which is based on health. If your health fails then the quality of life fails regardless of wealth.
Good health is the most important aspect of our lives and it is time that a coordinated effort is made between wealth and health. That could be your key to a healthy and more enjoyable life.
With that in mind we will consider the existing medical practice in Canada where our health care system often just treats symptoms.
For example, if you have high blood pressure there are medical solutions to treat those symptoms. It would be far better for the patient if the focus would be on preventing high blood pressure; not just treating the symptoms.
Stress is the cause of many of the most serious ailments including heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes. Financial worries are one of the biggest stressors affecting society.
Today your doctor might prescribe high blood pressure medication. A better medical solution would be for the patient to be advised on how to better manage their financial affairs in a way that would produce less stress.
Here is a simple way this new medical/financial approach could operate.
The patient would receive a financial stress score out of 10 from their financial advisor; zero being good and 10 most stressful.
Someone who just lost their job has a high amount of debt and significant family cash flow obligations would receive a high score. The doctor does not have to know the details but just needs to understand this patient’s financial stress level is high.
Medical advice would be focused on reducing the financial stress level from say a ten to a five.
The doctor would refer the patient back to their financial advisor with the request that the financial stress level be reduced. The financial advisor could look for possible solutions to reducing the financial stress ranging from downsizing the house or selling investments to reduce or eliminate the debt.
Perhaps the aggressive investment approach that was acceptable when the client was fully employed is now too risky and stressful because there is no salary to provide income if the investments failed.
The patient would have the coordinated efforts of their doctor and financial advisor working together where both professionals could monitor and reduce the stress level.
Without a high stress level many serious illnesses may be avoided. The end result is that our health will improve and we will be able to enjoy life to the fullest.
Now is the time to manage our health from both a medical and financial perspective.