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With September being Life Insurance Awareness Month, it’s a good reminder to take a break from your busy schedule to examine your financial health. Each year, the nonprofit organization Life Happens chooses a theme to bring attention to the importance of life insurance, and this year’s theme is Journey to Financial Fitness.

Many people embark on a fitness journey during their lifetime, whether that means making healthier choices in their diets or increasing their exercise routine. But wellness isn’t just physical—how often do people reflect on their financial health?

Just like with fitness, the more you train and routinely assess your financial status, educate yourself on the latest best practices, and review your progress, the better your financial health will be. It’s important to take the time to reflect on the principles of money management to achieve your financial security goals.

Here are some things to consider if you want your financial fitness to be in great shape:

Prepare for the Long Road

Just as preparing for a marathon takes many weeks of training, saving for retirement should be a long-term strategy. You may be saving money with a 401(k) or other retirement saving tools, but are you saving enough? How much and how aggressively should you be saving? For some people, including Millennials and Gen Z, retirement may seem like it’s years away, but if you start planning early, that money can build up over time into a substantial amount of savings. Not understanding how investments can compound over years can be a missed opportunity. Speak with a financial professional to determine your risk profile or see for yourself with this calculator.

Also, many people think they don’t have to save extra money for retirement because the income they receive from Social Security will be enough. Before jumping to that conclusion, it’s important to know how much you will receive. Depending on your current earnings, social security can provide a significant income at retirement. However, you may need to supplement it with other income to maintain your lifestyle. Estimate your social security retirement income here to help you plan for your future savings needs.

Protect Your Team

Are your loved ones covered if something were to happen to you? Many people put off buying life insurance for a number of reasons, but having life insurance is an important component of strong financial fitness. According to LIMRA’s 2018 Insurance Barometer Study, 40% of people in the United States are not covered by some type of life insurance. There are many options for life insurance that can fit your personal needs and protect your family, based on your life stage and your budget. Don’t overlook this important part of a well-rounded financial plan.

Avoid Injuries

Even if you’re committed to saving for retirement, it’s important to ask how taxes will affect your income. Talk to your tax or financial professional about how you can include tax considerations in your retirement planning.

Know When to Enlist a Trainer

Many people view financial management as a personal issue, and money matters are understandably kept private in many situations. However, making choices about investments, budgets and financial tools can be complex and stressful. There are people who are experts in these fields, just as there are experts who can guide you in nutrition and fitness. Turning to a financial professional can help you with these decisions and get you on the path to financial success.

Just as you need to train to achieve your fitness goals, you also need to train to reach your financial goals. From building your savings to identifying the right type of life insurance, taking the time to focus on these financial goals will get you started on the journey to financial fitness success.

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