The Secret to Wealth & Wellness: Why You Need a Full Financial Health Check

Health checks are a critical part of maintaining good health. But have you scheduled your financial health check yet?

There’s no secret that proactively focusing on our health and wellness goals pays dividends in the long run – improving our chances of having a long run in the first place. However, while physical and more recently psychological wellness has a deserved place in our everyday conversations, financial health is often overlooked. But just like physical and mental health, your financial wellness is equally important to your overall well-being. In fact, we’d argue that financial wellness can be a fundamental key to unlocking all other aspects of wellness. But how do we define financial wellness? And what does it mean for you?

It’s important to understand the connection between financial and overall wellness, and why a full financial health check could help you achieve your wealth and wellness goals, especially if you’re a global expat with international financial interests.

The Connection Between Financial and Overall Wellness

We’ve already established that we’re pretty comfortable with addressing the physical and psychological subsets of the wellness buzzword, but financial wellness isn’t part of our everyday vernacular. However, financial wellness is often the key to achieving the other two.

There’s no secret that our economic status has a profound impact on our chances of living long and healthy lives. Studies have shown that the average life expectancy of US men in the bottom 1% of income distribution is 14.6 years shorter than men in the top 1%. So perhaps money really can buy you time.

On the Jonathan Ross show earlier this year, newly 70-year-old Liam Neeson cut a fit, vital figure and when asked his secret to ageing so well he joked “loads of money”. A joke, perhaps, since he went on to attribute his health to power walking and daily fitness routine. But, it also felt like a touch of refreshing honesty from a celeb who comes from humble Northern Irish working-class roots.

financial wellness

Why financial wellness is so important

A lack of financial wellness can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical health problems.

  • Relationships are often affected, with surveys showing that 86% of couples report money as a leading source of tension in their relationship, and 21% citing money as a primary factor in divorce.
  • Workplace performance can be affected by financial stress – a leading cause of absenteeism.
  • There’s a compound relationship between financial health and mental health, with 46% of people with debt also having a mental health diagnosis, and 86% of people with mental health diagnoses saying their financial situation has worsened these.

The fact is, without financial wellness, it’s simply more difficult to maintain physical and psychological wellness. Having the time and resources to take care of yourself is a privilege not everyone has. But, we believe that it’s one that everyone should have – and with the right planning and mindset, it’s possible.

The role of a financial health check in maintaining financial wellness:

A financial health check with Galileo Wealth is much like a thorough workup in the doctor’s office. Financial health checks are an opportunity to get to the bottom of your financial situation, identify any issues, and provide you with a roadmap to making the most of your financial health potential.

What’s involved in a financial health check?

We deep dive into your income, expenses, debts, assets and investments. We’ll take a close look at your financial goals and objectives, and assess your current and forecast financial situation against them to discover gaps and opportunities.

One of the key components of a financial health check is creating a plan that allows you to spend what you need to achieve the lifestyle you want today whilst squirrelling away enough to live out your hopes and dreams for the future. A critical part of this process is determining your risk tolerance and investment appetite – making sure you exploit opportunities for growth without risking more than you can afford to or are comfortable with.

The process has the end goal of helping you not only grow your wealth but achieve true financial wellness and peace of mind. Every person and every financial situation is unique. That’s why opting for a financial adviser with a boutique, bespoke, totally personalised service is so important.

Unique wealth management challenges for global expats and those with international financial interests

Achieving financial wellness can be a challenge for anyone, but it can be especially tricky for global expats or those with international financial interests. The complexities of navigating different tax laws, currency exchange rates, and investment regulations can make it difficult to stay on top of your finances. That’s where a financial health check can be a game-changer.

According to a recent survey by the financial services firm deVere Group, 72% of expats say that managing their finances across multiple countries is a challenge. And with the global pandemic causing economic uncertainty and job loss, it’s more crucial than ever to have a solid financial plan in place.

One of the unique challenges that expats face is understanding the tax laws and regulations in different countries. Tax laws can vary widely from country to country, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest changes. Failure to comply with tax laws can result in hefty fines and penalties, so it’s essential to stay informed.

Further challenges

Another challenge for expats is navigating currency exchange rates. Fluctuations in exchange rates can have a significant impact on your finances, especially if you’re transferring money between countries. It’s important to understand how exchange rates work and to take steps to mitigate any potential risks.

Investment regulations can also be a challenge for expats. Different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to investing, and it can be challenging to navigate the landscape. Working with a financial advisor who understands the unique challenges of international investing can be a tremendous help.

A financial health check can help expats and those with international financial interests get a handle on their finances. It can provide a comprehensive overview of your current financial situation, identify any potential risks, and provide recommendations for improvement. It’s an opportunity to get expert advice on how to navigate the complexities of international finance.

What a financial health check for global expats could look like in reality:

Meet John, a US expat living in France. John has a French occupational pension and a US 401k. John also owns a mortgaged property in the US that he currently rents out. He’s considering purchasing a permanent home in France his wife is reluctant to let go of the US property in case they return in the future. He’s worried about the risk of paying two mortgages, especially if the rental property becomes vacant. But he’s currently losing money on renting in France.

John is paying for international schooling for his children, and also wants to ensure they have enough put aside for their university education. As well as saving for a comfortable early retirement at 55-60. He’s facing relationship stresses because of financial uncertainty and knows that he has the potential for accumulating wealth and financial success. But he’s being pulled in different directions in terms of time and resources.

What should John do?

John’s situation is complex, and he could benefit from a financial health check with a qualified, experienced international financial adviser. A French or US adviser wouldn’t necessarily understand the complexities of John’s situation thoroughly enough. (This blog tells you more about why). So, John should find an international adviser to take a comprehensive overview of his current financial situation and identify any potential risks and opportunities. The adviser would deep dive into John’s income, expenses, debts, assets, and investments. Including addressing that underperforming investment portfolio left with a high-fee US fund manager.

One of the first things the adviser could help John with is understanding the tax implications of rental income in the US and in France. This would help John and his wife understand the complexities of international real estate ownership. This would determine whether they’re better off keeping the US home and rental income or selling and investing the capital elsewhere. They could also provide guidance on whether it makes sense to purchase a permanent home in France or continue renting. This involves working through scenarios of what happens if they stay in France or return to the US later.

A man with a plan

The adviser could also help John create a comprehensive financial plan that takes into account his goals for international schooling for his children. They can also help save for that comfortable early retirement. They could provide recommendations for investments that align with John’s risk tolerance and goals, and help him understand the potential risks and rewards.

This financial health check could also help John manage his relationship stresses by providing a clear roadmap for his family’s financial future. Even if the geographical location of that future is uncertain. They could help him understand the potential risks and rewards of different financial decisions, and provide guidance on how to achieve financial success while still balancing his time and resources. John could feel confident that he’s making the most of his financial situation and taking steps to achieve his goals. He could also feel more in control of his finances and less stressed about the potential risks and uncertainties. And his wife would feel less stressed, too. A financial health check could be just the thing to bring some peace to John’s household. This just might lower his stress levels and keep his blood pressure in the black. What a relief.

The right international financial adviser for a full financial workup

If you’re convinced that financial wellness is crucial for overall wellness, then it’s time to get your full financial health check underway. Get your finances in shape by calling us on +44 (0)121 232 8668 or email info@galileo-wealth.com.