Why Your Financial Wellness Matters as Much as Your Health

"Wellness" is booming.

Crossfit, Fitbits, "organic," "gluten-free," "artisanal," "hand-crafted," "farm-to-table" -- we can't get enough!

Next year, the health and fitness craze will spread from the gym and the grocery store to our wallets and investment portfolios.

2016 will be the year of financial wellness.

The numbers illustrating the current state of our collective financial health are both scary and sad:
•82 percent of survey respondents in their late 40s with dependents said they feared running out of money more than death (Allianz).
•64 percent of adults surveyed ranked money as a significant or very significant source of stress; more so than work, family responsibilities or health concerns (American Psychological Association).
•93 percent of those surveyed listed money as one of the top two reasons for divorce (American Psychological Association).
•20 percent of Americans would go without sex for six months in exchange for relief of financial stress (Consumer Credit Counseling Services).

How are financial products viewed differently than other products that impact our health?

There's a big difference between how the FDA protects us from harmful or ineffective drugs and how the SEC protects us (or doesn't) from damaging or misleading financial products.

The Department of Labor this year proposed a rule that requires financial advisors to act according to the fiduciary standard: in other words, to serve investors' interests ahead of their own. To regard their clients' financial well-being the way that doctors have always regarded their patients' physical health. To be dietitians instead of butchers.

It's time to recognize the role that financial wellness plays in our overall well-being -- and to take charge.