To help determine your priorities and
put plans in motion, let’s dive
deeper into these aspects of
financial planning.


The first step in any financial wellness plan is setting up a budget. It is essentially a running account of what you are making, spend-ing, and keeping over time ― and it is essential to good personal finance and wealth building. It should encompass not only day-to-day spending, but also account for saving and investing goals.

One of the first, early priorities in the wellness wheel cycle is to establish an emergency fund. This is a safety net to help pay the bills in the face of a job loss or an unexpected need, like a sudden repair cost or medical bill. The general recommendation is that if you are single, married with one income, or a business owner, you should have six months’ worth of expenses saved. For two income earners with steady incomes and jobs, the recommendation is to have three months’ worth saved.

Illness or injury is a threat to anyone and everyone. Indeed, according to the Social Security Administration, a 20-year-old today has a one-in-four chance of being too ill or too hurt by injury to work before they reach retirement age. That’s why it’s import-ant to have health care insurance in place. And some aspects of health care coverage these days, such as Health Savings Accounts, allow for additional benefits down life’s road. In the same vein, disability income insurance should be considered, especially if the loss of a paycheck over a significant amount of time could have negative consequences for you or your family.

Paying off a student loan or wrestling with a credit card balance is a fact of life for many people. And sometimes debt is necessary to achieve certain goals in life, like purchasing a home. But without acknowledging and having a plan to deal with debt’s impact on your financial circumstances, it can spiral out of control. That’s why a debt management plan should be part of your financial wellness wheel.

As you continue along in your career, the standard of living for you and your family may improve and your assets may grow. And so your financial wellness wheel will turn to protecting those gains and helping ensure that your family can carry on in the event you are gone. Certain kinds of life insurance can offer options for other financial needs as well. Learn more:


Attending a private four-year college or university can cost more than $49,000 per year on average, according to the College Board. If you want college to be an option for your children, and most parents do, then taking advantage of various college savings vehicles, such as 529 savings plans, should become part of your financial wellness wheel.

Today’s needs are important, but so are those that will come in your old age. To that end, planning for retirement early and taking advantage of retirement savings plans available to you are important spokes on the financial wellness wheel. That means looking at employer-offered retirement savings vehicles, like 401(k) plans, and other mechanisms to build your retirement savings.

As you get older, your health situation is likely to become more complicated. That’s an added consideration in your retirement planning and something that should be considered when looking at Medicare, private retiree health insurance or other options available to you, like life insurance with long-term care riders, during your working years.