News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » Getahead » Are you financially fit?

Are you financially fit?

By Priyesh Shah
January 16, 2009 15:12 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

It is said that 'Thanks to dogs that often people go for walk'.

However, this may not be completely true these days as people are becoming more and more aware about the importance of their physical health. They either go for a walk or join gym or go to yoga or run a Marathon depending on their choices.

Also there are an increasing number of youngsters becoming health conscious and taking adequate measures to remain fit. The point which I want to stress is that many people are taking efforts to remain physically fit.

I would like to make these people aware that along with physical fitness, financial fitness is equally important.

You may be earning good, you may have a few insurance policies, you may be able to fulfill the current requirements of the family; but have you planned for your future financial requirements? Have you planned for your children's future? Have you ever given a thought about retiring from work and comfortably living a life which you choose to?

If yes, then you are financially fit and if no then you need to know more about financial fitness and understand its importance in your life. Let us understand this by continuing our analogy of physical fitness with financial fitness.

What does it mean to be physically fit?

For some, being physically fit means having the strength and endurance necessary to win a marathon; for others, it is simply to finish. While some want to be able to compete at a professional level; most agree that being physically fit means having a level of fitness necessary to look good, enjoy a healthy life, and be able to participate comfortably in the activities they like.

There is no predefined point at which we suddenly become physically fit. Physical fitness is more about being on the right path and doing the right things from a diet and exercise perspective than reaching some magical point in time. However, having specific and attainable objectives that provide motivation for continual health improvement is very important. Otherwise, we may struggle with direction and find it difficult to stay on the right path. Having understood this, let us now look at financial fitness.

What does it mean to be financially fit?

Financial fitness is also more about being on the right path than it is about reaching some magical number on a net-worth statement. Clearly, it is more a state of mind than a specific level of wealth. And like the concept of physical fitness, setting appropriate goals and objectives will provide motivation for continual improvement. You should know that to become financially fit, you should define your financial goals, have a financial plan and work towards the same. To remain physically fit you often consult a professional like a doctor or a dietician or a trainer who can guide you better. Similarly for financial fitness you should consult a professional who can give an unbiased advice and guide you better. 

The one, who can work out his way to be physically fit, can easily prepare himself to be financially fit. This is because there are many similarities in the process of becoming physically and financially fit. However what that person requires is financial literacy. S/he should understand the benefits of becoming financially fit and should find the way to become financially independent. 

The financial position you are in today will not be the financial position you will be in tomorrow -- it will be either better or worse. Change is inevitable. You cannot stop change from taking place; you can only determine the direction it will take. You know better than anyone else the rewards associated with the way you currently interact with money. Achieving long-term financial fitness takes courage, discipline, sacrifice, and consistent effort, but the rewards can be extraordinary.

The writer is a certified financial planner and is working as a chief financial planner in SRE Financial Planners. He can be reached at 

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Priyesh Shah