Think about your physical health for a second. If someone were to ask how you're doing―really doing―what questions would run through your mind?
Maybe you'd think about any aches or pains you're having. Or perhaps the last time you were congested. Might be how you'd been eating, drinking, or exercising.
Point is, you'd have a pretty good idea of the areas to consider to give an informed answer.
Now, think about your financial health for a second. Could you give an informed answer on how healthy you are? Would you even know what financial factors to consider? Sure, your savings balances and your spending habits may spring to mind, but those are just 2 elements of a strong financial foundation that can help boost your chances of reaching any goal you set.
Fidelity's 4 foundational pillars for financial health
So, where should you focus your energy when it comes to your financial health? Fidelity believes there are 4 pillars to a strong financial foundation: budgeting, debt management, saving and investing, and protecting your assets.
Just like your physical health, you need to focus on all 4 pillars—not just 1—when evaluating your financial health and stability. If 1 piece of your financial foundation is unsteady, it may not take much to throw off your entire plan. The areas you start with will depend on your unique situation, including where you want to go in the future.
Here are some targets Fidelity believes individuals should shoot for, depending on where you are in your financial life:
|Starting out||Hitting your stride||Making the most of your money|
Saving and investing
Protecting what you have
Getting healthier: A 3-step plan
Now that you know Fidelity's 4 foundational pillars, we make it fast and simple for Fidelity® Personalized Planning & Advice clients to check their current health and follow a path to improved wellness.
Step 1: Test how healthy you currently are
To start, take Fidelity's 9-question online Financial CheckupLog In Required. In just 5 minutes, Personalized Planning & Advice clients can understand how healthy you are in important financial categories.
Step 2: Follow a roadmap to better financial health
After finishing your Financial Checkup, Fidelity will provide you with recommended next steps, all prioritized based on your personal situation.
Simply go to Your RoadmapLog In Required at Fidelity.com any time that's convenient for you. In the "Your coaches recommend" box, you'll find the next action that Fidelity has prioritized based on your Financial Checkup answers.
Each time you complete a recommended action, your coaches will then provide you with their next recommended action. Little by little, by acting on your coaches' recommendations at your own pace, you'll help strengthen yourself in Fidelity's 4 foundational pillars and find yourself in a better financial position.
Keep in mind, for Personalized Planning & Advice clients, working on your financial health can also be done with one of our live financial coaches, with access to 1-on-1 phone calls on a host of focused financial topicsLog In Required. In these scheduled 30-minute calls, you choose the topic you want to focus on, and your coaches will dive right in to provide personalized, concrete next steps to help you reach your goals.
Step 3: Get a financial health checkup at key checkpoints
Think back to your to your physical health for a moment. Just because you feel great today―and check out A-OK by your doctor―doesn't guarantee you'll be in great health a year from now and no longer need to go for doctor's checkup, right?
The same holds true for your financial health. At a minimum, we recommend re-checking your overall financial health by re-taking the Financial CheckupLog In Required annually. In between, should you experience a major life change (e.g., had a baby, new home, marriage, new job or job loss), we recommend re-checking your financial health. Depending on your answers to our 9 questions, you may see different recommended action steps from your coaches, ones more suited to your new situation. (Note: For Personalized Planning & Advice clients, a major life change also a good time to re-check your saved financial profile , to ensure Fidelity is managing your money based on your up-to-date needs.)
Remember, no matter what your financial goals are, you'll be better prepared to achieve them with a strong financial foundation. So, let's take that journey to better health together―one action step at a time.
This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor.
Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice, and the information provided is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney, tax professional, or other advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation.
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917