Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Financial Anxiety

Americans are currently losing sleep over concerns about their financial status. Recent research from Northwestern Mutual states that nearly 23% of millennials report that financial anxiety makes them feel physically ill. The survey discloses that Americans worry about losing their job, adequate insurance and financial security during retirement. The individuals interviewed agreed that financial stress affects their relationship with a spouse or partner hourly, daily or weekly.

Financial Goals

Regardless of your income there are times in life when you fall behind in your financial responsibilities. Whether you are trying to get out of debt, save enough money to retire or pay for repairs on your home you will have to manage your financial stress. Doug Hughes a Partner and Lead Consultant of Comprehensive Financial Consultants gave the example of being 45 years old and receiving bi-weekly paychecks. Doug stated if you want to retire at 67 years old you have 572 paychecks “to pay off your mortgage, put your children through college, save for your retirement and enjoy life. This creates stress.”

Experts suggest that you build an emergency fund that would provide three to six months of income for you and your family. Even if you can only save $10 to $20 dollars a paycheck it will provide emotional security to know that your money is there for you. This cash buffer for medical care, transportation concerns or home repairs will help to reduce your stress. Many people continue to spend more than what they make which creates the cycle of “never having enough” cash flow so they resort to credit cards. Bypass this stress by purchasing items you only have the cash for or can pay off at the end of the month to avoid the finance charge. 

Financial Plan

To build a stress free financial life, start with a monthly budget. Ben Barzideh , wealth advisor at Piershal Financial Group suggests that we “start by looking at your current situation, analyze the cash flow that comes in and the cash flow leaving. Then build in some goals for the future and fill in your assets with some growth assumptions. The plan will be a blueprint for how much you will need to live comfortably now and into retirement.”

Couples and families must be mindful of managing their expenses to improve their financial health. Being mindful will help you purchase things with a decision-making process to detour impulsive purchases. People tend to spend less when they pay with cash. Current studies are reporting that when we are mindful it can benefit the brain to perform better and reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is also linked to increased creativity, helping you discover solutions and solve problems. So be mindful and get a good night’s sleep, eat nutritiously and set aside thirty minutes a day to exercise to be at your optimum each day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Finding Compatibility in Relationships

Psychologists define personality as a “collection of emotional, thought and behavioral patterns unique to a person that is consistent over time.” People tend to like others who seem similar to their own characteristics of attitude, belief, personality and attractiveness. Individuals who share similar attitudes will have less conflict in their relationships and more opportunity to validate their own opinions. Compatibility is valued in a relationship especially when we feel threatened or insecure. Knowing your personality type can help you to improve communication and interpersonal relationships. Understanding your personality strengths and weaknesses can also guide you to a career that will suit you better professionally or to a more compatible partner.

Personality types

There are several assessment tools utilized to identify different personality types. An Enneagram is a diagnostic tool to determine an individual’s emotional outlook on life.  It can also enlighten you on how other people see the world differently. The Enneagram theory believes people do not change from one personality type to another. Your personality doesn’t change after early childhood but change will occur as you understand your inner strengths and weaknesses that you’ve always had. The test identifies 9 personality types: reformer, helper, achiever, individual, investigator, loyalist, enthusiast, challenger and peacemaker.

Myers-Briggs is another personality inventory based on Carl Jung’s theory (1920’s) of psychological types. The test was developed by Isabel Briggs Meyers (1940’s) and states there are 16 different personality combinations. An individual is either extraverted or introverted, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving. There are no superior personality types.

A less scientific approach is the Ice Cream Theory by author Steff Deschenes who compares people preferences to ice cream flavors. She states that personality preferences can change with age, experiences and mood. She believes that we explore the exotic flavors when feeling adventurous to more comforting flavors when seeking solace. Some flavors like personalities are acquired tastes and others will always be our childhood favorite.


The studies are unsure of the role of personality when choosing a partner but all agree that it is a natural selection that ensures successful reproduction. A person is usually attracted to someone in their own socio-economic group, same level of intelligence and physical appearance. Sometimes you will fall in love with someone who will never return that emotion due to their own mindset and chemistry. Overtime relationships will move from physical attraction to the deeper emotional intimacy of commitment and trust.

The more you know about your partner and work to understand their behaviors the stronger your relationship will become. It’s recommended that a couple date a minimum of one year before they consider marriage. Pre-marital counseling can be an impartial way to assess a couple’s compatibility by discussing individual values, philosophy of child rearing, enjoyment of leisure activities and expectations of sharing a life. It is also important to discuss how the couple resolve’s conflict and manages their differences. Relationship skills can always be improved and that can help any two personalities discover how to get along better.