Health Watch: Economic security for better well-being

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska A lecture held at UAF last night explained the importance that money has on your health.

A lecture held at UAF last night explained the importance that money has on your health.

'Happiness comes from living within your means in a way that is enjoyable;' That was the message Financial Advisor Ben Roth of SBS Retirement Consultants gave at last night's Healthy Living Lecture Series held at UAF. When you think of health, the thought usually goes to the body, but your wallet can be just as important. Commerce is an important part of the modern world. Strain on the purse has a way of putting strain on your body and your mind.

"I think some key signs are when we're not able to do our important life activities," began Psychologist Beth Rush from Mayo Clinic; "like if we're not able to remember our appointments or work, procrastinating on important things like paying our bills. Something serious may be going on, like anxiety or depression."

Roth says to keep yourself financially secure you need to start saving money and investing into your future. Not all investments are equal, and in the grand scheme of things, cash is no longer king.

"So a simple example, if you were to put money in your checking account and hold it there," said Roth. "It allows you pay bills and have liquidity, but often times checking accounts might earn as little as zero."

Instead of just holding on to money, Roth suggests using a diversified portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of investments like stocks or bonds. When you own stock, you own a piece of a company. You invest changes depending on how well the company does. When you invest in a bond, you receive money at a set rate until the original investment and agreed upon interest is repaid. Diversifying your portfolio, by investing in multiple markets, you minimize the risk of losing the money you invested. Diversity is not as complicated as you might think. Roth says owning ten stocks in different fields is a diverse enough portfolio to protect yourself in most cases.

"You don't want to just own cash investments," Stated Roth. "You want to invest in things that have the opportunity to grow exponentially."

Another important aspect of finance is taxes. In 2018 the tax law changed to take smaller percentages from small income families and individuals. With that change, came a bigger jump for those in the 5th tax bracket. Roth says knowing what bracket you are in, how much money you need to live on, and which investments are tax free will help you stay financial secure.