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How to Carve a Pathway to Strong Financial Wellness By Olga Ismail

It is good practice to assess your physical and mental well-being regularly to identify changes you may make to improve your current circumstances. For some, this may result in simply eating a healthier diet, committing to a more rigorous exercise routine or working with a therapist or other licensed medical professional. The same advice applies to one’s financial health and the changes you can make to improve your financial picture today and far into the future.

The first steps to financial wellness often begin with an objective look at your present condition and the development of a budget based on your current earnings, fixed expenses and future goals. However, it is important to consider what would happen if you lost your job or incurred a significant and unexpected bill for medical care or a home or car repair. You would still be responsible for your expenses, including rent/mortgage payments, utilities, car payments, insurance, etc. Do you have emergency savings to help supplement your income and support your family? Looking down the road, it’s also critical to consider how you will fund your eventual retirement without the benefit of a regular salary. Do you have a 401(k) or IRA retirement plan?  Does the plan’s current asset allocation match your retirement timeline and tolerance for risk?

Just as a new diet or exercise routine may require you to rely on the expertise of a nutritionist or personal trainer, establishing a firm financial footing is best coordinated with the help of experienced fiduciaries and financial advisors. These professionals can help you navigate the current economic landscape and develop sound strategies that serve your best interest and meet your specific needs and goals, such as structuring your assets to be protected from creditors and legal disputes. In addition, most 401(k) plan providers offer online tools to help participants understand all their investment options and project their future financial needs. They also offer personal financial advice to help participants ensure their savings are on the right track.

The road to financial wellness is best traveled in small steps that follow a well-thought-out plan and begin with assessing your ultimate goals and intentions. According to behavioral science, taking the time to discuss and write down these goals can help you focus on your needs and motivate you to act. Remember, you do not have to go it alone. Financial advisors can be one of the best guides to help you reach your intended destination.

About the Author: Olga Ismail is the head of Retirement Plan Consulting and a financial advisor with Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs and a registered representative with PWA Securities, LLC (PWAS). She can be reached at the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-8888 or

Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., 19th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

Olga Ismail is a registered representative of and offers securities through PWA Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description or a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will be correct.

Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of PWA Securities, LLC. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of PWAS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Before making any investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

401(k) plans are long-term retirement savings vehicles. Withdrawal of pre-tax contributions and/or earnings will be subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59½, may be subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty. Investing involves risk, investors may incur a profit or loss regardless of the strategy or strategies employed. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed. Matching contributions from an employer may be subject to a vesting schedule. Please review your retirement plan documents or consult with a financial professional for more information.

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Updated February 5, 2024