How Financial Difficulties Can Make You Sick – Part 1

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One of the primary causes of distress in our lives isn’t love per se or contemplating the meaning of life. It’s in our wallet. This stress factor has lots of names: dough, long green, loot, bread, moolah, bones, bills and bucks. Whichever you call it, money could lead to anguish in numerous ways and that can cause health issues.

With the economic downturn, the fall of large financial giants on Wall Street, and criminal activity in financial circles which has cost people millions, the financial world has been turned on its ear. Those who once placed their trust in stocks, bonds and banking institutions are now trying to reconsider their position.

Financial worries could happen to anybody. They seem to occur all at once but in truth it probably happens slowly. As human beings it is our nature to apply the stages of grief to financial difficulties. We first deny, then get angry, play the blame game and then bargain for more time. It is difficult to get to the acceptance stage since somewhere in there the stress of it all affects our health.

Stress is a silent killer. It comes on stealthily and then packs a wallop that lays us low. A financial problem can result in all kinds of stress-related symptoms that weaken our well being. Physical and mental changes happen that can weaken the immune system and potentially leave us mortally wounded.

In the first part of this article, you will learn about the types of financial worries that people usually encounter.

Nobody loves to talk about money, however if we are to survive physically and financially someone needs to start spilling the beans. A healthy respect for money and fiscal understanding can go a long way to fighting back against unhealthy views of money that stress us out.

Types of Financial Worries that People Usually Encounter

Divorce

stress, financial worries, financial problems, financial difficultiesWe all pledge to love and honor forever, but at times forever doesn’t last quite as long as we imagined. A divorce can drop a family into financial turmoil. Aside from custody of any children, there’s a concern of splitting the marital belongings. If only one spouse worked, then the other is now left with no income and will need to find a means to support themselves.

Dividing up assets includes the marital house in most cases. Going from one home to two new places to live can put a financial difficulty on one or both spouses.

Death

Death is always challenging to come to terms with. Losing a member of family can place a financial burden on the surviving members. In the case of no will or no insurance coverage, it is up to the family to cover funeral expenses for the deceased as well as pay any remaining debt.

When the death is a spouse, this can turn your life upside down emotionally and financially. First the one you love is gone. Second, if they were the primary wage earner, there is a loss of primary income for the family. Any insurance money has to be sorted out but that is no guarantee that you will be able to afford to live for long without another form of income to sustain you.

Serious Illness

We all hope that we will stay healthy for as long as we live. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. At any age an illness can strike, debilitating us and decimating any finances we have. Even with insurance, a lengthy hospital stay or home care can add up – especially if you were not expecting it.

Without health coverage this can be an even more devastating scenario. Many people are living without any type of health coverage for themselves or their families. It could be that their employer doesn’t offer it or that they can’t afford the premiums. Either way, without it, medical costs add up quite quickly.

Loss of a Job

With the economic downturn, it is not uncommon to see companies going under and employees getting laid off. With no steady income, bills begin to pile up. Some employees didn’t have a retirement plan or the company can’t meet their match. The future can look bleak.

The prospect of a new job may not be on the horizon. Depending on your position in the company and your age, another job paying the same or comparable may not be available. Even a lower paying job may be hard to come by. Families are left with the fear that they will lose their homes or the ability to care for their loved ones.

Credit Card Debt

This is a typical reason behind financial concerns but here it is presented in a new way. Quite often, we are looking at those who got into debt due to poor spending habits. Now, people are utilizing their credit cards to supplement loss in income. Once the money runs low, they pay for groceries, gas and some bills with credit cards.

This can only get you so far without any money to make sufficient payments on the balance. In the end the credit card debt spirals uncontrollably and there are still the monthly household bills to cover.

Property Damage

The weather is an unpredictable force of nature. Floods, fires, earthquakes and tornados have ravaged cities, towns and countries around the world. Remember Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, US? Severe damage to property can leave you without a home or the funds to relocate.

If you have savings, these may go to keep you afloat while you wait for the insurance payment to come through. That can take months. In the meantime you have to live somehow.

Military Service

Serving your country is a noble act. However, the families who are left to survive while their loved ones serve do not always make it unscathed. It can be a hardship for spouses and children to try to survive on a small income during a lengthy deployment.

Family Crisis

This covers a number of financial issues. Grandparents are raising grandchildren these days as a result of unfit parents, death of a parent or even incarceration. When they should be retiring they are parenting the next generation.

On a fixed income, this can be a hard sell. They care about their health and how they will be able to provide for their grandkids. Resources are available but gaining access to them is a long process. Additionally, if the parent is still alive but in jail or unfit, it will require an act of the courts to gain custody of that grandchild so the grandparent can make decisions regarding their care.

To be continued on Part 2 of How Financial Difficulties Can Make You Sick

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Rob S. says:

It’s amazing how many triggers there are that can lead to stress and, ultimately, to financial peril. I was not so unfortunate, though my family took a hit once my mother’s back problems built up. Two surgeries last year left her unable to work for several months and while she’s working shorter work days now, it’s hard not to notice the difference.