When Was Your Last Financial Check-up?

Originally posted on CU Insight

Recently I’ve had a number of annual visits with my health care providers.  Being the typical male, I usually went to the doctor and dentist only when there was a problem.  Meeting my wife changed all of that.

Because we promised each other at least fifty years of marriage, she made sure that I made and kept appointments for my annual physical exams and semi-annual dental exams. (After fifty years she gets to decide if she wants to keep me or not.)

When we weren’t pleased with the service we received, she always took the initiative and found better providers for us.  Because of our medical histories, getting great care is very important to us.

Most of us are pretty consistent with taking care of our basic health needs.  Heck, some of you even go to extremes and regularly exercise.  Me, I get a pretty good workout from jerking my Wii controller around while I play Mario Kart.

As for our financial health, most of us aren’t as diligent.  As long as the paycheck comes every other week and the bills get paid, we are generally satisfied.  But why don’t we meet with a financial representative annually?  Better yet, why don’t your members meet with you annually to discuss their financial health?

People generally don’t like discussing finances.  Avoidance seems to be the rule instead of the exception. I imagine that embarrassment may play a part.  Members may know, deep down, that they need help.  However, they’re reluctant to do anything about it.

One thing I’ve noticed is the growing popularity of health fairs.  These public events give people the opportunity to come out and get free screenings for a number of areas, such as blood pressure, cancer, body mass index and hearing.

Why can’t you host a Financial Health Fair for your members?  There are a number of topics you could cover: budgeting, vacation planning, home buying, debt management, etc.

Alternatively, you don’t have to wait on your members to come in on their own.  To hear the pundits tell it, branch traffic is pretty dismal.  Use that down time to call up your members and offer a financial check-up.  Those that come in will love you for it.

Getting one’s finances in order can be exhilarating.  It also helps relieve one of life’s biggest stress points.  By helping your members strengthen their financial health, you also get the benefit of strengthening your credit union’s health.

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