My Fitness

What Financial Fitness Means to Me

February 7, 2019

By Ben Pinkelman, USA Rugby

While interning with Penn Mutual I had the opportunity to learn about the concept of financial fitness. So often in life, and particularly for my profession as a 7s rugby player, we focus so much on our physical fitness. After sitting down with Penn Mutual I am now focused on my financial fitness as well.

I have spent the last several years of my life laser focused on my physical fitness. Playing 7s rugby requires physical commitment. Between the running and tackling it is some most grueling 14 minutes in sports. Physical fitness can be the difference between scoring that try, making that tackle or winning the game and why we put so much emphasis on it during our lead up to tournaments.

Like physical fitness, being “financially fit” can mean different things to different people. Some people may be training for beach season, a 5k or in my case to be a professional athlete. Financial fitness can mean different things to different people and sitting down with a financial adviser can help you identify what financial fitness means to you.

To me, financial fitness boils down to two things:

Confidence

As a national team, we pride ourselves on making sure we are in the best possible physical shape to excel on the pitch. Long hours doing sprints and time in the weight room give us the confidence that we can play every minute as hard as the first.

Financial fitness can give you the confidence to chase your dreams knowing you and your family are protected and free to chase your dreams. For me, it is having the financial flexibility to continue pursuing a professional rugby career.

Strength

The hard work put in on the training field and in the weight room makes us bigger, faster and stronger. It gives us the mental and physical tools to face and overcome adversity.

I learned that part of being financially fit is putting together a financial plan that includes money, emergency funds, protection such as life insurance and other aspects. Building up all of these areas will strengthen my financial situation for the future.

As someone who is still in their early 20’s, I never thought about financial fitness and some of the conversation topics are not the easiest ones to have. Discussing topics like life after rugby, life insurance or finances can be very personal and uncomfortable. After having sat down with a financial adviser, however, I see the importance of having these conversations early and devising a plan to achieve all of my goals for rugby and beyond.

During the meeting, I kept thinking about a phrase that we have used on the national team. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable,” meaning that we need to put our bodies and minds through rigorous mental and physical training in order to perform best on the field. I think that is very applicable when it comes financial fitness as having uncomfortable conversations now can help you be better prepared for the future.

What does life insurance have to do with rugby? Learn more.

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