Overcoming Financial Anxiety – Three Practical Tips to Take Control of Your Finances

Financial anxiety is a common issue that affects millions of people. Whether it stems from unexpected medical expenses, job insecurity, or insufficient retirement savings, financial stress can have a major impact on one’s mental and physical health. Michael A. Scarpati, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and CEO of RetireUS, offers three essential tips to help individuals tackle their financial anxieties head-on. Let’s break down each tip to understand how you can take control of your financial future.

Tip #1: Identify Your Financial Concerns

The first step to overcoming financial anxiety is identifying the specific worries that keep you up at night. Start by listing out everything that concerns you financially. This could include fears of unexpected medical expenses, job security, not having enough saved for retirement, or debt from student loans. Writing down these fears helps to clarify what specifically is causing stress and sets the stage for addressing these issues methodically.

For example, imagine you’re worried about the cost of healthcare. By writing this concern down, you can start to explore solutions such as researching health insurance options, setting up a health savings account (HSA), or budgeting for medical expenses. This process helps you understand the root causes of your financial anxiety, making it easier to develop strategies to manage them.

Tip #2: Conduct a Financial Reality Check

The next step is to conduct a thorough assessment of your financial situation. Dedicate a day to review your income, expenses, debts, and savings without interruptions. This step is crucial for uncovering the reality of your financial health and can be a wake-up call to action or a reassurance that you’re on the right track.

Tools like the RetireUS Financial Checkpoint, which can provide a quick and free analysis of your finances can be a great place to start. This tool can help you identify areas where you might be overspending or under-saving, giving you a clear picture of your financial status. For instance, you might discover that a significant portion of your income is going towards dining out. With this knowledge, you can create a plan to cut back on discretionary spending and allocate more towards savings or debt repayment.

Tip #3: Prioritize and Take Action

Once you have a clear understanding of your financial fears and the actual state of your finances, the next step is to prioritize and take action. Compare your list of financial concerns with your financial reality to identify where you should focus your efforts first. Address the most pressing issues and commit to new habits that will help mitigate these worries.

For example, if your primary concern is not having enough saved for retirement, start by setting up automatic contributions to a retirement account. You might also consider meeting with an independent financial professional for a Financial Wellness Review. This review can provide personalized advice and strategies to improve your financial situation. Michael Scarpati emphasizes the importance of seeking unbiased advice, “Even those working with a financial professional were unaware of the conflicts of interest influencing the advice they were receiving. This sparked my passion to democratize financial guidance, ensuring that independent expert-level guidance is not a luxury service but a standard offering accessible to everyone.”

By taking these steps, you can start to regain control over your financial situation and reduce the anxiety that comes with it. Remember, financial stability doesn’t happen overnight. It requires continuous effort and adjustments as your circumstances change. However, with a clear plan and the right support, you can achieve a more secure and stress-free financial future.


Financial anxiety is a pervasive issue, but it can be managed with the right approach. By identifying your financial concerns, conducting a thorough financial reality check, and prioritizing and taking action, you can take control of your financial future. Platforms like RetireUS offer valuable tools and guidance to help individuals navigate their financial journeys, making high-quality financial advice accessible to everyone. With dedication and the right resources, you can overcome financial anxiety and achieve peace of mind.