Financial fitness, whether your own or that of your business, is critical to reducing stress, strengthening relationships and even improving your health, said Bill Rogers, chairman and chief executive of SunTrust Banks, based in Atlanta.
Delivering the keynote speech Wednesday at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce monthly Trustee Luncheon entitled “Lighting the way to Financial Well-being in Today’s Economy,” Rogers said financial health is not calculated by how many zeros are in your bank account, but rather having access to financial resources to meet your needs and goals.
“When our finances are in order, we feel more grounded, we feel more confident, and that is not where we are as a country,” said Rogers, whose bank is among the nation’s largest, with $171.5 billion in assets and 26,000 employees. “The recession changed either the real or perceived view of our financial stability.”
That sense of instability “can have a ripple effect on families, relationships and even health,” he added, citing studies that show that a major cause of stress is money, and those who rate their financial stress as high often report less sleep, less patience, eating more junk food and arguing more.
To encourage financial well-being at home, SunTrust gives employees a day off, called a “day of purpose,” with the request that they work on their own finances or help others achieve financial fitness. Rogers suggested a similar “call to action” for luncheon attendees, their businesses and employees.
“Improving financial well-being will result in resilience to face life’s circumstances that will inevitably come,” he told the group, meeting at Jungle Island. “It will be a key part of the recovery of this country, and improve stress, improve financial well-being and lead to stronger relationships and reaching life goals.”
Florida and Miami are important markets for SunTrust: one-quarter of the bank’s total mortgage business is in Florida, and Miami is one of the bank’s top four markets for deposits, he said.