At first glance, it might seem that saving for retirement and joining a local football team have next to nothing to do with each other, however new research proves otherwise. According to a new Australian study from AMP, there is a strong relationship between people who play sports and those who think about their financial futures.
More specifically, the study found that people who play sports are 66 percent more likely to contribute to retirement funds and twice as likely to own property than those who don’t, with netball and cycling ranking as the most fiscally responsible sports. “Goal-setting is an indispensable part of setting ourselves up for success, and as the world’s best sportspeople show us—almost impossible without a support network and hard work”.
While it’s hard to argue that people who play sports aren’t goal-oriented, the link between physical fitness and finance may be a little more complex than this study suggests. People who play sports are probably more financially stable to begin with. When it comes to creating healthy habits surrounding money, most people are at an advantage or disadvantage depending on how much money their parents have. According to neurologist Ilene Ruhoy, there’s a correlation between playing sports and financial stability, meaning that the whole “goal-oriented” theory might not hold much meaning in the grand scheme of things.
One can argue that those who have to work long hours or more than one job to pay their bills and feed their families are just as goal-oriented as those that have more free time to exercise. When we have financial freedom, we are able to have more autonomy with our schedule and our lives. Children of financially independent families often have greater chance for exposure to sports and regular fitness activities. Opportunity and competitiveness probably play a role, too.
Psychotherapist Nathalie Theodore believes the results of this study have less to do with having a goal-oriented mindset and more to do with being competitive by nature. “I think these people tend to enjoy a little healthy competition,” she says. “That’s what I think we’re seeing with this study. People who play sports enjoy competition, and in order to succeed at competition, you need to be goal-oriented. These same qualities help people succeed financially as well.”
In other words, if you don’t want to join your local sports team but want to reap the financial advantages, find something else that ignites your competitive spirit such as an indoor cycling class where your pace is publicised.