Two common New Year Resolutions are being more physically fit and healthy, and being more financially fit, saving more staying on a budget.
Reality is the two are tied together, especially as we age. Being in good health reduces your medical expenses, especially over the long term.
United Health Care Company determined the medical costs for a healthy couple through retirement is $270,000. However, for those who are obese, smoke or have high cholesterol it can increase medical expenses by $150,000.
In Fidelity Retirement Savings assessment study, 71% believe they are in better than average health. However, the Center for Disease Control report that 35% are obese and 20% meets the Centers over all physical activity recommendations. Are you really healthy, or just think you are compared to your neighbor.
“Making smarter decisions about your health, means you are making smarter financial decisions says John Sweeney, Executive V.P. of Retirement and Investing Strategies at Fidelity. Sweeney also states, “It’s also clear that doing all you can to stay healthy can make a big difference on essential costs as well, because you won’t have to spend that money on medical expenses. Simply put, not only can an apple a day keep the doctor away, it can very well help protect your retirement nest egg too.”
The scope of this blog is to encourage responsible behavior in managing your health and by results your wealth. How you go about the process is your individual choice. It is a journey to change lifestyle and isn’t something one should expect to master in a short period. It is a marathon and not a sprint.
My family recently gathered in Colorado. Some came from California, some from Alabama and I myself from Idaho. What was interesting to observe, we were all on the journey of changing lifestyle to be healthier. We were in different stages. Even though we are far flung across the states, we have moved towards less processed foods, more fresh fruit, vegetables, less grain, all organic and no genetically modified sources.
And exercise of every shape and variety.
The day of the internet makes knowledge and information readily accessible so the brother in the unhealthy state of Alabama had similar information as the family from cutting edge San Francisco.
Improving your health can also improve your financial well-being. It is up to you.
Future blogs will address ways to manage your health care costs. We will also look at trends that are going to change healthcare as we know it, and I am not referring to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.