The First Wealth is Health
by Jill Ciccarelli Rapps, CFP®
Financial planning involves more than just discussing investments. In fact, our greatest asset is not a stock or a bond; it is our health.
An unhealthy lifestyle places a major strain on your finances, while embracing wellness can reduce your long-term financial burden. With the cost of health care rising exponentially, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself. By keeping your body and mind in top condition, you will find it easier to enjoy all aspects of your life.
BAD HABITS ARE EXPENSIVE
Unhealthy habits like smoking tobacco, drinking too much alcohol, eating junk food or buying sugary coffee drinks all come with huge price tags. Eliminating or reducing these bad habits will enrich your health, lower your chances of developing a costly long-term health condition, and save you hundreds of dollars every month. The money you save by kicking these habits can go towards preserving your family’s financial future.
BEING HEALTHY INCREASES YOUR EARNING POTENTIAL
Being in good health can increase your earning potential. The healthier you are, the more equipped you are to work longer hours and thrive in high-paying positions that have more demanding schedules and responsibilities. Being healthy also reduces the number of sick days you need to take, as well as the number of doctor’s visits you need to make. Lastly, healthy people can continue to work and generate steady income well into their golden years.
HEALTHY HABITS SAVE MONEY
Making small adjustments to your lifestyle can save a substantial amount of money over time. Biking and walking cost less than driving a car. Packing a healthy lunch rather than eating out is good for your waistline and your wallet. Unlike drinking sodas and other sugary drinks, water is usually free. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the number of clothes you have to buy. All of these healthy habits can help you cut on daily expenses that detract from your savings goals and retirement plans.
In addition to daily savings, being healthy can have long-term financial benefits for your entire family. The combination of increased earning potential and increased savings on daily expenses will enable you to contribute more to the household budget. Secondly, healthy habits set a positive lifestyle example for your children, which will encourage them to be healthier throughout their lifetime. Finally, a wellness-focused lifestyle will reduce the need for expensive and time intensive health care procedures later in life.
Here are some resources that will help you to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle!
- Discover tips for staying healthy and wellness-related guidance at Blue Zones of Southwest Florida
- Check out the upcoming SpelLIFE Women’s Wellness Summit in Naples on April 1 at www.AEuphoricLivingFoundation.org.
A STRONG MIND MANAGES FINANCES BETTER
One of the most critical aspects of healthy living is ensuring that your mind stays sharp well into your golden years. As your mental capabilities decline, managing your personal finances becomes more difficult. Between the calculations required for your monthly budget to determining the best investment strategies, you need your mind to be functioning at peak efficiency; otherwise, you could end up making very costly errors. The best way to promote mental wellness and alertness is to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.
A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE REDUCES HEALTHCARE COSTS
Finally, and most importantly, the biggest benefit to living a healthy lifestyle is reduced healthcare costs. Medical care in the United States is the most expensive in the world. The average American spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on healthcare during their lifetime.
Your life insurance and health insurance premiums are based on your current state of health. If you are in poor health, or engage in habits that deteriorate your health over time, you will pay more for monthly insurance coverage. Insurance premiums grow quickly over time, and could ultimately become one of your biggest expenses.
Being healthy also correlates to lower insurance premiums, fewer doctor’s visits and a major decrease of spending on pharmaceuticals.In addition, healthy people are more apt to seek out preventative care, which is less costly than the high fees associated with chronic illness. Simply put, the healthier you are, the less money you have to spend on medical care.
Our health is our greatest asset. Taking care of your health can save you a lot of money – from small savings on daily expenses to larger savings on insurance rates and healthcare spending. By making a continual commitment to healthy living, you lay the groundwork for a successful financial future.
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