H is for Health

So far, our discussion has been about financial health, but it’s equally important to be physically healthy.

Let’s hope you have good health insurance and that you don’t get sick.  If you do, there are deductibles and co-pays that will come out of your pocket. Such medical expenses can negatively impact your financial health.

One of the biggest financial risks you will have in retirement is the cost of your health care.  Life happens. Even the most physically fit among us succumb to illnesses over which we have no control.  Luckily, we can practice preventive care by exercising, checking in with our doctors, and forming healthy habits.  Just as there is often too little time to make up for the missed opportunities to have saved during our working careers, reversing a preventable health problem in our older years may be impossible.

Most health professionals recommend that you exercise at least four times a week.  Your exercise regimen doesn’t have to be at a gym or with a trainer.  Walking for 30-45 minutes qualifies as exercise.  Just do something to become active! (If your current state of physical conditioning suggests it, see your doctor first.)

Getting financially fit could prove to be a challenging endeavor. You will be changing the behaviors that contribute to the financial difficulties you are currently facing.  Change will require commitment and determination.  Being in a good frame of mind will be critical—and regular exercise can help improve your mental attitude.

If you can avoid an extraordinary health cost in retirement by initiating a life-long practice of preventive care, the savings you can accumulate while working will last that much longer in retirement.

And let’s not forget you will enjoy life and retirement much more if you are healthy and active!