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Healthy Aging, Healthy Finances: How Prioritizing Your Health Can Help You Save for Retirement A person’s health becomes increasingly important as they age. We not only suffer from it in terms of our quality of life but also in terms of financial hardship. The...

By John Rampton

This story originally appeared on Due

A person's health becomes increasingly important as they age. We not only suffer from it in terms of our quality of life but also in terms of financial hardship.

The reason? It is not uncommon for health problems to result in higher medical costs, lost wages, or even early retirement as a result of illness. A staggering 66.5% of bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses, making it the most common cause of bankruptcy.

But, it gets worse.

Expenditures on National Health Expenditures (NHE) grew 2.7% to $4.3 trillion in 2021, which is $12,914 per person and accounted for 18.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, according to research sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, U.S. healthcare expenditures are projected to rise substantially while producing no better – and sometimes even worse – outcomes. By 2028, it is estimated that national healthcare expenditures will reach $6.2 trillion.

Additionally, according to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, an average retired couple would require approximately $315,000 in retirement savings to cover health care expenses.

It will also depend on how long you live, how healthy you are, and when and where you retire. Furthermore, the amount you will need depends on your plans to pay for health care – such as 401(k), HSA, IRA, or taxable accounts; and your tax rates in retirement; and perhaps even your salary.

The good news? It's possible to improve your financial security while protecting your health as you age. Keeping active and making healthy choices can help you live longer, live healthier, and prevent chronic diseases.

How Prioritizing Your Health Can Help You Save for Retirement

Taking good care of your health can help you save for retirement in many ways. Some examples are as follows:

  • A reduction in medical costs. There is no doubt that health problems can result in higher medical costs. The more you stay healthy, the lower your risk of chronic diseases and the lower your healthcare costs will be — especially as you get older. In general, being healthy can result in reduced premiums, copays, and deductibles.
  • An increase in productivity. The more healthy you are, the more productive you will be at work. Additionally, you'll be less absent and more engaged. As a result, over time, wages can increase and earnings can increase. As a result, you will be able to save more money for retirement.
  • Postponing retirement. Depending on your health, you may be able to delay retirement and continue working. In turn, this prevents you from withdrawing from your retirement savings. Furthermore, this allows you to save more for retirement and achieve your financial goals.

Tips for Prioritizing Your Health

As you age, you can take several steps to improve your health and protect your finances. Listed below are a few tips:

Make a meal plan.

Over time, you'll save money and time by planning your meals. Start by setting aside some time, then think about your goals and needs by asking:

  • Would you like to lose weight?
  • Do you need to reduce your sugar, fat, or carb intake?
  • Do you want to add more protein or vitamins?

Preparing your meals keeps you in control. Whenever you eat, you know what you're eating. You can also save money by buying ingredients in bulk, storing extra food for later, and eating out less by meal prepping.

Get regular exercise.

The importance of exercise in a healthy lifestyle cannot be overstated. Ideally, you should exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

It was found, however, that just 11 minutes of exercise a day can help prevent early death, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

Get outside and enjoy nature.

We can find solace in nature. It provides an effective counterbalance to all the screentime we spend in a typical day. Time spent in nature is increasingly being shown to:

  • Make people happier and healthier
  • Enhance our cognitive abilities
  • Boost attention span
  • Become more empathic and socially connected

A daily walk can be combined with this healthy habit. If you are going outside, try to spend as much time as possible in green (like a forest) or blue (like a body of water) areas.

Make sleep a priority.

Trying to function all day with 9% battery power is a lot like going without sleep. In addition to resting and recharging, your body needs time to learn new things and consolidate memories.

Each night, adults should get at least seven hours of sleep. You may find it helpful to refer to your circadian rhythm if this is challenging for you. Basically, this is how your body falls asleep, stays asleep, and wakes up feeling revitalized.

When it comes to sleeping better, how do you utilize your circadian rhythm? Simply maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.

Correct your posture.

Good posture can reduce ligament stress as well as prevent aches. Furthermore, good posture prevents backache, fatigue, and muscular pains.

"You can try to leave yourself a note to sit up straight until it becomes an unconscious habit," says exercise physiologist Christopher Travers, MS. "Walking with your shoulders back and head held high can also make you feel good about yourself."

A good posture can't be learned overnight. But, reminding yourself to sit up straight can have a positive impact on your health.

Also, improving your posture is good for your finances. A Medicare-approved chiropractor visit costs 20 percent less if you have already paid your Part B deductible of $233 in 2022 (or $226 in 2023), according to AARP. Medigap policies, also known as Medicare supplement policies, will cover all or part of your Part B coinsurance.

Don't lose your balance.

Young and active people who have good balance will be less likely to suffer an injury. Older people can stay active longer and lower their chances of falling and breaking a bone. Having good balance also means having healthier muscles, a healthier heart, and more self-confidence — no matter what your age is.

Tai chi and yoga are great ways to work on it, but just about anything that keeps you moving can be beneficial.

Learn something new.

You can keep your brain healthy by learning new skills. Take a dance class, a creative writing workshop, or pickleball with friends, for instance. Even better, learn a new language. As a result of the mental work that is required, it is possible to slow down the signs of aging and even delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Aside from getting you moving, some hobbies can encourage social interaction as well. As such, you will benefit both physically and mentally.

Manage stress.

The effects of stress can be felt both physically and mentally. Try exercising, doing yoga, or meditating to relieve stress. Other ideas would be spending time with people you love, traveling or volunteering.

If you're stressed about money, try the following:

  • When it comes to discretionary spending, prioritize what you can control. All of the things that are causing you stress may not be changeable. You can improve your situation by focusing instead on what you can control. Take your food budget as an example. You can cut your grocery bill by comparing prices on different brands, for instance.
  • Find ways to make more money. A few suggestions include negotiating a raise, working more hours, selling what you don't need, or taking on a side hustle.
  • Put money aside for rainy days. By creating an emergency fund and sticking to it, you will feel more in control and relieve some of the stress you may be feeling.
  • Pay off your debt. It might be a good idea to speak with your lenders. You might be able to reduce your monthly payments by modifying the loan, such as extending the term or lowering the interest rate.
  • Consider consulting a financial advisor. Setting goals, saving money, and reducing debt can be difficult without the help of a financial advisor.

Get regular checkups.

No matter how healthy you feel, you should get regular checkups from your doctor. The risk of chronic diseases increases with age, so this is especially important.

Conclusion

You can live a longer, healthier life by prioritizing your health, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, staying active, and staying healthy. Saving money on health care costs, increasing your productivity at work, and delaying retirement can all be achieved by doing this. Reaching your financial goals and enjoying a comfortable retirement is possible with these things.

Talk to your doctor if you don't know where to begin. They can help you improve your health, which in turn, will protect your finances.

FAQs

1. How are health and wealth related?

A strong correlation exists between wealth and health. In general, people with good health have a greater chance of being wealthy, and healthy people have a greater chance of being wealthy. The reason is that wealth and health are mutually reinforcing.

The ability to earn a good income depends on good health, for example. Those who are wealthy are more likely to live in healthy neighborhoods, eat healthy foods, and receive regular medical care.

2. What is the best way to improve my health and wealth?

Several things can be done to increase your wealth and health. You can start by following these tips:

  • Take care of your diet. A healthy diet is essential to your health and wealth. Maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, and maintaining a good level of energy are all benefits of a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly. In addition to a healthy diet, exercise is also important. The benefits of exercise include maintaining a healthy weight, reducing chronic disease risk, and improving sleep and mood.
  • Be sure to get enough sleep. Good health depends on sleep. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night is typical for most adults.
  • Take control of your stress. The effects of stress can be felt both physically and mentally. Exercise, yoga, and meditation are healthy ways to manage stress.
  • Visit your doctor regularly for checkups. Regular checkups are important even if you feel healthy. You are more likely to develop chronic diseases as you age.

3. How is striking a balance between health and wealth challenging?

Balancing health and wealth can be challenging for a number of reasons. Among the challenges is the high cost of health care. If people are not insured, they may have difficulty affording care.

The negative impact of stress on both health and wealth is another challenge. In order to cope with stress, people eat unhealthy foods, don't exercise, and don't sleep enough. Additionally, stress can increase blood pressure, cause heart disease, and worsen anxiety.

4. Why should we balance health and wealth?

Maintaining a healthy balance between wealth and health has many advantages. Having good health increases productivity at work. As a result, wages can rise over time and earnings can increase.

Having a healthy lifestyle also facilitates saving for retirement and other financial objectives. By reducing health care costs, they cannot spend as much on these costs.

A healthy lifestyle can lead to a happier and more content life. After all, a healthy lifestyle can lead to more energy, more enjoyment, and less stress.

5. Which resources can help me balance my health and wealth?

People can balance wealth and health by using a number of resources. Among them are:

  • Doctor. In order to improve your health, you may receive advice and information from your doctor.
  • Insurer. Resources on managing healthcare costs may be available through your insurance provider.
  • Employer. You may be able to improve your health and wealth through the health insurance and retirement savings plans your employer offers.
  • Government programs. Various government programs can help people save for retirement, cover health care costs, and manage their finances.

Several resources are available to assist you if you are having difficulty balancing health and wealth. If you would like more information, you should speak with your doctor, your insurance company, your employer, or a financial advisor.

Image Credit: Pexels

The post Healthy Aging, Healthy Finances: How Prioritizing Your Health Can Help You Save for Retirement appeared first on Due.

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