One of the best investments you make in yourself is to remain healthy. Better health saves you money over time, allowing you to use your financial resources to improve your money situation. It may seem as though you are spending money, and wasting time, to improve your health, but in the long run, good health will put you in a much better position.
While there is no way to completely avoid getting sick all of the time, good health can result in few illnesses. Your healthy body includes an immune system that can protect you from colds and flus — as well as other common ailments. Fewer illnesses means that you spend less on medications and visits to the doctor. On top of that, you can’t discount the opportunity cost of illness. If you repeatedly miss work because of sickness, you are earning less.
It’s not just the occasional illness that can impact your bottom line. The truth is that you also have to worry about chronic illnesses. Type II diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, and other expensive chronic conditions can result from unhealthy habits. And, while you never know when cancer will strike, you can reduce your chances of falling victim to it by living healthier.
Lower Health Care Costs
Healthy living usually means lower health care costs. And it’s not just about avoiding pricey medications and visits to specialists. Your health insurance premiums are also generally lower if you are in good health. The fewer claims you file, the more likely it is that you will not have to worry about big increases in your monthly premiums each year.
On top of that, if you have few health care needs, you can save money on health care costs by signing up for a high deductible health care plan. Your premiums will be much lower, and you can use the money you save to fund a Health Savings Account — which can be used as another IRA. With the right planning, you can save a great deal on your health care costs, still be covered by an adequate insurance plan, and even build tax-advantaged wealth for the future.
Lower Retirement Costs
The savings continue even into retirement. The healthier you are when you retire, and as long as you maintain those habits, you are more likely to go longer with the need for assisted living or long-term care. Instead of spending your nest egg on care services, you can use it to enjoy life. A lifetime of good health saves you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Your quality of life is likely to be better in your later years if you have managed to live healthy. As a result, you will be able to take care of yourself, and even live an active lifestyle well into your golden years. You probably know senior citizens who still live full lives — and chances are that they follow healthy habits, and that they have been following those habits for a long time.
No matter how much you save, you can’t put a price on good quality of life.