Get in Shape to Improve Your Fiscal Condition

Better physical health has fiscal benefits.

Better physical health has fiscal benefits.

One day soon, if predictions are right, your home’s artificial intelligence network will realize when you are running low on laundry detergent, order it for you from a robotic warehouse, and deliver it to your doorstep by drone within the hour. Our grandkids may one day wonder what it was like to live when you had to drive yourself to a store. It may even get to the point where people “experience” places and events without ever leaving their recliners while being served milkshakes by android butlers.

Meanwhile, 36.5% of the US population already is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is more than double the 15% figure in 1990. At that rate, where do you suppose we’ll be 25 years from now when technology has eased all the burdens of modern life?

The recent Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey offers some frightening insight. In their 2017 edition, they show that while 89% of Americans say health is a concern in retirement while only 48% think about the impact their lifestyle choices make long-term. Apparently, the other 52% are content to eat, drink, and be merry today while assuming tomorrow may not come.

Tomorrow will come, however, and the costs will be staggering both to individuals and society. In fact, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, out-of-shape folks spend $2,500 more per year than those that are more fit. That adds to other studies showing that workers that exercise make more money and that being obese has a similar financial impact to not having a college degree.

These findings add to the growing body of evidence of other benefits of exercise, such as having a lower risk of developing chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke; not to mention improved cognitive function and bedroom performance.

Health and wealth planning frequently go hand in hand. Health insurance, long-term care, disability, medical power of attorney, and Health Savings Accounts are just some of the considerations to address in anyone’s financial plan.

Physical fitness, like a retirement account, is built over time through hard work, determination, and discipline. Even with all the recent debate around how the US healthcare system should work, we can all agree that staying healthy, having more money, and living a higher quality life are worth the effort of eating a few more veggies and working up a sweat.

Do you have 7 minutes? Try this workout highlighted in a New York Times article a few years ago. Getting in shape is a lot like saving for retirement. Progress can be slow and we may suffer the occasional setback, but progress IS progress and good health is worth more than any bank balance.

So, get out of your chair and get moving! If you need help with getting into better financial shape, get in touch.