How Much Your Health Impacts Your Wealth
Maintaining a healthy body takes work and effort. Often it requires some major lifestyle changes that many are unwilling to make. The motivation of improving quality of life simply doesn’t provide enough incentive. Too busy working and saving for retirement to take the time to make the changes needed to improve health.
Many people don’t realize that your health also directly impacts your wealth. From smoking or eating out all the time, on down to the growing obesity epidemic this country faces, any of the above can impact an annual budget by potentially tens of thousands of dollars per year.
Smoking alone can cost five figures a year. This comprises not only the obvious expenses of purchasing the cigarettes, but also increased life insurance and homeowner’s insurance premiums, increased healthcare expenses, and the interesting statistical fact that smokers earn several thousand dollars per year less than their nonsmoking counterparts.
Obesity represents another huge hit to the annual budget, with secondary expenses like increased food budget, both for increased quantity of food purchased, and in the expense of frequent restaurant outings and junk food, and dramatically increased medical expenses, even without contracting one of dozens of major medical conditions linked to obesity. Such conditions can even reach into the six-figure medical bill range.
Even minor lifestyle changes, like drinking more water and getting up from your desk for a few minutes each hour can bring about substantial improvements in both your fitness and your finances. Investing those saved dollars each year can also give a solid advantage to retirement planning, resulting in reaching retirement in both the physical and financial condition to truly enjoy it.
As shown by the data below, a few small changes today can save thousands of dollars in the future. Combined with the multitude of other obvious benefits of a healthier lifestyle, making those changes today is among the smartest steps a person can make toward their future.
Author: ANASTASIA IVANOV. Staff writer and designer at InvestmentZen.