Get Healthy And Wealthy By Being Wise

Jeffrey Berg, MD

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

– Benjamin Franklin, 1735

With all respect to Benjamin Franklin, a great mind and a national hero, life is somewhat more complicated than it was in 1735.  At least when it comes to becoming healthy and wealthy.  How much you sleep may still be a factor, but no longer the only one.

The internet is filled with numerous lists of wealth-acquiring “rules”.  Although the same can’t be said for health-acquiring rules, it turns out that many of these same financial recommendations will also help you acquire and maintain good health.

Think about it, one set of rules to get you healthy and wealthy…Wise is a whole other thing.

 

8 Rules to Get Healthy and Wealthy

1. Invest Regularly and Pay Yourself First

Financially speaking, this rule is recommended in part to remind you to take an active role in building a nest egg, to prompt you to divert resources from pleasure to saving (10-20% of yearly income is recommended) and to invest in your future before you spend in the present.  Health wise, the goal is the same – Be active in your health. Bad health happens. Good health is earned. Use a certain part of each day to think about your health and to work on being healthier. Just as with saving, little investments in your health make a big difference over time.  So today remember to perform good dental hygiene, take your meds, eat less, exercise more, followup on that medical advice – Whatever you can do – Do it.  When it comes to financial and physical health, be involved and pay yourself first.

2. Start Saving Early

Albert Einstein remarked that compound interest was the greatest force in the Universe.  In order to take advantage of its power, you need to start saving early.  He also noted, that he who understands compound interest, earns it, while he who doesn’t, pays it. Both insights are equally relevant to your health. Good health won’t happen overnight, it will take time.  Start now and keep at it.  Some benefits will be immediate, but most will payoff later by avoiding health problems down the line. Doing so can make a big difference. Why? Well many health problems worsen over time.  They also frequently multiply.  One problem often leads to another and that new problem can lead to a third.  Sicker people often get sicker, whereas healthier people often remain healthy…or at least get sick less often and less severely. The key to living a healthy life, like being financially secure, is to to start doing so now and continue to do so indefinitely.  When it come to your financial health, use the law of compound interest to get ahead. When it comes to your health, start early and don’t let the law of compounding health problems cause you to lose yours.

3. Diversify Your Investments

The number crunchers have shown that a well-diversified portfolio will outperform other investment strategies over the longterm.  When investing in the market, you don’t want to miss areas of growth and if one sector fails, you don’t want it to drag your portfolio down.  The same reasoning applies to your health strategy.  Your body requires your attention to all areas of your health.   You can’t simply exercise and not wear your seatbelt.  Taking your medications, while drinking excessively makes no sense.  You must keep good practices in all areas.  If your financial portfolio is out of balance, poor performance in the dominant investment can drag your portfolio down.  Likewise, if one aspect of your health is not addressed, that ‘s what’s likely to drag you down.

4. Spend Wisely

We spend on many unnecessary things. One cup of Starbuck’s coffee a day is estimated to cost you $30,000 over your working lifetime. Nothing against a good cup of coffee or even Starbucks, but when you add up all your nonessential spending, you can quickly see how this may adversely affect your financial health.  The same is true of medical expenditures.  We get too many studies and as a result, too many treatments.  Some of this is doctor initiated but much is patient demanded.   These unnecessary tests and procedures are not only costly and time consuming, diverting time and money away from more healthy activities, but often lead to further testing,  more unnecessary procedures and even complications.  So be a smart shopper, not only with consumer items but also when purchasing healthcare.  Pick doctors who will talk with you, who believe in matching your priorities to their treatment. Ask questions, research your condition, utilize aids that help you identify treatment value (like these here, here and here). Remember, when it comes to healthcare, even if you are spending someone else’s money, the greatest cost will likely be yours – So spend wisely.

5.  Pay Costliest Debt First

Interest eats up your savings while you sleep.  Pay it off too slowly and you will struggle to get ahead.  Paying your highest interest rate debt first will save you money in the long run.  Similarly, your most serious health issues need your attention first.  If not, as you get sicker, you may not have the opportunity to address any of your health problems.  Additionally as you address the serious issues, the less serious ones often fade away. Lose weight and your diabetes, high blood pressure and back pain, may disappear.  my-antidepressant-info.com treat your depression and your overeating, smoking and inability to exercise may cease.  Whether its debt or illness, tackle the the biggest issues first, before they tackle you.

6.  Move To More Conservative Investments As You Age

Since your investing timeline shortens as you age, there is less time to recover from losses.  In order to reduce risk, your portfolio should be less aggressive.  As you get older, a similar strategy applies to your health – You also need to be more conservative.  With age, your eyesight will decline, your balance will slowly worsen, as will your reaction time and strength. All of these make accidents more likely.  Activities that were once safe, will become less so over time. Furthermore, with age, your ability to recover from illnesses or injuries usually takes longer, is more difficult and less predictable. You need to acknowledge this and change your lifestyles accordingly.  I’m in favor of having fun and remaining active, but you need to be smart.  As you get older, you need to do all you can to prevent injuries and major illnesses. You must be more careful in your activities and even stricter with your health habits.  Face the fact, you are getting older.  Be more conservative with your health habits – and continue to do so.

7. Buy Insurance For Costly Things

It’s advised that you purchase insurance for potentially large expenditures.  Here’s news – health expenditures are almost always large. The greatest cause of bankruptcy in the US is health care costs.  Insurance can prevent this – it may also enable you to get better care than if you had none. Getting good care is important – It may be the difference between recovering or not. Even a policy that only insures against catastrophic illness may be the difference between your financial and health ruin or survival.  So carry health insurance – Bite the bullet and insure that your inevitable illnesses don’t bite you.

8. Have an Emergency Fund

There is no way around it, bad things happen.  Your car’s tires will need to be replaced. You may lose your job. You and your family members will get sick.  The other truth is that unexpected expenses are always costly. Whether you recover from an illness financially and health wise, often depends on whether you have enough money to take care of it.  Now a days, even with the best health insurance, health costs don’t stop after purchasing your policy.  You will be responsible for a portion of the cost.  Failure to have money on hand for these expenses often means doing without.  This may compromise your financial and physical health.  So, maintain an emergency fund and your emergency fund will help maintain you.

Life is hard enough.  No need to make it more complicated.  Reducing poor financial moves and maintaining good health can make life easier.  Fortunately, there are ways to improve your odds of achieving both. It turns out many of the rules are the same.  Now its easy to be Healthy and Wealthy – All you need to do – is be Wise.

 

 

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