When you think about saving money, you probably picture yourself going on a “financial diet” of sorts. Maybe you know that you overindulge in daily coffees, go out to the movies too often when you could stay at home and use Netflix, or some other regular indulgence that seems a bit frivolous. And sure, you could save five bucks here or ten dollars there, but these aren’t enormous changes that will drastically renovate your budget.
For many of us, there are one or two lifestyle changes we could make right now, that might save us thousands of dollars in the long run. And it might surprise you to learn what those are.
Exercise regularly. Exercise isn’t just for people who want to look good in a swimsuit or compete in athletic events. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health! People who exercise regularly are less likely to be overweight, or develop heart disease or many other chronic problems like diabetes. They also tend to be happier overall, and live longer lives.
Fix your diet. A recent study by Johns Hopkins University found that only 11 percent of adults eat the proper amount of fruits and veggies each day (three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit, that is). So why does this matter? A diet low in produce can lead to the following diseases and disorders (and these are just a few examples):
- night blindness from low vitamin A
- general weakness from magnesium deficiency
- hemorrhaging from vitamin K deficiency
- irregular heartbeat from low potassium
- depression from low vitamin B 6
- anemia and GI tract problems from a lack of folate
- constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis
- cancers of various types
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- obesity, and all of the complications that come along with being overweight
- scurvy – yes, really!
Okay, you already knew these changes can keep you healthy. But how do they save you money?
The answer: Healthcare! No matter what type of health insurance you have, you probably have some deductible, co-pays, and so on. You might have to pay for part of prescription medications and a portion of each doctor visit. And what about days or weeks off of work, when you’re ill or need treatments? Your health can seriously impact your career, along with your earnings.
Then there’s retirement to think about: The average 65-year-old couple retiring today can expect to spend about $245,000 on healthcare over the course of their retirement years (according to Fidelity Investments). Not only will poor health cost you money now; it will impact enjoyment of your retirement years when you’re living on a fixed income.
Yes, healthy food might cost slightly more (although it doesn’t always, depending on your current diet). But a healthy lifestyle is well worth it in the long run. You can prevent many chronic health problems from ever developing, just by exercising regularly and eating your fruits and veggies.
Of course, health insurance premiums can be a difficult obstacle for everyone. Now that Open Enrollment is rapidly approaching, give us a call to schedule a chat. We can help you compare your options and locate the right health insurance plan for you.