Healthy Retirement: Save by Being Proactive
Despite all the negative news about the state of retirement savings, 48% of us didn’t save more in 2018… and 13% of us actually saved less.
The shortfall isn’t just about money – it’s about our health too.
A new research report about leveraging your health to drive 401(k) contributions says you can boost your retirement savings to the tune of $100,000 or more simply by making better health choices.
The research indicates that people who take their healthcare seriously make better financial decisions and have more money to save.
High blood pressure – the plague of so many of us gray hairs – isn’t taken seriously by most. Twenty percent of those diagnosed with it don’t take their medication, and 50% stop taking it within six months.
But if people with hypertension take their medication, they can realize as much as $2,000 per year in savings on healthcare costs and add three to eight years to their life.
Between the ages of 50 and 85, that’s $70,000 in savings.
Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol (two nasty conditions) can cost us as much as $3,300 per year and cut eight years from our lives.
That’s a loss of $115,000 between the ages of 50 and 85!
What’s more, the doctor who co-authored the health and 401(k) report emphasized that patients’ actions are four times more effective in treating health issues than anything a doctor does.
Simply taking your medication and sticking to a diet can significantly reduce prescription, hospital and insurance costs and copays for doctor visits.
These costs really add up over time. Something as simple as keeping your blood pressure medicine where you’ll see it every day – ensuring you remember to take it – can help keep money in your pocket.
Healthcare costs for the retired population are expected to increase by 5.47% per year for the near future, more than three times the inflation rate. And the lifetime costs I’m seeing are soaring. How does $404,253 per couple fit into your financial plan? We may not be able to get out from under all the costs of living longer… but we can make choices that will extend our lives, keep us healthier longer and save a ton of money.
Old age is the logical conclusion of not dying young. To make the last part of that logical conclusion richer and better, take your medications and go for a walk. You’ll feel better and have more money to play golf.