Health and Financial Fitness

The other day I was listening to a podcast I enjoy (at and they brought up a really interesting point that I wanted to share. The basic point was that staying in good health has positive financial implications, both in the short and long term. There’s an obvious point to be made here, and a subtler point that was much more interesting to me.

The obvious point is that health care costs money, and the healthier you are the less health care you need. This is true in the short term but is especially true over the long term. It’s no secret that older people need more health care in general, and it’s also no secret that health care is an ever-increasing percent of our expenses. It follows that if we take steps today to keep ourselves in good condition, we’re decreasing our chances of needing expensive treatment both today and especially down the road. It’s very similar to saving in that small efforts made today will compound over time into big positive consequences in the future. The healthier you are, the easier it will be to keep yourself financially secure over your lifetime as less of your money will have to be put towards health care.

But there’s a subtler point here that I found very interesting. Basically, the healthier you are today, the more productive you can be in all aspects of your life, and specifically your work life. Things like regular exercise and good sleep make you feel better and give you more energy on a day-to-day basis, which gives you more opportunity to excel in your work. There are two big implications here. The first is that the more you excel, the more you improve your prospects for increasing your income. That one is pretty obvious and has powerful implications for your finances. But perhaps just as important is that with more good, healthy, productive days at work, you are decreasing the chances of a negative event like being fired or missing time due to sickness. Avoiding these negative events can be just as significant as pursuing the positives.

The other end of this point is that good health will give you the option to work productively later in life, if you so choose. One of the best retirement strategies available is simply retiring later, as it gives you more time to save and a shorter period to save for. You may not want or need to work longer, but it’s certainly helpful to have the option, and good health is necessary for that option to be available. Investing in your health now can put this powerful tool in your possession later in life.

And finally, good health simply lets you enjoy more of life. It not only gives you more time to do the things you enjoy and spend with the people you love, but it makes that time better.

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