Health insurance, doctor’s visits, chronic illnesses and medicines can take a huge toll on your financial well-being. The new health care laws want you to quit smoking, exercise more, drive less and eat better in order to save money. The laws are talking about “our” (the tax payers) money, but it isn’t all about that. Taking care of yourself could save money from your “personal” stash as well. Good health should be its own reward but the monetary savings aren’t bad either.
You can take responsibility for your health and financial well-being at the same time. How many times have you heard seniors say that if they knew they were going to live so long they would have taken better care of themselves? Today’s financial climate doesn’t paint a very rosy picture for the seniors who pride themselves on their longevity status. Many people are afraid that they will run out of money before they run out of time. Not a very comforting thought.
We all know that preventing disease is cheaper than the treatment, but do you really pay attention to what you read? An article in the Sunday Herald by Donna Gehrke-White (May 27, 2012) begs us to pay attention to our health and our financial well-being. The author featured the story of a 95 year old woman who learned that keeping medical expenses down was a good way to stretch her retirement dollars. It makes perfectly good sense, but many people just can’t figure it out. The author reminds us that older folks spend entirely too much of their precious out-of-pocket dollars on medical and dental expenses.
The author outlined how a 95 year old woman learned that being healthy is a financial gold mine. Regular exercise and a healthy diet go a long way toward preventing or decreasing the severity of many chronic illnesses. It isn’t unusual for older people to frequent the emergency room because of symptoms caused by constipation or for complications from the common cold or influenza. Most of these visits occur because they haven’t been paying attention. Prevention is the key. Unfortunately, too many people forget that adopting healthy habits is good for their pocketbooks as well as for their general well-being.
Don’t smoke, drink sensibly, eat properly and exercise every single day of your life. Many doctors or other members of your health care team are available to answer your questions and give free advice. A phone call or an e-mail message could be all it takes to avoid costly weekend trips to the emergency room. Optimum health is something everyone wants, but few seem willing to work for. Minimizing disease development, especially life style related diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, adult onset diabetes or obesity is your responsibility. Taking responsibility for your own health can protect your nest egg for years to come.