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  • Writer's pictureJohn J. Diak, CFP®

Wellness and Wealth: Investing in Your Long-Term Health



It's hard to contest the timeless adage that health is wealth. The importance of good health is universally acknowledged. Even dealing with something as common as a cold or the flu or as minor as a broken toe is a powerful reminder that life becomes considerably more challenging when you’re not in top form. It’s easy to see how chronic or more severe conditions can easily disrupt your life in a major way. From lost work days and missed opportunities to high medical bills and long-term care expenses, poor health can rapidly erode financial stability.


The connection between health and wealth is undeniable. Good physical health translates to lower healthcare expenses, increased productivity, and a better overall quality of life. Along with financial well-being comes access to better healthcare, higher-quality nutrition, top-notch fitness facilities and trainers, and stress-reducing leisure and self-care activities. Conversely, poor health can strain finances due to significant medical expenses and loss of income, while financial difficulties can increase stress, adversely affecting both mental and physical health.


Accordingly, investing in preventive care and healthy lifestyle choices can positively impact your physical and mental health and your financial well-being and vice versa, creating a cycle of mutual benefit where one reinforces the other for overall wellness. Here’s how you can harness this dynamic to your advantage.


Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is a rewarding choice. While it may be tempting to unwind in your recliner with a TV remote in hand, diversifying your relaxation activities can have long-term benefits. Balancing relaxation with other healthy choices can improve overall well-being and long-term health. Making conscious decisions to incorporate variety and moderation into your routine can be incredibly beneficial.


Exercise and Physical Activity

Despite a busy schedule, prioritizing exercise and physical activity can greatly enhance your well-being. 


Participating in regular physical activity boosts your cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles and bones, and improves your fitness. Something as simple as a daily walk and light weight training can enhance circulation and oxygen delivery to tissues throughout your body. Exercise also releases endorphins, natural neurotransmitters that reduce stress and anxiety and promote feelings of happiness.


With a committed approach to regular exercise and consistent activity, you'll find your daily routine, including work, becomes more enjoyable. This dedication can lead to enhanced performance and increased energy levels throughout your day, benefiting your professional life no matter what you do for a living.


Nutrition and Balanced Eating Habits

Choosing nutritious foods over junk food is essential for managing stress and rewarding yourself in healthier ways. While indulging in potato chips and ice cream might feel satisfying in the moment, these habits can have lasting negative impacts on your health. It's important to nourish our bodies with nutrient-dense foods — we eat to live, not live to eat. 


Consuming healthy foods provides the essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals necessary for optimal bodily functions. These include boosting immunity, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, sustaining high energy levels, enhancing focus and cognitive function, and stabilizing mood and emotional resilience.


Good nutrition and balanced eating habits lead to long-term vitality and greater overall wellness. By choosing healthier options more often, you not only take better care of your health but also minimize future financial burdens. This commitment to nutrition can lead to significant long-term savings on healthcare expenses, enhancing both your quality of life and financial stability.


Preventative Healthcare Measures

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While he was speaking metaphorically, the old proverb holds true when it comes to our health. We’re better off preventing major illness or catching it early than dealing with the effects of deferred care.


Regular Health Screenings and Check-ups

One of the most significant benefits of modern medicine is that we now have knowledge and tools to detect many health problems early before they become so advanced that they cannot be reversed.


By identifying and addressing health issues early, you may be able to sidestep costly medical treatments, hospitalizations, and long-term care expenses. In addition to healthy lifestyle choices, preventive measures such as regular check-ups and screenings reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions, leading to lower healthcare costs over time.


It’s also beneficial to take full advantage of employer-sponsored wellness programs and health insurance benefits that support preventive care. Many of these programs offer incentives, such as reduced premiums or complimentary gym memberships, to encourage employees to prioritize their health. Employers understand that maintaining good health improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases job satisfaction, and minimizes the financial impact of lost income due to illness. Wellness leads to long-term cost savings for both employees and employers.


Mental Health and Stress Management

The rapid pace of modern life, rising cost of living, and constant exposure to information from our devices are significantly impacting our mental health. These factors contribute to the increasing prevalence of stress and mental health challenges, which are more evident now than ever before.


The financial repercussions of poor mental health are profound, including reduced productivity, increased healthcare costs from treatments and absenteeism, and a general decline in overall well-being. Untreated mental health issues can lead to higher medical costs, decreased job performance, and lower quality of life.


Alarmingly, depression, anxiety, and burnout are on the rise. Recent statistics indicate that burnout affects as many as 89% of Americans, with symptoms like physical fatigue and cognitive exhaustion severely impacting financial stability through poor job performance, potential job loss, and prolonged recovery times. [1]


Addressing mental health is just as crucial as maintaining physical health. Effective stress management techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, engaging in enjoyable hobbies, pursuing meaningful work, volunteering, spending dedicated time with loved ones, nurturing spiritual connections, participating in community activities, and finding time for relaxation are all vital for improving our mental and emotional well-being.


Healthcare Costs and Insurance Coverage

Healthcare in the U.S. is costly. Many will say we pay more in exchange for access to the highest-quality care in the world. Maintaining your health is important, not only for personal performance but also for securing the best benefits available.


Understanding Healthcare Expenses

To get the most out of the insurance benefits you have, you need to have a good understanding of your coverage and out-of-pocket expenses. It’s essential to know how to navigate costs effectively, such as choosing in-network providers and opting for generic medications to save money, while also knowing when to invest in higher-cost options. Regular management and review of your healthcare expenses can lead to significant savings without compromising the quality of care. Utilizing health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs) can also help manage unexpected medical costs.


Importance of Health Insurance

Adequate health insurance is crucial for accessing necessary medical care and protecting yourself from financial strain. It provides a sense of security, helps mitigate high medical costs, and allows you to focus on your health and well-being with less concern over the expense. Selecting the right plan involves weighing the coverage for essential services and medications against the cost of premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses.


Long-Term Financial Planning and Health

Your healthcare needs may change over time, and so may the resources available to you. So, your financial planning should consider health at every stage along the way. When it comes to retirement savings, don’t forget to factor in healthcare expenses. As a financial advisory firm, we can assist in creating a savings and investment plan tailored to cover future healthcare expenses, considering factors like inflation and potential medical needs. We can recommend suitable investment vehicles and tax-efficient strategies to grow funds specifically designated for healthcare costs.


It’s also important to plan for your end-of-life care. Creating healthcare directives and naming healthcare proxies ensures that your medical wishes are honored and that someone you trust can make decisions on your behalf if you're unable to do so. This provides clarity and assurance during critical health scenarios when emotions are likely riding high.


Investing in Your Health and Financial Future

Prioritizing your health is a strategic financial decision beyond personal well-being. By investing in preventive care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can significantly reduce healthcare costs and lessen the financial impact of medical emergencies. Remember, good health isn't just invaluable; it's an essential strategy for securing a stable financial future.


If you're looking to strengthen your financial strategy in light of your healthcare needs, we're here to help. Our team is here to help you develop a plan supporting your financial goals and well-being. Contact us today to start investing in a healthier, more financially secure future.


Sources:


John J. Diak, CFP® is the Principal & Client Wealth Manager at Oatley & Diak, LLC in Parker, Colorado. He assists clients through many difficult lifestyle changes such as business downturns, retirement planning, divorce, the death of a spouse, and family estate issues among others. Oatley & Diak, LLC is a family-run registered investment advisory (RIA) firm that provides clients with investment management and financial planning services in a hands-on, intimate environment. Learn more about them at oatleydiak.com.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


This material was prepared by Crystal Marketing Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate and is intended merely for educational purposes, not as advice.



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