Many of us face the challenge of earning enough money to cover our current living expenses while also saving for our predicted future ones. Are you working so diligently to save for retirement that you postpone taking good care of your health?
As a personal fitness trainer for over 12 years, I have watched people struggle to balance their desire to care well for their bodies now while also working toward future goals. When trying to figure out how much money we will need when we are older, it is important to consider our "Health Equity" as well as our financial standing.
When I used the term "Health Equity" I am referring to the level of physical function and comfort we are each experiencing. A person with a high level of "Health Equity" feels well enough to stay physically active, is generally independent and able care for many of their own daily needs.
People with a low level of health equity are in poorer condition and are often dependent on care providers for activities like driving, food preparation, assistance bathing and getting dressed. Unless you have a large and local team of family members and loved ones who are available to help with basic activities, the amount of money a person in frail condition will need is high. Monthly medical expenses and the number of prescription drugs a person relies on will also vary widely based on their health.
Take a look around and notice the huge differences in function and financial output between a physically fit senior who is in their 70s or 80s and one who is more frail. My suggestion is that the amount money we need when we retire from working depends heavily on how active and independent we can be when we are ready to make that change.
How are you living right now? Do you prioritize having enough vacation days, maintaining a reasonable stress level, sleeping well, staying active and eating nutritious foods? If you are hoping for a cheaper, and much more fun, experience in your "golden" years, consider treating your body as a high priority today!