Most people know they should be saving money for their retirement—but what many people don’t
think about is the fact that they also need to be saving their health. It sounds odd, to consider saving
your health for retirement but think about it this way: if you don’t take preventive measures now,
before retirement, you could end up less healthy during retirement which won’t just hurt your quality of
life, it will also impact your savings.
How We Ignore Our Health
According to a study released by insurer HSBC, only 42 percent of pre-retirees around the globe consider
themselves to be in good health based on their age. Yet only 61 percent of preretirees try to eat a
healthier diet and only 59 percent visit the doctor regularly. These numbers change pretty significantly
once people finally reach retirement—with 71 percent eating healthier and 84 percent going to the
doctor regularly. But taking care of your health only after you’ve retired is kind of like trying to save for
retirement after leaving your job. Instead, preretirees need to start focusing on improving their health
before they retire, so they can secure a healthier body and lower medical expenses as they age.
The Terrible Truth about Poor Health in Retirement
There’s no question that the worse your health is, the more expensive your medical costs will be in
retirement. According to Bankrate, retirees in poor health will spend as much as 20 percent more each
year in medical costs. In addition to having higher healthcare costs, you may also face higher insurance
premiums, a greater need for outside assistance, and specialized furniture and food requirements.
But the expense of poor health isn’t just financial. Seniors in poor health are also more likely to be
socially isolated which can result in loneliness that worsens health and negatively impacts overall quality
It’s not difficult to rehab your lifestyle so you start making an investment in your health before
retirement. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate diet and exercise plan to help you invest in your
body the same way you’re investing in your retirement account.