Sunday, January 13, 2008

Retirement Planning- The Forgotten Component

As I hunker down this year and focus in on retirement planning, I am learning that I will really need to pay attention to health-care costs when I am older. Prescription medications, special procedures, chronic problems, long term care... the list is long.

So what are the things I can do right now to prepare for that?

Obviously, the first thing about retirement planning is saving money right now, investing it and letting it grow.

But the forgotten thing about retirement planning is investing in your health right now. Preventative measures taken early and sustained throughout life will reap huge dividends in old age- in terms of quality of life and significantly reduced health-care costs.

Ramen noodles may be cheap now but eat them long term and you'll be paying big. Avoiding fresh fruits and vegetables may be easier on your wallet and your tastebuds (for some) but eat them anyway! Living on preservative-laden boxed and canned food products because you can get them practically for free with double coupons and sales may bring your grocery budget down to a fraction of what it was... but be careful! Working long hours so you can bring in more money at the expense of your mental and physical health may be a huge source of regret later.

So when you're tempted to save a few bucks by short-changing your health, don't do it!

Make time and room in your budget for:
  • healthful foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins (and supplements if you want)
  • menu planning and meal preparation so you're not tempted to buy and eat the easy but not-so-healthful prepackaged or fast food meals
  • daily exercise where you break a sweat and provide resistance to your muscles
  • relaxation and mental health
  • quitting addictions such as smoking, drinking, drugs, and sugar (mine!)
What would you add to that list?


yeehaa99 said...

Good eating habits should help you not only during retirement period but during the working period also. Good health means less sick days and feeling good mentally too. BTW HSA is a good retirement plan

moneychallenge said...

So true! There are many benefits to taking care of your health- for the present and the future.