“When health is absent … wealth becomes useless,” the ancient Greek physician Herophilus once famously said. That might have been the case 2,300 or so years ago, but it’s a doctrine I live by today, specifically noting the benefits of regular checks for both your health and your wealth.
Every day, as an organization, we speak with individuals about building and safeguarding their money. But in my view, there is little use in accumulating wealth if you don’t have your health so that you and your loved ones can enjoy it.
The condition of your own health and wealth can be reviewed, analyzed and revised with a three-pronged approach. First, have your health and wealth assessed annually, at least, by experts. Second, ensure that you have the right professional offering the advice to you. And third, take action based on the advice you receive. This third point is arguably the most critical.
An academic study by researchers at the Urban Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University assessing the intricate connection between health and income backs up the approach. The main takeaway of the report published in 2015 is, in simple terms, that those who are healthier and who live longer tend to earn more. Health and income correlate across the socioeconomic spectrum. That is to say, the richest have fewer poor-health conditions than the upper-middle class, who in turn are fitter and healthier than the lower-middle class, for example, with the pattern continuing.
The report took an in-depth look into health issues for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. had noted by household income. In the vast majority of instances, the wealthier were healthier.
The BMJ has also reported on the connection between health and wealth.
The basics for creating a healthier lifestyle are widely accepted and known to many people. They include eating the right foods for your body, cutting out or limiting sugar, exercising regularly, not smoking or taking illegal drugs, limiting alcohol consumption, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding stressful situations.
The steps for devising, implementing and managing financial planning strategies are, arguably, not quite as simple due to the personal circumstances of each individual. That said, I believe there are some irrefutable cornerstones in this regard, too.
Savings are a fundamental part of a robust personal financial plan. By building a savings safety net, you will be able to financially meet the costs of unforeseeable emergencies without having to increase credit card debt, ask for loans from relatives or friends, or turn to other borrowing options that serve to increase unnecessary and avoidable hassle.
Growing and protecting your retirement income is also a critical pillar. Preparing sooner rather than later for your retirement positions you to achieve your objectives more quickly and more effectively so you can enjoy the retirement you desire. This is particularly the case because life expectancy has been increasing globally, meaning the money we put aside has to last longer. Additionally, in the future, governmental agencies and company pension schemes may not be financially able to support older people like they have for previous generations. There is also a burgeoning health and social care crisis.
In addition, investing some of your savings is recommended. A failure to do so can mean that inflation will erode your purchasing power in the long term. Tax efficiency should be prioritized, too, by making use of legitimate solutions, reliefs, initiatives and schemes. And finally, insurance, including life and critical illness, is another fundamental that will help protect what is precious to you for yourself and your loved ones.
The connection between health and wealth is deep, and it is therefore important to create and roll out strategies to manage both so you can truly enjoy life-enhancing benefits and opportunities.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.