Money: Health Comforter or Time Extender?

Key Takeaways

  • In the relationship between health and money, three key elements come into play: exercise, nutrition and genetics.
  • Money cannot insulate you from a major health setback, but it can certainly increase your comfort and longevity.
  • Unfortunately for most Americans, it costs twice as much to eat healthfully as it does to eat unhealthfully.

The other day at my health club, a thirtyish gentleman was stretching out next to me. He told me he was just getting over a calf muscle pull. Like many guys his age, he thought this injury was a fluke and he’d soon be injury-free for a long time thereafter. I knew better.

“Get used to it,” I said, chuckling to myself. “It’s always going to be something.” Of course, he didn’t believe me and probably dismissed me as another crotchety older guy past his athletic prime. I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s got a lot to learn—he’ll get this eventually.”

I’ve been athletic my whole life. As you get older, trust me, more and more aches and pains hit you. You get one ailment taken care of and another one crops up. Father Time is relentless. That’s just the way it is.

Three elements of health and money

So, what does all this have to do with money? Well, there are three elements to the relationship between health and money: exercise, nutrition and genetics.

Money simply buys you more comfort or extends your time. With lots of money, you can afford expensive concierge medical services that give you access to doctors who don’t accept insurance and you can have them available to you anytime you want to cover any issue you might have (or think you have). With money, you can also buy a wide variety of nutritional pills and supplements and hire a personal trainer to make sure you’re working out consistently. Unfortunately for most Americans, it costs almost twice as much to eat healthy food as it does to eat food that is bad for us.

I started running 43 years ago, and I’ve been running ever since. I’ve always had the running gene, so I just do it naturally. Running has certainly helped me mentally and physically, but studies are showing that if you exercise too much, which I probably did for a while, it can be detrimental to your health. The key is to get a reasonable amount of exercise on a consistent basis and make good nutritional choices whenever you can.

Of course, exercise and nutrition don’t automatically shield you against a major health setback. Some people are just predisposed to a variety of maladies that we can’t do much about. We can deal only with the things that we know of, and money does help. But it certainly doesn’t put off Father Time—who eventually hands us over to Mother Earth, and we turn back into dust.

If you’d like to learn more about the important relationship between health and money, consider reading Younger Next Year, which was written by 70-year-old retiree Chris Crowley and his then fortyish doctor, Henry Lodge. There is an edition for men and for women, and both feature a great back-and-forth discussion between the two authors about health and life.

Contact us anytime if you’d like a free consultation about retirement planning.
So, until next time, enjoy.

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