- 2-Minute Article
- Feb 26, 2018
The Health and Wealth Connection
How physical and financial fitness work together for a better retirement.
Updated: June 15, 2022
Created in Collaboration with Kiplinger.
- What is the relationship between health and wealth?
- How does longevity affect my retirement plans?
- How can taking care of my health now prepare me for a more financially secure retirement?
The road to retirement is unique to each individual and your experience may differ from another’s. Regardless of your goals, however, working to improve or maintain both your physical and financial well-being can help you get the most from the journey ahead. That’s because studies show that health and wealth often go hand in hand. Research suggests that people in the most financially advantaged groups can expect to have a longer, disability-free life expectancy.1
Beyond good financial planning, living a healthy lifestyle can also help improve your financial health over time. Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are all factors that can have huge health benefits.2 Additionally, a healthier older self is believed to have more of an opportunity to save and preserve wealth. For example, healthy individuals may be in a better position to supplement retirement income or enjoy lower out-of-pocket health care expenses throughout retirement.
How to Plan a Healthier and Wealthier Retirement
It’s important to consider the intersection of health and wealth when planning for your retirement. Be sure to assess factors like the ones below to improve your retirement readiness.
Longer Life Expectancy
From 1960 to 2015, life expectancy in the U.S. increased by approximately 10 years from 69.7 to 79.4 years. By 2060, life expectancy in this country is projected to grow to an all-time high of 85.6 years.3 This increased life expectancy – which 51% of people misestimate by at least five years4 – requires enough savings to last what could be a 30-year (or longer) retirement. It also may affect the way retirees approach key decisions, such as when to begin drawing Social Security, how to allocate assets, and what kind of life insurance and long-term care coverage may be best.
Spending on Leisure Activities
People who occasionally splurge may feel better about retirement than their more frugal peers. One type of spending that tends to increase true satisfaction in retirement is leisure. Whether it’s dining out with friends, attending a concert with your spouse, or traveling to favorite places, social interactions can boost retirees’ overall happiness and sense of well-being.5 Researchers believe that these types of high-quality activities keep retirees mentally healthy, connected to others, and engaged in the world around them.
As retirement comes into view, it’s important to focus on the interplay of health and wealth. Talk with your financial professional to help ensure that your fiscal health supports your physical health and well-being – and vice versa – in the future.
A few smart changes in behavior can help form the basis of a strategy to guide you throughout your financial journey.
Read 7 Steps to Help Simplify Finances in Retirement to help map out your best retirement path.