Your Health and your Retirement
Since I spend most of my day helping people prepare for success in their finances, you would probably expect me to say that financial resources are most critical to a successful retirement. It’s true that finances are inarguably important but financial accomplishments alone don’t ensure a successful retirement.
It’s hard to call your retired years successful without good physical and mental health. We should all pay attention to our health for today and the future. Just as in preparing financially for retirement, preparing for a healthy retirement is done before you get to those golden years. If you haven’t already started, the best time to start is today.
I recently read Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath and learned that small choices could lead to big changes. Tom advocates life changing strategies to improve our physical and mental wellbeing. His strategies are designed to help us feel better every day beginning now and continuing into the future. Similar to our evidence-based investing philosophies, Rath’s strategies are based on scientific research.
We should measure our progress towards health, just like we evaluate our financial progress, as a plus or minus - moving us nearer to or further from our goals.
According to Rath, a great way to get started on improving your health is to select three good habits that will move you towards better health. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
• Keep healthy food in sight
• Avoid electronics an hour before bed
• Sleep is more of an investment than an expense. Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night
• Exercise 30 to 60 minutes 5 days a week as a start, and then increase from there
• Be active through the day – don’t sit for several hours, move more often
• Don’t diet – eat right for life
• Build movement and activity into every hour of your day, aim for 10,000 steps per day
Just like the compounding return that causes investments to build over time, putting a little more effort into your health can also result in a compounded return in the future. Improving your health today can impact every year for the rest of your life.
Start somewhere. Start today.