Wealth vs. Health

I came across this great article in Forbes’ Wells Fargo Voice from last month written by Alice Lesch Kelly that I want to share:  Wealth Vs. Health: Take A Balanced Approach: Go to: Forbes for original post (mostly reproduced here).  We all need balance in our lives and this article provides some great strategies for health and wealth success.

“Don’t let your focus on building and preserving wealth negatively impact your family relationships and personal health.”

Kelly writes: “If you’re in your prime earning years, your focus is likely on building the wealth you will need to live well in retirement. Americans are living longer and health care costs are rising. Investing enough money to provide sufficient income to sustain your current lifestyle can help pave the way for a more secure retirement. But too much focus on meeting future income needs can be stressful particularly when you are in your 30s, 40s and 50s and may be facing many family commitments. How do you find a balance?…”

“For most people, prime working years are also prime family years — the time when children are growing up and older family members may begin to need medical care. Having a single-minded focus on wealth-building at the expense of family priorities can cause major stress, which can even impact your health. More than just an annoyance, chronic stress raises the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses.

1) Don’t wait

If you don’t think that you will be able to meet your income needs in retirement, don’t waste time beating yourself up about it. Meet with your financial team now to take immediate action. You may want to consider whether you are accumulating wealth in the most tax-efficient accounts and also revisit your regular expenditures. Having a clear plan in place can help you increase opportunities available to you when you retire.

2) Rethink retirement income

When interest rates are high, many retired investors look to bond portfolios for income. But with sustained low interest rates, those accumulating wealth for retirement as well as those already in retirement may need to consider other avenues to generate their income.

Because people are living longer in retirement, you may want to keep exposure to equities and other growth investments even as you get closer to retirement.

3) Involve your family

When your children are young, it can help to explain why it’s so important for you to save for the future and that sometimes short-term sacrifices are necessary to make that happen. Understanding the family’s financial realities may help lower everyone’s stress levels when you occasionally have to make the choice to skip a Little League game or gymnastics meet in order to put in some extra hours at work.

4) Take care of your health

Neglecting self-care not only interferes with your quality of life but can also make your post-retirement health care costs skyrocket. Protect your health and your nest egg by eating a healthy diet, exercising most days of the week, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular health checkups, and staying up to date on vaccinations. These things do take time and effort, but they can have big payoffs later in life.

 

5) Think beyond dollars

Investing cash during your prime earning years is important, of course. But it’s also essential to plan in a more holistic way as well. “Make investments in the future — not just monetary ones, but also in relationships, health, career, and education,” Lachman says. “They all can pay big dividends in the long run.”

All great pieces of advice.  We need to remember to take care of ourselves first so we can look forward to a healthy and happy future.

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