Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Retirement

I've never loved exercise. In high school, I was the kid who dreaded the day of the mile-run in P.E. and would do all I could to avoid it. As I approach 40, however, I find myself thinking more about my health. There are obvious physical and mental benefits to a healthy lifestyle, but there are financial benefits as well.

According to Fidelity's annual Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, a 65-year old couple retiring in 2019 can expect to pay about $285,000 in health care and medical expenses in throughout retirement, making up a significant portion of most retirees' portfolios.

To illustrate this even further, take a look at the chart below from my financial planning tool, RightCapital.

This chart illustrates a sample client's cash flow needs throughout retirement. See the four HUGE peaks at the end? That's an assumption that both husband and wife will require two years of full-time long-term care...and they'll pay out the nose to get it! This assumption may or may not end up being true for you, but for every client of mine I assume it will be the case.

So what's to be done? As I mentioned before, it comes back to your health. Making healthy choices now will not only improve your quality of life, but it can decrease the likelihood of costly long-term care. This applies regardless of how close you are to retirement.

Take some time to consider ways to improve your health. Make them small and find ways they might fit into existing habits or patterns. In my case, I often walk to work. It's 10 minutes each way, and going to work is something I'll be doing anyway. I'm not training for an Ironman race here! Just trying to make small adjustments to improve my overall health.

Making healthy choices today, always puts you better off compared to tomorrow. You'll have a healthier life, and a "healthier" nest egg.