When you are building your assets in preparation for your retirement you have to project your expenses, and to be prepared for every possibility there is a lot to consider. Of course you have had lifelong objectives that may include travel and leisure time activities and you worked all of your life to earn these opportunities. But when you look around at your extended family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances you invariably see that many people have to address medical expenses during their golden years as well.
To be totally frank, a few families may be in a position to handle any and all health care costs that may come their way comfortably. But even if you have been successful, some of these costs are massive and they can change your retirement plans in a hurry.
As estate and retirement planners we talk about making the right financial preparations, but there is only so much that you can do on that level because very few people have unlimited resources. Ironically, stress is one of the leading contributors to serious illnesses, so worrying about health care costs is only going to increase the possibility of illness.
One thing that you could do with the time that you might spend wringing your hands would be to go to the gym, take a long walk, or go for a swim. The more effort you put into keeping yourself healthy the less likely it is that you will be faced with financially debilitating health care costs.
Getting older isn’t a death sentence in and of itself; there are people who complete triathlons when they are 80 years of age. Consider a 60-year-old person who quits smoking and starts exercising daily after having smoked while living a sedentary lifestyle for 30 years. This may be the single best financial move that he or she could make at that point. Plus, how can you measure the gift of health on a day-to-day basis, being able to take a deep breath and get around without a lot of effort?
When you retire you are certainly going to need some financial resources. But you are also going to need your health, and it would be wise to take this into consideration as you are crunching the numbers and making your plans.