What is the reward for being a diligent saver during one’s working years? It seems to me that the concept of delayed gratification is meaningless unless we stand a good chance of being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor and sacrifice at some point in the future. If we achieve the goal of financial independence, but are unable to enjoy that freedom, some might say we have labored in vain.
While I believe that work is a reward in and of itself, I also believe that maintaining good financial health should be combined with the goals of maintaining good mental and physical health, as well. While we can’t time our death any more accurately than we can time markets or interest rates, there are certainly time-tested methods to improve the odds of success. Just like investing, we should focus on that which we can control.
I prefer to imagine a retirement that is active and stimulating. Traveling, playing golf, spending time with grandchildren–these are activities that will require good health and stamina. In conversations with older clients, we often hear them say that their top priority is to live independently for as long as possible. In addition to a solid financial plan, good health is imperative to achieve that objective.
Are you spending sufficient time and resources to maintain your health? Have you created a written plan to achieve your health objectives? Adopting a healthy diet and exercise regimen is a great start, but building a good relationship with your physician is also important. With our busy lives, it is easy to put regular health check-ups on the back burner, but that could prove to be a huge mistake. Perhaps thinking about your health in relationship to retirement might provide the extra incentive necessary to be more proactive in this area.
The Cooper Clinic in Dallas has been a leader in preventive medicine for over 40 years and has been named one of the top destinations for a comprehensive physical exam by Fortune and Worth magazines. If you are interested in taking your health to the next level, check out this brochure of their preventive medicine approach.