Taking care of your health has benefits that extend far beyond looking better in a bathing suit. Healthy lifestyle practices—from eating organic foods to yoga or meditation—can contribute to happiness today and into your golden years.
Staying fit can mean living longer, saving more and enjoying a higher quality of life down the road, says Sameer Aurora, Head of Client Strategy, UBS. “Living well today means eating healthy and taking care of yourself physically, whether [that’s] going to the gym, taking a hike in the mountains or doing a mindfulness exercise.”
Taking care of yourself today is also an excellent way to potentially lower your healthcare costs later in life—an important thing to keep in mind as life expectancies increase. The average life expectancy in America is higher than in any other period in history.1
"It’s never been more important to plan for retirement," Aurora says. "And to plan for a healthy future, you need to talk to your financial advisor and think about how you’re going to put your money to work in such a way that you have enough set aside to afford a healthy lifestyle today and to age well over time."
One major factor to consider in your planning is rising healthcare costs, which can eat into your nest egg and make up a larger percentage of your overall budget over time. "Long-term healthcare is very expensive in the U.S.," notes Aurora. "When you think about investing your money, a larger percent of it has to be accounted for by healthcare planning."
Once you’ve spoken with your financial advisor and worked together to establish a financial plan that accounts for longevity and higher healthcare costs in retirement, it's important to communicate your strategy with your family. Having family conversations, even if they’re tough, can help improve retirement outcomes and ensure that you have enough money later in life to ease stress and avoid becoming a burden to your loved ones.
This is crucial, in particular, for women as women’s life expectancies increase and the rate of divorce for people over age 50 continues to climb, eight in 10 women will find themselves solely responsible for their financial wellbeing.2
"That has huge implications for your future and how you’re planning," Aurora notes.
One trend he has noticed is that more people are choosing to pass on their wealth to their loved ones while they’re still alive so they can share in the experience with them. “The traditional notion of inheritance has been turned on its side. Rather than passing on your wealth with a will when you’re gone, now people are more actively engaged in sharing their wealth with their heirs.” Examples could include helping a child or grandchild buy a first home or pay student loans. Being able to share in these kinds of special moments in the lives of our loved ones is a primary reason that many of us would like to live longer. Preventative wellness measures, such as exercise, plenty of sleep and eating right, can go a long way in making this happen.
"In order to age well," Aurora says, "you have to live well today."