A New York Times opinion article headlined, “People have stopped going to the doctor. Most seem just fine,” got me thinking. The writer, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar is a cardiologist. Noting that routine health care for patients with chronic but stable conditions had been postponed while the hospitals dealt with COVID-19 emergencies, a poll had found that 86% of these patients said they made it through without any worsening of their existing conditions. The point he was making is that the pandemic has upended healthcare as we know it and that we should use this to restart in a healthier and more financially responsible way and not go back to the old way of doing things.
I think he’s right: this is a good time to consider the role that your health plays in your finances.
“I can think of no better investment in your current and future self than to take better care of you,” says financial adviser Suze Orman. “That starts with sleep. And making sure you connect to friends and loved ones just to chat and be connected.”
In other words, good health is good for your financial future.
A big part of the investment process is our tolerance for risk. The financial system is structured around this process. It’s all about managing risk. Companies, fund managers, financial advisers and each of us are always managing risk as it relates to our finances. But how many of us spend that much time managing the risk of health. Making behavioral decisions that will make us feel better for longer and therefore end up having more money?
Assisted living currently costs about $70,000 a year. Factor in at least 3% inflation and you could be looking at hundreds of thousands per year by the time you need it. If you need it. Other long-term costs affected by your health are life insurance, disability insurance, annual healthcare costs. Additionally, earning potential and productivity go up when you’re feeling good.
I think that most investors don’t consider our tolerance for bad health or its costs. But in the end, the effect on our health and on our wealth is probably far greater than the investments we choose.
Yesterday I heard someone say that life in a world of COVID is hard work and we want the work to be over, so we can go back to normal. A reminder for me the work is never over and to have the life we want requires constant work. It requires our constant attention.
Contact me to help you bridge your health to your wealth and to see if the risk you are taking with your investments is in line with your goals.
The views in this material were those of the Advisor at the time of writing this report and may not reflect the views Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC. These views are intended to assist clients and do not constitute investment advice. Advisory services offered through Wealthcare Advisory Partners. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC is a registered investment advisor with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.