For sheer bottom-line impact, nothing beats taking care of your “health capital.”
That’s what Olivia Mitchell said in a 2007 Money magazine interview. Mitchell was the head of the Pension Research Center at the Wharton School of Business. If retirees (or soon to be retirees) are concerned with their financial future, she warns, they should invest in their health in retirement.
According to her figures, a 65-year-old couple could need savings of $295,000 just to cover insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs over an average life span. It’s even smarter to lead your life so that you need less health care in the first place.
Poor health also carries huge opportunity costs. After all, you can’t save if you can’t earn, and you can’t earn without your health. The median couple in their fifties and sixties who develop chronic health problems ends up increasing wealth at less than half the rate of their healthy counterparts.
Want to double your investment portfolio? Exercise, cut out fats and don’t smoke.