spending, and not just in the last year of life.
Bottom line: Wealth without health is
not going to last; your physical problems
will wreak havoc on your bank account.
Health without wealth? Maybe while you’re
young. But as you age, you need more in the
way of resources to keep you in the pink.
Working together, we—a personal
finance expert and an M.D. specializing in
wellness and aging—have found several
areas where the two intersect. With just a
little time, effort and energy, you can use
the information to live longer, without
running out of money or breaking a hip.
Here are a few recommendations.
Assess. It’s impossible to get
where you’re going if you don’t know
where you are to begin with. For
Balance FOR life
Where health and wealth merge
example, when it comes to your
health you need to regularly measure your
blood pressure, your fitness (can you do the
appropriate number of situps and pushups
for your age, for instance) and your waist
(it should consistently measure less than
half your height in inches).
Financially, you should take an annual
tally of what you earn, what you own and
what you owe. The first two numbers should
be heading up consistently; the third (
particularly when it comes to credit card debt)
should be heading down.
Slash stress. Stress—the intersection
point between the central nervous system
and emotional faculties—is the biggest
cause of aging more rapidly. And the biggest
source of stress is money. Unlike short-term
stresses, you can’t deep-breathe financial
or health-related issues away. Whether
you’ve got too much credit card debt or your
low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is too
high, you need to make a plan to tackle the
underlying problem, then work on it one
step at a time.
Build strong teams. Many of us were
raised not to share details of our health or
our financial lives. But that doesn’t mean
you should go it alone. Having the proper
team around you (including a doctor and a
helpful pharmacist, a financial adviser when
you need one, accountability buddies for
health and finance—see the sidebar—and
other professionals) is key to helping you
achieve optimum levels of health and wealth.
You can be AgeProof no matter where
you are now; you can make up for lost time
in your money and health choices. So
start today. That first step is the
toughest. Once you begin, it
becomes easier. C
BY JEAN CHATZKY AND
DR. MICHAEL F. ROIZEN
COSTCO MEMBERS Dr. Michael F. Roizen
and Today show financial expert Jean
Chatzky have identified a vital connection between healthy bodies and financial strength, resulting in AgeProof:
Living Longer Without Running Out
of Money or Breaking a Hip (Grand
Central Life & Style, ;;;;; not available
at Costco). Here are a few of their
tips.—T. Foster Jones
The good news: You’re probably going
to live a lot longer than you ever expected.
In the past three decades, life expectancy
for U.S. men has jumped from age ;; to ;;
and for U.S. women from ;; to ;;. And the
longer you live, the longer you’re going to
live. Today, the average ;;-year-old man or
woman will live to age ;;. And half of those
;;-year-olds will surpass even that.
The bad news: You’re probably not prepared for that to happen. Most people haven’t saved nearly enough to maintain their
current standard of living in retirement.
And without enough money, staying healthy
is also a challenge.
It’s not just a matter of spending more
each year on co-pays, premiums and prescriptions. Living longer also means spending more to care for the chronic diseases
that account for ;; percent of all health care
FOR YOUR HEALTH
© TOM SAGA /
HERE ARE three habits you should start now
to get on a healthier path.
You can make better decisions by
taking the human element out of the loop.
Your savings: Set up electronic transfers into emergency savings accounts,
retirement accounts or both every time
you get paid.
Your breakfast and lunch choices:
Pick two or three healthful things that you
know you like to eat, keep them on hand
and reach for one of those lunch choices
It’s tough to break a bad habit but
easier to swap in a better one. And your
brain wants you to.
A better spending choice: Instead of
that $5 morning concoction, make coffee at
home and pocket an extra $1,300 a year, or
swap it for a $2 cuppa joe and save $700.
A better health habit: Instead of
following dinner with a bowl of ice cream
or a handful of cookies, opt for a bowl of
berries or a couple of clementines.
Having someone on your team to keep
you accountable is key.
Find a money buddy: Ask a friend to
help you stay on course to reach your goals
of saving more, spending less or paying
Find a workout buddy: Look for someone willing to meet you for a three-times-a-week walk or exercise class.—JC, MR
Three money and health habits to start now