I’ve blogged for financial advisers and medical professionals long enough that I should not have been surprised when I read the best investment advice for people my age, but I was in fact completely surprised. I hadn’t thought about it.
Here it is:
If you’re in your 50s, the most important thing you can do to prepare for retirement is to get as healthy as you possibly can.
That way, you can work until you’re 70 and get the most Social Security you’re entitled to, if Social Security is still around by then. And you can avoid the most common cause of running out of money in retirement: high health care costs.
I feel that I am doing (some) of the right things (most of the time). I think this idea will be motivating, too, when it’s easier to skip that walk or eat that cake.
So this surprised me a lot when I read it, but I am keeping it in mind now. I was reminded of it today when #2 son called to say that he had been to the doctor and his AC joint separation is not that bad. No surgery, and he’ll recover fully, and he can treat it at home with ice and ibufprofin if he feels like it.
His reaction? After the initial relief, he felt justified in never going to the doctor. That’s what he would have told himself, after all, and it would have cost him much less money just to tell it to himself.
This is how I feel, too, on the rare occasions when I go to the doctor. I’m never sick or injured enough to feel that I got my money’s worth.
Maybe I should get a checkup. But for sure I will continue to buy lots of fresh produce and lean meat, and to take the time to exercise, and to care for my skin and teeth and eyes and so forth. Also to sleep and manage stress (okay, knit and sew and sing). I think that’s my primary investment in my health.