Why Your Health Is Your Best Financial Investment

By Etta Hornsteiner

When you’re the young and the restless, you truly believe image is everything. You do what it takes to have that fit-looking body. Then, when you come to the awareness that you have one life to live or all your children are grown-up and have moved away, your health becomes everything. You realize your health may be all you can depend on. You need the guiding light of wisdom to help you navigate this never-before-seen terrain of aging. On this terrain your health is your telescope that you will use to see your prospective self into the future. Therefore your health is your best financial investment.

One day, I found myself sitting across from a financial planner at a huge, rectangular wooden conference desk. I was there to talk about investing in mutual funds and stocks. But the financial planner, to my surprise, wanted to talk about what he needed to do to stay healthy. I observed three truths during that conversation that I want you to consider:

  1. Some of us work so hard to save for retirement that we neglect the care of our health.
  2. Generally, we do not plan how we will age (“intentional aging”), we just let aging happen to us.
  3. Many of us are unprepared for long-term care in our golden years should we need it.

Now is the time

Many years ago, I read Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and I decided that I was going to live life in the second quadrant.

Covey believed that life can be understood in terms of four quadrants:

Quadrant 1 Urgent-Important: This category contains all your pressing deadlines, the crises that erupt. When you are putting out fires, you are living in this category.

Quadrant 2 Not Urgent-But Important: This category contains the things that matter in the long term but that will not bear fruit this week or even this year. These are activities such as exercise, vocation, planning and relationship building.

Quadrant 3 Urgent-Not Important: In this category you experience distractions and interruptions—telephone ringing, incoming emails.  But it’s not until the end of the day that you realize these activities are not important in the long run.

Quadrant 4 Not Urgent-Not Important: In this category is your social media life. You come home in the evening and you check your Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter pages. You binge on Netflix because you are tired and need a break today. In this category are all your time-wasting activities.

 

Stephen Covey quadrant diagram

Of these four quadrants, quadrant 2 is where you should spend most of your time, because the things you do there will count in the long term. Taking time to exercise at least 150 minutes a week. Eating nutritious meals at least 80% of the time. Practicing spiritually mindful activities such as meditation, prayer and journaling. Building quality relationships by working on yourself and on being a good friend. It is so easy to put off these types of intentional living for later.  But now is the time to invest in your health. Most health problems, particularly lifestyle-related diseases, do not begin overnight. They grow over the years. So while your financial portfolio is growing, your health problems may be growing as well if you are not paying attention to your health.

Make your health your financial investment

Just as you do for your financial investments, you can invest in your health. Reputable continuing-care retirement communities such as Woodhaven At Home have been around for over 30 years and offer unique, affordable ways to invest in your health. One of Woodhaven’s unique plans is designed for people who want to age “in place”, that is, in their own home. The plan is practical and offers advantages that a traditional long-term care plan does not offer.

demonstration of financial planning

I was excited to discover that with Woodhaven At Home I could receive a customized care plan package with a daily benefit care service that would not break my pocket. For example, I could make a financial investment for 3 years and choose to receive a care plan with a daily benefit of $100 a day. It’s like saving $100 a day to go towards grocery in the future except it’s my health.  Women need approximately 4 years of long-term care compared to men, who may need about 3 years. According to AARP, that’s because women live longer and have higher rates of disability than men; therefore, older women are more likely to need more care (58 percent v. 47 percent). Even though I am not yet at retirement age, I decided to make the financial investment because it would be less costly now than if I were to wait until I am 55 or even 70 years old. It was the best gift I could give myself. This plan was a safe financial investment. And it made more sense to invest in aging intentionally since I was already safeguarding my health through diet and exercise and mindfulness. If I do not fall sick within the next 10 years, I would still have this three-year care package to use should I need it.

Why Financially Invest in Woodhaven At Home?

If you enjoy being healthy, if you want to age healthily, if you want to maintain your independence and continue to live seamlessly, then you want the Woodhaven At Home Membership. It would allow you to age intentionally, with grace and independence. Your care plan comes with a sophisticated care coordination system that offers coordinators based on your health needs. A wellness coordinator is like your health coach with whom you can build a relationship as you age. As your physical needs change, you may need more of an at-risk coordinator who monitors you more closely. The third type of coordinator is the in-care coordinator for more demanding health issues, such as managing a hip fracture resulting from a slip on an icy pavement. Your care coordinator is there to help you based on your needs.

Conclusion

It’s time to invest in you—your health—the smart way. Investing in Woodhaven At Home is aging intentionally. Woodhaven At Home offers various packages to fit your pocket and to fit your need. They are a non-profit organization whose goal is to help you age in place with vitality, independence, growth and resilience. Don’t put off this decision. Contact a Woodhaven At Home representative today. Now is the time for your health, because your health is important. Don’t allow what’s important to become urgent. Avoid a crisis by acting now.  Now is the time!

 

 

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