Most people don’t realize that healthy living not only can save a lot of money, but it can also lead to a richer life.
It’s easy to see that smoking as well as alcohol, cocaine and other addiction cost a lot of money. However, making frequent unhealthy choices, such as, eating unhealthy foods, drinking high-sugar beverages and not exercising can also be very costly.
There are obvious ways these bad habits cost you a lot of money. Fast foods often cost more that healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Sugary coffee drinks can cost as much as $6 or more. Junk food snacks and sugary soft drinks can add thousands of dollars to your grocery bills every year.
These avoidable expenses can keep you from increasing your savings as well as putting more money for retirement. It’s even worse for millions of people that use credit cards to pay for their purchases. With high interest rates added to their credit card obligations, these expenses associated with unhealthy living can keep them from saving money for their future.
Money that you can save by living healthy can fuel your financial freedom and build your wealth. Instead, people making costly unhealthy choices end up not being able to save money. Sadly, many end up eroding their nest egg and dealing with financial ruin due to resulting health problems.
Unhealthy living has long-term health and economic consequences.
Costly unhealthy living is associated with increased risk of being overweight or obese as well as accelerated aging. Chronic diseases associated with obesity and rapid aging can drive the cost of unhealthy living even higher.
Aging-associated diseases are health problems that are usually seen with increasing frequency with increasing age, such as, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.
Due to unhealthy living, diseases previously associated with aging are no longer limited to the elderly. Instead, many young and unhealthy individuals are dealing with aging-associated diseases.
Studies have shown that as weight increases, the risk also increases for stroke, heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. These preventable chronic diseases were previously associated with aging.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2011, more than 33% of adults in the United States (over 72 million Americans) and 17% of U.S. children are obese. In 2008, the overall cost for medical care related to obesity for U.S. adults were estimated to be as high as $147 billion. The cost is expected to rise this year and in the future.
5 Ways unhealthy choices can keep you from building wealth and living a richer life
- Due to soaring health care costs, Americans with serious health problems usually end up with serious financial problems. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine showed that over 62% of personal bankruptcies in 2007 were filed due to medical debt — and 75% reported having health insurance.
- People with chronic diseases often have to take medications for the rest of their life. Prescription drug cost has contributed to high medical debt and bankruptcy for many patients and families.
- Obesity and illness can lead to loss of income. According to the CDC, obesity has been linked with reduced worker productivity and chronic absence from work. Illness can lead to job loss or termination not just for the person dealing with health problems, but also for the family members providing care. Illness-associated loss of income has contributed to financial problems and medical bankruptcy for many patients and their families.
- Preventable chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, according to the CDC. Every year, 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans are from chronic diseases. More than 50% of all deaths every year are due to heart disease, cancer and stroke. Premature death or disability also contributes to loss of income and resulting financial problems for family members of the patient.
- Expenses from hospitalization, medical equipment and nursing homes also contributed to illness-related financial problems and bankruptcy.
It’s not just people dealing with chronic diseases that have to deal with financial problems. The financial future of the whole family is at risk.
Instead of career advancement, the patient as well as family members providing care for them have to deal with increased work absences, reduced productivity, job loss or termination.
Living a richer life is not just about having wealth. It’s also about living a meaningful and satisfying life. Many people dealing with chronic diseases as well as their families live a poor quality of life due to challenges related to stress and financial problems resulting from the illnesses.
By living a healthy life, you can avoid largely preventable chronic diseases as well as resulting disabilities and premature death. Instead of putting yourself and your family at risk for financial ruin, you can can build your wealth and live a richer and more satisfying life.