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Health + wealth = A winning combination

JAN. 24, 2019

“Happy New Year! May your year be filled with health and prosperity!”

This is a greeting you may have received at the start of 2019. Or, maybe it’s a resolution of yours for the coming year. In January, diet, exercise and finances tend to top our lists of resolutions. In fact, health and wealth are two areas most hope to improve — and are associated with a fulfilling life.

Health is wealth

Health is associated with wealth both figuratively and literally —health and wealth are often linked together at the beginning of the year and indefinitely throughout an individual’s life.

For advisors, this combination presents both opportunities and challenges, as your clients are likely to live longer and will need more money. According to the Centre for Ageing Better, there will be 18 million people aged 60 and older —more than 1 in 4 — by 2024.1 And, by 2050, those who are 65 and older will make up 15.6 percent of the global population.2

It’s no surprise then that having enough money for a long retirement is one of the greatest challenges your clients face.

The focus on health and well-being

Gubler et al. shows that nearly 90 percent of companies use wellness programs, like exercise and biometric programs, as part of their overall benefits package to support associate wellbeing.3

When companies help their associates develop good habits for their health and well-being while still working, then their associates will be better positioned to enjoy a longer life in retirement.

With healthcare being one of the largest expenses in retirement, a causal relationship between health and wealth suggests that the healthier a person is the less they will spend on healthcare in retirement. However, while healthy individuals may spend less money on healthcare in retirement each month or year compared to unhealthy individuals – their longevity may work against them.

As an individual spends more years in retirement, not only will they need to have more saved up to last the full length of their life, but their monthly and annual health costs will add up for a longer period of time, drawing from the same retirement funds.

Some questions advisors should consider

  • Are you discussing the health-wealth connection with your clients? If not, what is preventing you from doing so?
  • How can you include these findings as part of a holistic approach to serving your clients?
  • What opportunities can you identify to help your clients connect health to wealth in 2019?
  • What resources are available to you?
  • What is one thing that you can begin to do today to facilitate the conversation?
  • If you include the health-wealth conversation into your practice, what outcome(s) would surpass your expectations?

In 2019, challenge yourself to do something new — and think about holistic retirement planning differently.

While the health – wealth connection isn’t new, a conversation is worth incorporating into your practice. One benefit: a stronger advisor-client relationship.

I’m wishing you — and your clients — a year of health and prosperity!