Health and Wealth

“The greatest wealth is health.” -Virgil

January is a popular time to make health-related resolutions and set goals to lose weight, exercise, or give up unhealthy habits. While people rarely make these resolutions for financial reasons, having a healthy body can actually lead to a bigger bank account!  Taking responsibility can have a big benefit for your wealth and health.


Which Comes First – Health or Wealth?

Many studies have demonstrated a relationship between health and wealth, but which begets which is a bit of a chicken-and-egg debate. Do people live longer and healthier because they have greater financial resources? Or do healthier people tend to build greater wealth?

Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door found that self-made millionaires tended to have certain habits in common. They sleep a respectable average of 7-1/2 hours a night, rise early (most by 6 a.m.), and exercise an average of 3-1/2 hours per week. Studies have shown that those who keep fit earn higher than average incomes. One study published in the June 2012 issue of Journal of Labor Research showed that regular exercisers earned 9% more than their colleagues!

Some reasons given for this correlation have nothing to do with silver spoon privileges. Participating in competitive sports, running marathons, or even simply staying physically fit requires people to develop discipline and perseverance. Many learn to work with teammates, coaches, or accountability buddies, learning personal skills that translate easily to professional settings.

To learn more check out: The Health and Wealth Connection


January is a perfect time to stop making excuses and start making changes. Here are some tips to make this your best year yet for your health and wealth:


  1. Sign up for exercise, dance, or yoga classes with a friend for accountability, or join groups that hike or bike. Those who exercise with others tend to stick with it.
  2. Quit that bad habit – you know the one! Avoid tobacco or overindulging in sweets or alcohol and your body and your bank account will both thank-you for it! And rather than fighting the urge, try replacing a bad habit with a more positive one. Trade in your martini for a fresh-pressed juice.
  3. Think optimistically about the future, as a positive attitude is associated with lower stress levels, longer lives, and fewer incidents of illness.
  4. Budget more for self-care and prevention such as organic produce, quality supplements and massage. You’ll likely spend less on health care.
  5. Build up your emergency savings. When emergencies occur, having plenty of liquid savings in a savings account, CD or a whole life policy (our favorite savings vehicle for overall safety, flexibility, guarantees and healthy returns.)

Ample emergency savings will minimize financial stress and ensure that you have plenty of cash flow to keep up your healthy habits and health insurance during periods of transition. Too many people use their retirement accounts for “savings” and it adds to their stress when “stuff happens” and they have to take money (with penalties and taxes) out of retirement accounts.