The way you treat your body when you’re younger will impact your lifestyle as you age.

If you smoke, then you’ll have a higher probability of being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

If you have poor eating habits and don’t exercise, then you’ll have a higher probability of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and the list continues.

Genetics play a role in your health. But you have control over your daily lifestyle.

Retirement may be far away or around the corner. Either way, you’ll need to account for your health care expenses in your retirement plan.

We’re living longer and you may spend 20+ years in retirement.

You can have a healthy and active retirement.

Or your retirement may be less active if your body slows down.

Health care expenses in retirement are estimated to amount to $5,238 per year, according to a published retirement health care study by Fidelity Investments.

This amount is beyond what Medicare covers. Health care expenses include medical, dental, vision, and hearing.

Additionally, there are long-term care (“LTC”) expenses for adult day care, in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home.

LTC is not covered by Medicare unless you need skilled services or rehabilitative care. It is estimated a 65-year old couple will spend $250,000 on LTC expenses.

These amounts should motivate you to take care of your body by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep nightly.

It’s never too late to begin a healthy lifestyle. Here are some easy suggestions:

  • Search your smartphone for a fitness app that tracks your steps. It’ll help you become more conscientious of your daily physical movement.
  • Commit to walking daily. Start with 15-minute walks and gradually increase to an hour.
  • Start reading sugar content on labels. Target choosing foods with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. It’s a quick way to change your eating habits.
  • Drink a glass of water before every meal. It’ll help you reach the water intake your body needs. And it will fill you up resulting in eating less food.
  • Get sufficient sleep. It’s easy to overeat when you’re not well-rested. It’s easy to skip physical activity when you’re tired. Your body needs adequate sleep to rejuvenate.

It’s easy to take your health for granted when you’re young and active. However, as you age your body begins wearing down.

Some health changes may be genetic. Some may be directly related to how you treated your body when you were younger.

If you envision an active retirement, then be proactive about your health. Take time now to develop habits that will help you remain healthy as you age.


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”