When developing financial plans and retirement plans for clients, one of the topics I address is their physical health. It’s one of the components in the 5 P’s of Life.

Why do I ask about their health?

Healthcare expenses have increased over the years as costs have shifted to individuals. Insurance companies no longer cover health procedures and prescriptions like they used to cover in the past.

Also, the way you treat your body when you’re younger will impact your healthcare 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. Yes, some of these conditions are genetic which you have no control over. But you do have control over your daily lifestyle.

Healthcare expenses include medical, dental, and vision. Long-term care expenses are considered separate when you look at statistics for healthcare costs in retirement.

Medicare does not cover dental and vision. It also does not cover hearing aids. However, there are supplemental policies you can purchase to cover these expenses when you are over 65 years old.

For some of you that age may be very far away. For others, it’s around the corner.

It’s never too late to begin a healthy lifestyle. We post tips every Friday on social media to help you make easy changes to improve your lifestyle.

We all know what needs to be done, but it’s hard to implement, especially when life becomes busier and busier each year.

So, what can you do?

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 your dog at least once daily. Start off with 15-minute walks and gradually increase to an hour. It’ll benefit you and your dog.

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 bottle 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.

Your money will last longer if you have lower healthcare expenses. Be aware of your family health history. But also, be proactive about your health. You’ll enjoy more of life experiences if you remain healthy.

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Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, 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 spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. 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’.”