How many of you have given retirement a serious thought?
Depending on the age of the person reading this, I’m sure it varies from, “I worry about this everyday,” to “Yeah, it’s the thing they take money off my pay check for every week like criminals.”
A 2018 CIBC poll shows that only about one in five Canadians are actually giving retirement some serious thought and considering it, saving money so that they eventually won’t have to work.
The poll demonstrated that the magic number people may need to retire is close to $756,000 in order to be able to live comfortably for your remaining years.
Finding this article on a nutrition website, you probably ask why we’re talking about retirement or money in general. The fact of the matter is, people are comfortable talking about saving money for retirement but very few are considering the state of their health when they eventually are able to walk away from their lifetime jobs.
When it comes to getting older, although you may no longer have financial obligations such as a mortgage and car payments etc, your healthcare costs will dramatically increase. After 65, they will nearly double, 75 even worse.
This is largely because the likelihood of having other health problems increases. It can be anything from more conditions, more medications, a surgery here and there or having to actually move out of your home and into a retirement facility. From 2011 to 2016, the number of people having to live in a retirement home in Canada increased over 100,000, according to our most recent census.
When it comes to health and fitness, that’s what we are after—longevity. Put more simply, the average cost for retirement may be $756,000, but what if you were one of the outliers on the lower end of the scale that only needed a fraction of that number plus your Canadian Pension Plan in order to live out your remaining years with a smile on your face?
What if you put off the need for increased medications, visits to the doctor and ultimately relying on an assisted-living facility for another decade or eliminated it all together?
Your financial needs for retirement would plummet. And all of that is possible but you have to take action in your youth to make it happen because the reality is that all of these conditions, many diseases and atrophy is preventable. Sure, there is a chance anyone will get a disease like cancer in today’s world, but the most common preventative measure is a healthy lifestyle and that starts in your 20s with the same importance that putting aside part of your pay check for your pension does.
It starts with assessing the things you’re eating and the way your body is moving. It starts with having a full picture of not only the money you’re saving for your nest egg, but the body you’re going to have once you get there.
After all, if you retire with $2 million dollars but need to rely on medications, weekly doctor visits or worse, are you really retiring from anything at all?
Retirement is supposed to be about being freed from work so you can enjoy the fruits of your labour for your remaining years, not being imprisoned by your health (or lack thereof).
So, when it comes to investing in your health now remember that those dollars are as important if not more than those going into your investment portfolio. Treat the cost of your gym membership or payment for coaching (be it nutrition or personal training) with the same importance as your RRSP because it is.
An investment into your health is as important as one in your pocket book.
A former journalist and sports blogger, I've turned my writing prowess and love of fitness and nutrition into a personal blog where you can find anything you are looking for on the world of health, nutrition and fitness.