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The Money-Health Circle: a common misperception

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Money is an important part of most people's lives. That is hard to dispute. What is interesting is that it’s easy to lose sight of how money affects your health and how sometimes our priorities get shuffled around. Money allows you to do what you want in life, although, your health is your life.

Money and health are feedback loops, so they tend to affect each other. When one goes down, the other often follows, and vice versa. Here are some examples:

Exercise: Exercising regularly improves cognitive brain function and good decision-making. When you make good choices about your money, you put the future version of yourself in a better position. The improved brain makes people more capable of thinking and planning; when people are more capable of doing something, they increase the odds of doing that activity (like planning for their future).

Exercise also promotes an overall healthier person and healthier people tend to have fewer injuries and ailments. This means less time in hospital or making doctor visits.

Nutrition: What you eat and how you eat affects your health and your wallet. Take the example of dining out: the more you go to a restaurant for dinner, the higher the cost for that meal compared to cooking at home, but it also gives you less control over the ingredients. There may be extra calories ‘creeping’ their way into you that you don’t realise.

The solution is to create a meal plan or do meal prep. This means you know what you’re going to eat throughout the week, and have control over the nutrition you take in, but it also gives you more control over your budget, because you are spending comparatively less than at a restaurant. If you choose to prepare health meals it tends to again affect your brain, and allow for more clear decision about your money.

Careers: If you maintain good health for long enough, you may have the choice to continue working beyond age 65. This gives people more control over what they choose to do, whereas being in poor health may translate to not having the option to keep working. Working longer, even just a few hours per week, can provide extra income as well, which means you don’t need to have as big of a retirement nest egg.

Working into retirement age also provides more social interaction. People who are more outgoing have lower levels of glycosylated haemoglobin in their blood, indicating that they are at lower risk for diabetes and related diseases.

So good health means that you are more likely to be in a better financial position which again can reduce stress and allow for a greater state of well-being. An improved state of

well-being tends to enable better financial decisions and opportunities.

Written by: Cam Irvine

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